Who did Tommy really admire? These people earned his full admiration and respect. 
Arthur Askey

For the best part of forty years, big-hearted Arthur Askey was a stalwart of the the British entertainment scene. He had become a top seaside entertainer by 1926. 

National fame came in January 1938 with the first broadcast of BandWaggon, a British radio comedy show. He was a major figure in radio, television, variety and panto. Tommy loved the way Askey's act showed so much energy, never standing still for a minute. He based his own stage manner on Arthur.

Arthur Askey Wikipedia

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

A uniquely funny double act. Laurel and Hardy's partnership at the Hal Roach studio began in 1926. Within a year of their first joint appearance, they were being touted as the new comedy team. 

After collaborating on many silent films, they took the transition to the talking film in their stride. As their success spread throughout the world, they began making feature films as well and won an Oscar for their short subject entitled The Music Box (1932).

Laurel & Hardy official website

Max Miller

Britain’s top comedian in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. He excelled as a stand-up comic playing in large variety theatres where his skill was such that he could hold an audience in the palm of his hand. 

Tommy went to see Max at the old Met. in Edgware Road. Max gave him one of his hats as a memento, and he predicted a great future for Tommy. Tommy idolized the man, thinking of him almost as a guardian angel when it came to his career. One of the corner stones of Tommy's stage act was 'Ophelia', a number that Max first performed in 1937.

Max Miller Cheeky Chappie

Jacques Tati

One of the great comic icons of French cinema, a Gallic equivalent of Charlie Chaplin. 

Tati honed his comic skills in French music halls, eventually appearing in several short subjects in the 1930s and 1940s, some of which he also wrote and directed.  In his first feature, Jour de Fete (1949), Tati played a village postman obsessed with modernizing his already-simple job. Four years later, in Mr. Hulot's Holi-day (1953), he introduced the umbrella-toting, raincoat-clad Everyman for whom nothing-even a seaside vacation-goes right. 


Buster Keaton

Joseph Frank Keaton VI (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966), always known as Buster Keaton, was a popular and influential American silent-film comic actor and filmmaker. 

His trademark was physical comedy with a stoic, deadpan expression on his face, earning him the nickname The Great Stone Face. His innovative work as a director made basic contributions to the development of the art of cinema.

A 2002 world-wide poll by Sight and Sound ranked Keaton's The General as the 15th best film of all time. 

Buster Keaton site