Monday, April 28, 2008

George Carman

When the comedian Ken Dodd was charged with tax fraud in 1989 he vetted a string of barristers before eventually telling his solicitor that he wanted to see George Carman. This proved to be a wise move.

The case bore many of the hallmarks of a typical Carman performance: a famous defendant, seemingly incontrovertible evidence and a sensational acquittal. The result owed much to Carman's deftness at arguing that comic genius and careful accounting were strangers.

He encapsulated the hypothesis in a phrase that he rightly judged would strike a chord with the jury: "Some accountants are comedians," he said. Then, after a pause: "But comedians are never accountants."

With thanks to Keith Gordon of Atlas Chambers for reminding me of this story and quote.
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