Humphrey Ker

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Humphrey Ker
Humphrey Ker backstage.jpg
Ker in 2009
Birth name David Humphrey Rivers Ker[1]
Born (1982-10-11) 11 October 1982 (age 36)
London, England
Medium Stand up, Television
Genres Sketch comedy
Spouse Megan Ganz (2015-present)
Notable works and roles The Penny Dreadfuls

David Humphrey Rivers Ker (/kɑː/; born 11 October 1982) is an Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning British actor, writer and comedian, formerly of the sketch comedy troupe The Penny Dreadfuls.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Ker was born to David Peter James Ker and Alexandra Mary Watson. His maternal grandfather was Vice-Admiral Sir Dymock Watson.[3][4] He is 6' 7" (2.01 m) tall. He was educated at Eton College,[5][6] and read history at the University of Edinburgh.[7][8] During his time at the University of Edinburgh, Ker performed in Edinburgh University Theatre Company pantomime productions[9] and with acclaimed[10] improvised comedy troupe The Improverts. Ker first met and performed with fellow students David Reed and Thom Tuck as a member of this comedy troupe.[11]


In 2006, Ker, together with Reed and Tuck, formed The Penny Dreadfuls, who have performed their Victorian sketch shows across Britain, including at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Aeneas Faversham in 2006 and Aeneas Faversham Returns in 2007.[12] Since then, he has appeared in Comedy Shuffle for BBC Three and the short film I am Bob, starring Bob Geldof.[13] Ker was also co-anchor on the short-lived internet-based satirical news program[14] with Rufus Hound.

The Penny Dreadfuls radio series The Brothers Faversham was first broadcast on BBC 7 in early January 2008. The second series, More Brothers Faversham, was aired in October 2008 and later repeated on Radio 4. The trio also wrote and starred in a 2010 comedy drama for BBC Radio 4 about Guy Fawkes.[15] More recently, Ker has been working increasingly as a solo artist. He was a regular in the improvisational comedy show Fast and Loose, hosted by Hugh Dennis in early 2011. Later that year, he appeared as part of 24 Hour Panel People charity show hosted by David Walliams, in the Whose Line Is It Anyway? section. He's also appeared on 8 Out of 10 Cats, and in August 2013, on the show's crossover with Countdown. He is set to appear as a regular in BBC3 show Live at The Electric.[16]

In August 2011 Ker presented a feature-length debut solo show at Edinburgh Fringe Festival entitled Humphrey Ker is...Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher!, for which he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award (formerly Perrier Award) for "Best Newcomer".[17] The show was loosely based on the real-life story of his grandfather, Dymock Watson, who was a Special Operations Executive agent in WWII.[18] Ker has performed "Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher!" at London's Soho Theatre, the West End's Fortune Theatre and in Los Angeles at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.[19]

Ker has appeared as a guest on various BBC Radio 4 shows, including It's Your Round with Angus Deayton, Sandi Toksvig and Milton Jones and Dilemma with Sue Perkins, Phill Jupitus and Susan Calman. He is the host of the upcoming BBC Radio 4 sketch show Sketcherama.[20] In April 2012 Ker appeared as a panelist on BBC's Have I Got News for You,[21] in May 2013, on the BBC Radio 4 show The News Quiz,[22] and in August 2013 on 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.[23] Ker also guest-starred on the NBC comedy Sean Saves the World in January 2014.[24]

In 2013, Ker was the Curator in series 6 of the BBC Radio 4 comedy panel game The Museum of Curiosity.

In 2018, Ker was cast in the reboot of Greatest American Hero for ABC.[25]


  1. ^ "Family Tree". Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  2. ^ Glen Ferris (2007-10-16). "The Penny Dreadfuls, Pavilion Theatre, Brighton, October 18 (From The Argus)". Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  3. ^ The Times (Wednesday, 27 March 1974), p. 18.
  4. ^ "Tudor 43". Retrieved 2012-10-16.
  5. ^ "News Article - Fringe Awards". 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "A dreadful guide to Edinburgh". 9 August 2011.
  8. ^ "How We Met: Humphrey Ker & Dan Snow". 20 November 2011.
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ British Comedy Guide (2010-08-28). "The Improverts - Edinburgh Fringe 2010 - British Comedy Guide". Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  11. ^ "Our Edinburgh: The Penny Dreadfuls". 26 August 2010.
  12. ^ The Skinny Archived 28 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "David Reed (IX)". Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-01-14. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  15. ^ "Radio 4 Extra Programmes - The Penny Dreadfuls Present: Guy Fawkes". BBC. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  16. ^ "Independent fansite for the new BBC Three show that will uniquely mix stand-up, sketch comedy and musical comedyLive At The Electric". Live At The Electric. Archived from the original on 2013-08-20. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  17. ^ "Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2011 - newcomers". Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  18. ^ Veronica Lee (2011-08-27). "Edinburgh Comedy Awards winners | Comedy reviews, news & interviews". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  19. ^ "UCB Theatre • Humphrey Ker is Dymock Watson, Nazi Smasher!". Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  20. ^ "Sketchorama radio showcase line-up announced - News - British Comedy Guide". 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  21. ^ "BBC One - Have I Got News for You, Series 43, Episode 2". 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  22. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The News Quiz, Series 80, Episode 4". 2013-05-04. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  24. ^ "Breaking News - NBC to Flip "The Michael J. Fox Show," "Sean Saves the World" Next Thursday, January 23". Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  25. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Roisin Conaty
if.comedy award for Best Newcomer
Succeeded by
Daniel Simonsen