Talk:Marty Feldman

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This page (the article, not the discussion) has just been the target of a link in comment spam[edit]

Please delete this note eventually, and beware of any suspicious editing activity. I suggest someone deletes this information in a month or so. § — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fjleonhardt (talkcontribs) 16:57, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Please Help re EARLY CAREER....

There is no mention of his first stage performance and a contradiction about his first TV appearance. I'm referring to personal knowledge of his involvement in a trio called Morris Marty and Mitch and his first TV appearance with them on BBC's showcase in 1955. I quote from a number of other legitimate sources such as the British Film Institue, and i quote from their website

"Following a range of occupations after leaving school (including a lamentable attempt at being a jazz trumpeter), Feldman became part of the comedy act 'Morris, Marty and Mitch', with whom he made his television debut on 18 April 1955 in Showcase (BBC)."

Can someone include this please and link to Maurice Sellar's Wiki page?


--User:dansellar —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:01, 22 February 2008 (UTC)


1) I'm not sure if Marty was an ITV show or BBC. Needs checking.

2) Numerical dates are ambiguous. Brits and Europeans abbreviate dates DD/MM/YY whereas North Americans use MM/DD/YY. I'm assuming the date in the article is in British format, but needs to be corrected to standard Wikipedia format.

Lee M 13:28, 9 May 2004 (UTC)

1) It appears to have been the BBC, despite the assertion about "British commercial television".
2) The date in question is in British format.
--Paul A 07:53, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"Feldman was an active member of the Communist Party of Great Britain." Is there a good reason for listing him under "Anarchists"? Perhaps he was an anarchist before or after his CPGB membership. Alpheus 09:51, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Comedy Machine[edit]

Anyone know about the Marty Feldman Comedy Machine, if that is what it is called? I remember seeing it when I was a little kid in Scotland in the early 1970's. I mainly just remember a Terry Gilliam like cartoon assembly line title sequence.

Another Quibble: According to a photograph of Marty Feldman's tombstone, he was born in 1934. (Various internet pages, eg

The truth about Marty Feldman[edit]

I was a good friend of Marty's and am still very close to his widow. It was posted on Marty's biography that he was an active member of the Communist Party of Great Britain -- which was not true. This misinformation was picked up by other websites in exactly the same language used on Wikipedia and a few of them even cited Wikipedia as their source. As a result, very recently a radio show in England focussing on Marty, without double-checking the source, broadcast that he was an active member of the Communist Party. This greatly distressed his widow and could possibly have a negative effect on both his legacy and whatever value there is in Marty's works.

I emailed the Communist Party of Great Britain and they have no record of Marty ever being a member of their organization -- either active or inactive. The radio broadcaster chose to go with the internet account. I have since contacted Wikipedia and they have graciously deleted the reference on Marty's biography. However, the erroneous and possibly injurious information is still out there -- using Wikipedia as its source.

The user who inserted this into Marty's bio cannot be reached, so I can't determine where he or she got the information. I don't suspect it was done maliciously, but it does show how misinformation can spread.

If the user who posted the comment reads this, I'd appreciate finding out where the story originated from. All in all, it serves as a cautionary tale to all of us not to spread gossip as fact. Who knows what harm, if any, has been done; there may have been a programmer out there who was poised to do a special on Marty's wonderful work and decided not to do so because he was put off by Marty's "politics."

Sadly, I'm new to Wikipedia and I don't know if this is the correct forum for this, or even if there is one. Or if once I finish typing this, it's all erased. It just feels good to set the record straight -- if that's what I'm doing. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Malooga4 (talkcontribs) March 16-17, 2006.

I recall seeing Marty interviewed on the Dick Cavett show a few years before his death and talking about being a Marxist. Whether he was a member of the CPGB itself, I don't know, but maybe there's a reference to his politics in one of the obituaries published after his death. He was definitely left-wing and political and, at the very least, a socialist and his politics merit reference. Given the number of British entertainers who are socialist or communist I think your claims that the widow is distressed or that someone might not want to air a retrospective of his work is quite far fetched. (talk) 17:40, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
Why do "his politics merit reference"? He is publicly known for being an entertainer. His politics have no relevance whatsoever to the reason for this article existing. HiLo48 (talk) 17:53, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
The article is biographical and an individual's politics is part of their biography. (talk) 14:15, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
If there are multiple reliable sources reporting his political views, they might be judged notable. But we have nothing here, just an anonymous report, left over ten years ago, by someone claiming to have been "good friend". We need something a bit more substantial than that, I think. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:54, 10 September 2016 (UTC)
Just reading this I wonder if "talking about being a Marxist" was misunderstood, but intended to reference the Marx Brothers. --Joerg 130 (talk) 13:47, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

Feldman's Year of Birth[edit]

According to the plaque at his gravesite it's 1934.

Michael David 19:25, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Ethnic nationality or civic nationality or another one altogether?[edit]

He was Jewish and British. He wasn't English. Let's decide to make this about his ethnic-nationality or civic-nationality - but not about another nationality altogether! Discussion opened here, but my prior corrections (not a POV) are posted again. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:51, 2 January 2007 (UTC).

Please stop this crusade. Unless you can cite some reliable sources to back up your accusations, this is the definition of WP:POV-pushing. Gwernol 02:15, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Cause of Death[edit]

In the section about Feldman's death, it states that he died as a result of shellfish poisoning, then a couple sentences later, the article states he was a vegetarian. Which was it? Shellfish aren't vegetables, so was he a vegetarian and the shellfish claim is incorrect, or was he a pescatarian, not a vegetarian?--H-ko (Talk) 19:22, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

The Internet Movie Database has a very different, more in-depth, and I think a more accurate account of Marty Feldman's death. See —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:35, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

IMDB also disagrees about the faith of his last character: According to Fedlman's bio on IMDB, the character was supposed to die anyway, but after Feldman's death, a double had to be used (perhaps making the death of the character a bit more abrupt than it might otherwise have been). So which is it?

