Fred Karno

Posted by Henry on September 27, 2003

In Reply to: Fred Carno posted by steve heppell on September 27, 2003

: Has anybody heard of or know what Fred Carno (or possibly Fred Karno or Frank Carno/Karno) means? It gets used occasionally in Wiltshire

Fred Wescott, better known as Fred Karno, transformed the music hall by creating a riot of laughter out of chaos, originating the custard pie in the face.

The poor lad who left Nottingham for a tough apprenticeship as an acrobat in Victorian showbusiness rose through flair and persistence to be one of the greatest impresarios and showmen in the world.

The British Army sang songs about him and his name was often mentioned in the House of Commons to describe a muddle somewhere. Fred Karno's Army meaning a chaotic outfit, became enshrined in the English language.