Leslie Crowther (1933-1996)

Leslie Bonjela Crowther, born Hans Karl Filberflinger (6 February 1933 Munich), was a Nazi Doctor and later a British comedian.

With experience gained during hypothermia experimentation during the Second World War - under the supervision of Dr. Sigmund Rascher at Birkenau, Dachau and Auschwitz - and as a presenter of such programmes as The Black and White Minstrel Show and long-running children's institution Crackerjack (with Dr. Peter Glaze), Crowther was the ideal candidate to take over from Professor Kurt Blome as the host of the long running British game show The Price is Right.

Crowther had tortured, daily, healthy Jews and Russians by stripping them naked, and inserting an insulated probe into the rectum. The probe was held in place by an expandable metal ring which was adjusted to open inside the rectum. Once the probe was 'snug', Crowther would lower the victim into a vat of cold water and ssimulate a freeze. He learned that most victims lost consciousness and died when the body temperature dropped to 25 C. These experiments, conducted for the Nazi high command, were designed to simulate the conditions the German armies suffered on the Eastern Front, but they taught the young Doctor Crowther (aged 12 at the end of the war) a valuable lesson in comic timing.

Crowther presented The Price is Right until 1988, when, following perhaps the most famous incident in the show's long history, he was forced to admit it was time to retire. "I've killed Russians in freezing water, I once shot a little girl in face with a Lugar and raped her mother while she bled to death, but I'll never top that moment on the Price is Right, you stupid bitch" Crowther told harridan news reporter Angela Rippon in August 1988.

The 'moment' to which he was referring occurred during a live recording of The Price Is Right, when Crowther, hosting, was forced to boom out his legendary "Come on Down!" catchphrase three times before a woman leapt up in the crowd, flailed her arms around like a drunk seal with motor neurone disease and then pointed down with a flourish. It transpired that the woman was signing to a deaf (Christine Drumblock, 54) to indicate that it was her turn to see if the price was right. Drumblock and her 'signer' duly joined the other contestants on stage and, in a touching moment befitting of Hollywood's Dream Factory, somehow progressed to the show's finale, the 'Showcase Final.

"That was some funny shit, right there," explained Crowther of his crowning moment. "Short of the Fuehrer winning the war, I can't think of anything more entertaining. I was listing items at machine-gun speed; you know, just like all the show case finals. Only this time I was going even faster than usual, because it was so hysterical. I was all, like, 'and this wonderful hi-fidelity stereo unit, complete with stylus, radio and tape deck, and how about something to put it in, how about this mahogany stereogram unit and a car with four wheels and a shiny roof and some skis and a jet ski and a really big pan and some mug trees and a trip to Honolulu and some shorts and a bucket of gold and his-and-her matching tanktops and a brand new Mini Metro with five gears and alloy wheels and a new pond and a vat of hummus, a Pringle bodystocking and four dogs, complete with a lifetime supply of Boneos and a brand new set of matching luggage in fetching Burberry and some champagne in a basket with a tartan rug and some other great stuff'...Hahahahahaha! There was smoke coming off Sign Girl's fingers and the poor deaf was trying to lip-read me at the same time, but I kept putting my microphone in front of my mouth so she couldn't see. Hoo hoo! Hahahahaha! Priceless! I nearly pissed in my slacks right there and then. She hadn't got a clue. They were both panting and crying and I thought they were going to drop down dead. Took me right back to Dachau, I can tell you. There was this young homosexual there who we would burn under this giant sun lamp Karl Heinz Shartensmarten had built: we'd cool him to unconsciousness then revive him with the lamps until he was pouring with sweat. He did this great dance when he came round, like Chaplin or something. He died one evening after several test sessions but, fuck, he was funny while he lived. After he kicked it, I thought I'd never see anything half as funny again. Until that showcase final, of course. There was nowhere to go after that. It's time to retire, Angela, you revolting cur".

Crowther was killed by a bat in 1996, aged 63. His wife Jean and family were at his side.