When commissioned to make a work for the new headland, Young was initially inspired by the inside of the Blackpool Tower with its fantasy Viennese Baroque ballroom and Arabesque circus and wanted to bring “this quality and 'over-the-top ness' out of doors. The new art work also had to make a visual impact amongst the heady mix of architectural features on Blackpool’s Promenade. But why comedy and why a carpet?
"Comedy in all its guises is a big part of who we are; it has its own social history and a very important place in that history is Blackpool' says Young. 'I’d been looking at photographs of stars and the Blackpool Tower was a reoccurring backdrop to the photos - Eric and Ernie in deck chairs, Ken Dodd, Les Dawson. It soon became obvious that Blackpool had been a magnetic chuckle point for the nation, the sheer breadth of comedians who had performed in the town over the decades is amazing!"
"I also wanted to create a work with self consciously high craft standards, as embodied in the town’s historic architecture. I chose a carpet because I felt the town needed something very posh in it’s built environment and I didn’t want an area used for comedy to be a run-of-the-mill paving area. And most people who buy and fit a carpet try to look after it…"
The content of the carpet is a confection of seriously researched comedy material chosen, structured and interwoven with graphic designer Andy Altmann of Why Not Associates. Between them (and with the help of Blackpool- based comedy expert, Barry Band and historian and writer Graham McCann), they have gathered together hundreds of jokes, catchphrases, songs and sketches from comedians and writers over the past 100 years most of whom have performed in Blackpool. The typography of the Comedy Carpet draws inspiration from the traditional style of music- hall posters and playbills from the early days of comedy up to the present day.