David Kear Interview — Charlie Chuck, Uncle Peter, Small Faces and Montreal
A conversation with a true comedy legend, David Kear; best known for his work as Charlie Chuck, and alongside Vic & Bob as Uncle Peter.
David Kear is a remarkably unique voice in British comedy. His principle character, Charlie Chuck, is an unpredictable powder-keg of visceral joy. Often putting a dark twirl on commonplace Northern activities, his unhinged persona found laughs from discomfort, years before better-known contemporaries. In the early 90s, Kear began to accrue mainstream fame through television. He first appeared to a wider audience — as Chuck — on Sky Star Search in 1990; an odd little show, fronted by Keith Chegwin.
Three years later, Kear became one of the few recurring characters on The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer. Performing alongside two of the UK’s most exciting and influential comedians of the time, he seemed a fated match. Though he played a pitch perfect version of his well-established Chuck persona, the show renamed him Uncle Peter. Indeed, there’s simply no controlling the honed madness of Kear’s craft.
Despite the idiot savant stylings of Chuck, Kear himself has steeped his act in comedy history and pedigree. After all, he’s a deeply intelligent man with a rich background in music. In fact, Kear once toured with the Small Faces. Even that’s just the tip of a fascinatingly elusive iceberg.
As a big fan of Kear, through his work as Uncle Peter, it was a true honour to speak to him. We discuss his early days in the music industry, and eventually end up on a memorable tale from the Montreal Comedy Festival. I greatly appreciated the chance to speak to the man behind Chuck.
Initially, I wasn’t sure whether I was speaking to Chuck or Kear himself. I had been…