Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

What is Tegestology - Ask Morecambe & Wise

1978 Article

Eric and Ern compare mats

Proud of their collections
Clipping from The Morecambe & Wise Special

If you want to know about Tegestology Ask Morecambe & Wise

They call themselves Tegestologists because they collect beer-mats. Tegestologists? That is their name for folk who collect them, and Morecambe & Wise are doing just that.

It is a very popular hobby with the two comics and takes them on many thirsty trails through pubs throughout the country. "Sometimes Eric likes green mats and other times he goes for red ones," said Ernie. "Personally, I think it is all a matter of taste!"

Having added a new mat to their collection, they stow it away in their tegestorium.

"Teges comes from the Latin for mat," says Wise learnedly, "I added the 'ology' bit" announces Morecambe, "because I like ologies - especially with pickled cabbage!"

The merry couple have come a long way in the entertainment world. Their clowning, both on the stage and before the television cameras, has made them one of the most popular double acts in the country.

They get as much fun as the audience out of their comic business. Once for instance, Morecambe cut Wise's braces - whereupon Wise filled his partners shoes with liquid glue. Both exploits had results which can better be imagined than related.

They agree on most things in life, including the cost of the two suits a year which are ripped to shreds by Ernie. From time to time he gets so excited that he grasps his partner by the lapels and shoulders and pulls so hard that he invariably tears the seams. "We put the cost down to expenses," says the long-suffering Eric.

Like King Goon, Harry Secombe, Messrs M and W worked as comics at the Windmill Theatre - only difference being that the two comics got the sack. They are not ashamed of the fact, though, for leaving this famous theatre was a lucky break for them. Soon afterwards they were booked at another well-known theatre and their salaries raised.

People often have difficulty in remembering who is who in the act. For the record. Eric is the owlish-looking character in glasses, Ernie, the one whom he exasperates. They have found show-business hard work, but they would not change their vocation for anything. Their recipe for success: "Rehearse, rehearse and keep original."

Eric is married to a former beauty queen. Ernie's wife is the former Doreen Blyth of Peterborough. Ernie met Doreen, an ex-dancer, just after the war when they both toured the country in Sanger's Circus Variety Company. The two comics boast the same aim in life: "To own a bank - one each."

© Morecambe and Wise 1978

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Tegestology - Collecting Beer Mats
Tegestology is the pastime or hobby, of collecting beer mats, and Eric and Ern are big collectors.

Fascinated with beer mats
Eric and Ern talk to the Dublin Evening Press 1963

Beermats in our collection