Bob Carolgees (born Robert Johnson; 12 May 1948) is a comedy entertainer who appeared on the Saturday morning TV series Tiswas and then later in its adult versions O.T.T. and Saturday Stayback. He is best known for appearing with an expectorating canine puppet named Spit the Dog.
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In the early 1970s Carolgees ran a DJ and modelling school at 11A Lord Street in Liverpool. After a five-week course, DJs and models were tested in front of an audience at the Sportsmans Club in central Liverpool. He first appeared in a guest spot on Tiswas on 31 March 1979. Main presenter Chris Tarrant's first words to him were "I don't know who the fuck you are, but stand there, you're going to be on the telly, it's great!"
Clowning around with a monkey puppet named Charlie, Carolgees went down well with the viewing audience and after being invited back for several guest spots he soon became a team presenter. Carolgees, in pyjamas and headband, was also the Tiswas character Houdi Elbow, a comedy psychic and small-time magician.
Carolgees went on to work for eight years alongside Cilla Black in Surprise Surprise and for nearly two decades he entertained British armed forces around the world. He also fronted pop/game show Hold Tight!, produced by Granada Television for Children's ITV and game show Concentration.
Carolgees used to own a candle shop — Carolgees Candles — in Frodsham, Cheshire. He temporarily came out of show business retirement to appear with all his old colleagues in Tiswas Reunited on ITV on 16 June 2007.
Carolgees made a surprise return to show business by agreeing to appear in pantomime at Hull New Theatre for the 2013 run of Jack and the Beanstalk, replacing an unwell Keith Harris. Carolgees was quoted as saying "What I had missed most was panto". In 2017 Carolgees again came out of retirement for pantomime.
Spit the Dog auction
The name Carolgees comes from friends Carole and George Dunmore who owned a record shop called Carolgees Records & Cassettes. Carole and George also operated a mobile disco called Carolgees Cabaret Disco which became extremely popular around Merseyside and was where Carolgees developed his act.
In popular culture
Carolgees is mentioned in episodes of That Peter Kay Thing, and appeared in a couple of episodes. He and Spit the Dog can briefly be seen hosting a Trisha style early morning discussion show in Peter Kay's follow up comedy Phoenix Nights. He can also be seen on the back of a leaflet in the toilets in the first episode. He was mentioned in Series 3, Episode 7 of the BBC political satire, The Thick of It, with Steve Flemming being compared to Carolgees. Carolgees' name was mentioned in the March episode of the podcast WeReddit. Carolgees' puppet Spit the Dog is mentioned in the Sleaford Mods song Tiswas. In Peter Kay's Car Share Series 1 Episode 6, B & S Carolgees was the name of the opticians next to the cafe in that episode. Carolgees & puppet Spit the Dog appeared in a 2015 episode of ITV series Who's Doing the Dishes?
- "Tiswas Online list of Bob Carolgees appearances". Tiswas Online. 7 May 2007. Archived from the original on 18 July 2006.
- "'Later Magazine' Tiswas article". Tiswas Online. September 1999. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
- "Top of the Pops Videoclips". BBC. 7 May 2007.
- "Spit the Dog sale fetches £5,000". BBC. 5 June 2004.
- "Bob Carolgees at ukgameshows.com". ukgameshows.com. 7 May 2007.
- Noble.R (2011) 'Two wheels - lots of tweets', The Guardian, Travel pg. 5, 11 June 2011.
- "ITV Media — Tiswas Reunited". ITV. 7 May 2007.
- "Christopher Biggins and Bob Carolgees are to star in Jack and the Beanstalk at Hull New Theatre". Hull Daily Mail. 1 November 2013. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- "Totally Tiswas — Show One". Up And Happy podcast. 16 June 2007.
- "BBC Guide To Comedy — That Peter Kay Thing". BBC. 7 May 2007.
- "Bob Carolgees at IMDB". IMDB. 7 May 2007.
- "WeReddit Podcast". iTunes. 1 March 2012. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013.