Comedy Carpet – Blackpool, England - Atlas Obscura
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Blackpool, England

Comedy Carpet

A typographic tribute to the many comedic greats who make Great Britain laugh. 

This concrete “carpet,” which unfurls toward a stretch of sandy beach, celebrates the many men and women who made the country laugh. Great Britain is, after all, well-known for its particular brand of humor. 

Designed and created by artist Gordon Young in collaboration with Why Not Associates, the Comedy Carpet celebrates comedy on a grand scale. The thousands of jokes, songs, and catchphrases covering the artwork honor more than 1,000 comedic writers and performers. Scan the ground and you’ll come across tribute after tribute to the comedy greats of both the past and present, all written in gorgeous typography.

At first sight it looks as if the text is painted. In fact, each of the 160,000 letters is made of roughly one-inch solid granite cast into high-quality concrete panels. Constructing the colossal carpet was no joke. Young transformed an old fish factory into a studio, where he and his team worked with chemists and engineers to create the artwork’s signature white face mix and its non-fading shade of blue. They imported materials from around the world.

Walking around the carpet is like taking a journey into comedy’s past. The squares honor classic and contemporary comedians. The northern part in particular pays homage to British greats like Monty Python and the Two Ronnies.

The Comedy Carpet was unveiled in 2011 by none other than celebrated comedian Ken Dodd. It’s situated on Blackpool’s seafront, almost opposite the famous Blackpool Tower. In addition to commemorating those who have entertained the country with their comedy prowess, it also provides an outdoor comedy stage for entertainment that celebrates entertainment itself.