Police were called to Marine Road Central in Morecambe at about noon on Saturday following reports that the statue had been damaged.
Lancashire Constabulary said it is thought that someone attempted to cut through one of the legs. The council has now removed the statue and the area has been fenced off.
A man, 32, from Morecambe has been arrested on suspicion of attempted theft and yesterday remained in custody.
The Queen unveiled the bronze figure on the promenade in July 1999 and was joined by Mr Morecambe’s widow, Joan, and his children, Gary, Gail and Steven. The statue captures the comedian in his famous Bring Me Sunshine pose with one hand raised and a leg cocked.
The comedian, born John Eric Bartholomew, was born in Morecambe in 1926 and used his home town for his stage surname. He died on May 28, 1984, after collapsing on stage with a heart attack.
The statue is a popular tourist attraction, and the vandalism of the statue prompted a wide-ranging condemnation on Twitter.
The British Comedy Society tweeted: “We’re very distressed to hear this news. What an awful thing to have happened.”