Pace Mel Brooks, eggs and dairy products are about the healthiest things you can eat, and so are unlikely to have been a cause of death unless he choked on them. See Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories, ISBN 1-4000-4078-0 Parameter error in {{isbn}}: Invalid ISBN. ("The Diet Delusion" in the UK).

Also, everyone is speculating what other factors could have contributed to his death, but not once does someone mention the fact that he had Grave's (which predisposes you to cardiovascular events). I think that played a bigger role than a cartoonist dressed up as a cop or some shellfish. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 29 October 2010 (UTC)


"...notable for his bulging eyes, which were the result of a thyroid condition known as Graves Disease."

In an article in Saturday's "Western Mail" featuring an interview with the widow of Barry Took, Feldmans's long time wrting partner, it was claimed that the bulging eyes were caused not by the disease but rather by its (mis)treatment, in particular a drug overdose while in hospital. Allegedly, Feldman was thereafter offered further corrective surgery but turned it down because, he argued, the disfigurement would have no detrimental effect on his chosen career as a comedy writer.

This version of events seems also to be bourne out in a number of Feldman's obituaries, e.g. which states: "In 1961, he was discovered to be suffering from a severe hyperthyroid condition. The treatment and operation which followed caused noticeable bulging of the eyes as a side-effect, most distressing at the time but one which would ultimately secure him an illustrious career in the entertainment industry".

I am relectant to edit the article since there may have aleady been some history here. Can anyone provide a definite answer? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:06, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Can't tell you about Mr. Feldman specifically, but the bulging eyes from Grave's disease are part of the disease itself, yet often become worse after the the thyroid is treated (whether from radiation or surgery). Nobody quite knows why. The cause is autoimmune reaction of an antibody with fatty tissue behind the eyes, which responds by growing, just as the thyroid does (or did). Removal of the thyroid perhaps gives the antibodies more of a target, since they no longer have a thyroid to bind. It's quite possible Feldman was treated with surgery and his eyes got a lot worse later, and his Doc (or he himself) decided the treatment was to blame. However, as the condition is often fatal if not treated, there's little that can be done for the eye problem, as the thyroid condition MUST be treated. Barbara Bush (wife of the previous president Bush and mother of the the current US president Bush) is a famous suffer of Grave's who was left with proptosis. She didn't get mistreated. Some of the damage can be treated by removing the fat, but it's a tricky opperation now, and was even worse in 1961.SBHarris 04:48, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks for that explanation. I am guessing that in 1961 techniques were perhaps more borderline and possibly less understood. I'm not sure what, if anything, should be added to this article which is not really wrong as it stands. Perhaps its worth checking the Grave's disease article. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:08, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The article now (in 2017) isn't very clear on the issue beyond saying that the eye condition was a result of an "unsuccessful" surgery for Graves' disease. I've tagged that part for clarification. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 01:02, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Nota bene*The lead section now links to Strabismus surgery, implying that this was the treatment that caused the eye condition. Can anyone verify this from the sources? —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 12:50, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

I made a mistake linking to strabismus surgery, the sources are unclear, and Feldman himself is vague, so I've corrected it in the lede and main article.GeneralBelly (talk) 17:40, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Need a photo of him[edit]

Will somebody who has copyright to one please post it to COMMONS? SBHarris 04:50, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

At Last the 1948 Show[edit]

The introduction of this show has to contain one of the most peculiar phrasings on Wikipedia: The television sketch comedy series At Last the 1948 Show featured Feldman's first screen performances.[3] The other three performers. including Tim Brooke-Taylor and John Cleese, needed a fourth and had Feldman in mind.

The other three performers including Tim Brooke-Taylor and John Cleese? Why name two out of three? This is truly bizzare - surely name all three, or name none of them, but to leave one out of three is to be willfully obscure, surely? I’m not familiar with the show, but looking at the Wikipedia page, there are two other performers mentioned, in addition to Cleese, Brooke-Taylor and Feldman: Graham Chapman and Aimi MacDonald, so it isn’t even certain what the “needed a fourth” refers to. I don’t have the subject knowledge to know if Chapman or MacDonald is the third un-named person (I suspect the author meant Chapman, but can’t say for certain), and would hope that someone with expertise could sort this out - thanks! Jock123 (talk) 11:46, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Monty Python's Life of Brian[edit]

Feldman makes a cameo appearance in Monty Python's Life of Brian. I'll leave it to others to decide if this is relevant enough to include in the article.

I've just added it, sorry.
But what was it? Could you also add it to that article, where it probably more deserves a mention? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:32, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I am watching Life of Brian as I type this, and found this discussion because I googled "life of brian marty feldman". I did this because I saw Marty portraying a blind beggar, and I didn't realise until then that he was in it.

The scene is about 2/3rds of the way through the film. Brian has just fallen onto a prophet, and is giving his own speech to hide from the Romans. The Romans leave, and Brian stops in mid sentence and walks away. The crowd follow him as he pushes past a blind beggar, with strangely familiar bulging eyes... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:22, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine[edit]

In the UK the series was broadcast in an hour slot, but was scheduled in the US for a 30 minute period. Presumably therefore, the series ran for twice the number of episodes in a re-edited form in the States. A very full season in American terms then (perhaps 28 episodes), but not so in the UK (14 episodes). My view is that using 'series' in the article does not confuse users on either side of the Atlantic, and anyway, the use of British English is applicable for this article. Philip Cross (talk) 16:26, 18 April 2014 (UTC)