Tommy Cooper’s hat – a Fez, or not?

Those who know about the indomitable UK comedian Tommy Cooper (1921 – 1984) will also know about his act’s trademark – the red fez he (nearly) always wore on his head. Or do they? Was it really a fez? This question has recently been examined in an article for the latest volume of the journal Khil’a. The paper is authored by the journal’s co-editor Professor Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood who is also the director of the Stichting [not sic]* Textile Research Centre (TRC) at the University of Copenhagen.

“The main question of this article is whether the British comedian Tommy Cooper was wearing a Fez or a Tarbush, and while exploring this intriguing question, the author explores the origins, similarities and differences of the two headdresses, and ends up with the American Masonic order of the Shriners.”

See: Fez or Tarbush? Khil’a Volume: 3 Date: 2007-2009, Pages: 71-95

Also of interest : Mick Jagger’s 1969 ‘frock’ – a Fustanella or not?

* Note: No, it’s not a typo. ‘Stichting’ is the Dutch word for ‘Foundation’