A BBC TV programme on 18 November 2006 stated an opinion that the term "corpsing" originated when a living actor played a corpse on stage; there was sometimes a tendency to try to make that actor laugh.
Corpsing is not a term exclusive to the theatre, but is also used to describe actions designed to cause hysteria in live television or radio. One of the most famous examples of this is on Test Match Special in the famous "Leg-over" incident and another cricket commentary in which it was noted that "...the bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey" .
Another example is in the sitcom Green Wing. In it, footage is sped-up and slowed down partly for comic effect, but is also used to hide corpsing. Green Wing actress Tamsin Greig (Dr Caroline Todd) has admitted to a tendency to corpse.
Corpsing is also a common event on the BBC Radio 2 Wake Up to Wogan breakfast slot with the show's presenter, Sir Terry Wogan, often breaking into fits of uncontrollable giggles and taking the rest of his team with him, such as Alan Dedicoat ("Deadly"), Fran Godfrey ("Mimi"), John Marsh ("Boggy"), with these occasions often lasting several minutes.
During the "Pete and Dud" sketches in the BBC comedy series Not Only... But Also, Peter Cook would deliberately ad lib in an attempt to make Dudley Moore corpse—and invariably succeeded.. The comedian Spike Milligan often succeeded in making fellow cast members laugh during his BBC tv series Q through exaggerated characterisations.
Books: More Wheezes from Geezers ; Dead Long Enough by James Hawes Jonathan Cape, Pounds 10, 314pp: Corpsing by Toby Litt Hamish Hamilton, Pounds 9.99, 374pp; It's Time to Call a Halt to Lad Lit, Where Bright Blokes Write Stuff for Not- So-Bright Blokes
Jan 29, 2000; The works of a few spectral geniuses and rapt monomaniacs excepted, most forms of literary activity are, in the last resort,...
Books: Truth with a Safety-Catch ; James Hopkin Is Impressed by a Minutely Plotted Story: Corpsing by Toby Litt Hamish Hamilton Pounds 9.99
Jan 30, 2000; We're all ghouls, according to Toby Litt's second novel. Pale- faced and fleeting, we're heading for a future "where everyone is...