Johnnie Casson was born 29 April 1943 in Halifax. After leaving school he joined a band called The Cresters as their drummer. The Cresters supported The Beatles on their first tour of Scotland, and worked many major cabaret venues, such as Batley Variety Club, Wakefield Theatre Club, Caesars Palace and The Maltings, where they backed Tammy Wynette on several TV specials. With The Cresters he appeared regularly on TV shows such as Cliff Richard & Friends and gaining an army of fans when the band were selected for a long residency on Granada TV.
While on the cabaret circuit Casson not only drummed, but started performing comedy. The comedy gradually became more popular than the music and in 1984, whilst on a family holiday at a Butlins Holiday Camp, his wife entered him into that week's talent contest. He won the contest, which meant a free holiday to appear in the regional finals, which he again won. The grand final was held at the London Palladium and Casson was again the judges choice. Following this, and a winning slot on Hughie Green's Opportunity Knocks, he decided it was time to break from The Cresters, and went on the road as a solo stand-up comedian.