Peter Sellers seemed to have lived an entire lifetime before he began his career in film, but if you look closely enough, you can see that each step taken was leading him deeper into his passion for comedy and acting. He has said, on a number of occasions, that he wanted to become an actor; however, he continued to share his aptitude for humor and music with audiences throughout the world. Like the stories of other great men and women, his tells of struggle and sacrifice, but also of perseverance, which eventually transformed him into the Peter Sellers that kept us laughing for nearly three decades. This list briefly details a handful of jobs Peter Sellers held before his film career began.
Musician and Recording Artist
It is a widely held notion that many artistic people tend to have numerous abilities. Whether or not they choose to share them with the world often remains to be seen. If we wanted to prove this theory, we could look to Peter Sellers as our test subject. Before he began his career in Showbiz, he was a musician (drummer, to be precise), performing in various cities throughout the UK.Apparently, his musical abilities were taken from his father, who was a concert pianist. His music career led to a relationship with the Beetles, and he even incorporated musical elements into a few of his comedy skits, including his clever “Sellers Sings George Gershwin.” His relationship with the boy band continued throughout his life and career, and we see his friendship with Ringo Starr, who appears with him in The Magic Christian.
Performed on the Goons Show
Before making his television debut, Peter Sellers performed regular comedy skits on BBC radio. Along with fellow comedians, Spike Milligan, Harry Sucombe, and Michael Bentine, he recorded over 238 broadcast and the quartet became a local sensation. During an interview, Sellers admits to having called up to the station, pretending to be a well-known radio personality, after which he quickly announced himself and asked for a program slot. When asked about his particular talents, he explained his ability to do impersonations, a quality that helped pave his way toward a historic career in television. The show was an instant success, featuring the famous Major Denis Bloodnok, whom Sellers himself portrayed.
Enlisted in the Royal Air Force
It’s hard to believe Peter Sellers would have had time to serve in the armed forces. It seems every moment would have been dedicated to building his soon to be larger-than-life acting career. However, Sellers enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1943 and became a member of the RAF Gang Show entertainment troupe, traveling with the comedy group during and after World War II. It is here that he refined many of the skills that helped transform him in to the prolific comedian he was destined to become.
Recorded Comedy Albums
Sellers recorded his own original works, including three comedy songs (Any Old Iron, Goodness Gracious Me, and A Hard Day’s Night) that made the top 20s list during the 50s and 60s. Goodness Gracious land in the number four spot in 1960. Throughout his long list of recordings, he incorporates the comedic talents of actors like John Junkin and the writing abilities of a famous writer named Herbert Kretzmer. Some of his recordings were parodies of popular songs, but most of them are original skits and musical numbers. On his first album, Sellers laid a trumpet-heavy, uptemo swing number that poked fun of the Righteous Brothers’ timeless classic, “Unchained Melody.”