Comedian Jokes

Good clean jokes and sayings from Steven Wright

Steven Wright

There are at least two famous people called Steve Wright. Alan Turnham has unearthed quotes by the American Comedian, (not the British Radio 2 Presenter)  To get the most from these one-liners, you have to imagine Steve’s deadpan delivery.

Steven Wright American Comedian born in 1955

  • Why isn’t phonetic spelled the way it sounds?
  • I have a map of the world at home.  Full size, I spent last summer folding it.
  • Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?
  • Why are cigarettes sold in petrol stations when smoking is prohibited there?
  • If nothing ever sticks to TEFLON, how do they make TEFLON stick to the pan?
  • Why is abbreviation such a long word?
  • How did a fool and his money get together?
  • Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?
  • What’s another word for thesaurus?
  • Why do they call it a TV set when you only get one?
  • What was the best thing before sliced bread?
  • Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?
  • How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings?
  • Why is it that when you transport something by car, it’s called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it’s called cargo?
  • If corn oil comes from corn, where does baby oil come from?
  • I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Parachute gif

Another Tranche of Steve Wright Humor

  • I woke up one morning and all of my stuff had been stolen…and replaced by exact duplicates.
  • Borrow money from pessimists – they don’t expect it back.
  • Half the people you know are below average.
  • How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?
  • My mechanic told me, ‘I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
  • Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
  • Do you think that when they asked George Washington for his ID he just whipped out a quarter?
  • How do I set my laser printer on stun?
  • If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
  • If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
  • Why is it called tourist season if we can’t shoot at them?
  • If the black box flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn’t the whole airplane made out of the stuff?
  • If most car accidents occur within five miles of home, why doesn’t everyone just move 10 miles away?
  • And whose cruel idea was it for the word ‘Lisp’ to have a ‘S’ in it?

Footnote: Please send us your favorite Stephen Wright

Groucho Marx Jokes and one-liners

Groucho Marx

Will and Guy have selected some famous quotes attributed to the comedian Groucho Marx.  We hope you enjoy the humor of these clean yet funny one-liners.

  • I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member.
  • Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.
  • Women should be obscene and not heard.
  • I never forget a face, but in your case, I’ll be glad to make an exception.

This is one of Guy’s favorite Groucho Marx One-liners:

  • I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.

The beauty of this one-liner is that you that can change, ‘Wonderful Evening’ to: ‘Supper’, ‘Football Match’, or other suitable phrases to suit your humor.

Will’s 10 Favorite Groucho Marx Quotes

  1. Room service?  Send up a larger room.
  2. I find television very educational.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
  3. I didn’t like the play, but then I saw it under adverse conditions – the curtain was up.
  4. The husband who wants a happy marriage should learn to keep his mouth shut and his checkbook open.
  5. Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.
  6. He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
  7. Look, if you don’t like my parties, you can leave in a huff.  If that’s too soon, leave in a minute and a huff. If you can’t find that, you can leave in a taxi.
  8. How do you feel about women’s rights?  I like either side of them.
  9. From the moment I picked your book up until I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter.  Some day I intend to read it.
  10. I don’t have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They’re upstairs in my socks.
Groucho Stocking

More Groucho Marx Quotes – Many Taken From His Films

  • Don’t look now, but there’s one too many in this room and I think it’s you.
  • Although it is generally known, I think it’s about time to announce that I was born at a very early age.
  • Now there’s a man with an open mind – you can feel the breeze from here.
  • Marriage is the chief cause of divorce. (Groucho should know, he was married three times)
  • Politics doesn’t make strange bedfellows, marriage does.
  • ‘Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.’
  • ‘There’s one thing I always wanted to do before I quit…retire!’  –  Groucho Marx
  • I could dance with you till the cows come home, on second thought I’ll dance with the cows till you come home.

Extra Groucho Marx Quotes Sent by Felicity Gibbs

  • Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
  • Paying alimony is like feeding hay to a dead horse.
  • Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas and how he got in my pajamas I’ll never know.

Groucho Marx Quotes Researched by Jason Kenniz

Woman:  This leaves me speechless.

Groucho
: Well, see that you remain that way.

Groucho: You’re just wasting your breath, and that’s no great loss either.

Woman: This is a gala day for you.

Groucho: Well, a gal a day is enough for me. I don’t know if I could handle any more.

Groucho: Ladies and gentlemen…I guess that takes in most of you.

Jason Kenniz researched these Groucho Marx gems, you can see and hear more of his genius at this site dedicated to Grouch Marx quotes.

More Funny Grouch Marx Jokes Sent in by Readers

  • Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped.  (Eddie H)
  • I am a Marxist – of the Groucho tendency.  (Glenda E)
  • Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot. (Geena K)
  • While hunting in Africa, I shot an elephant in my pajamas.  How an elephant got into my pyjamas I’ll never know.  (Mark Y)
  • You’ll be hearing from my lawyer as soon as he graduates from law school!  (Anne M)
  • My mother loved children – she would have given anything if I had been one. (Kevin P)
  • Groucho is in a restaurant, and the bill arrives. ‘This bill is outrageous ….. [ hands it to the lady he is dining with….] I wouldn’t pay this if I were you…..’   (Dan)

Groucho Marx’s Background

Groucho grew up in a Jewish neighborhood that had Irish Germans on one side and Italians on the other. Hence ‘ The Marx Brothers’
developed ‘ethnic’ accents, based on this background, as part of their comedy.

He walked with an extremely distinctive ‘chicken walk’ lope and sported an exaggerated mustache, a cigar, and very bushy eyebrows.  Groucho perfected the ‘wise-crack’, quick repartee, which was sometimes amusingly insulting.  In his later life, he was frustrated by the fact that when he insulted someone they thought it was humour and part of his act when in reality he meant the slight. For example, Groucho wanted to insult a woman so he said in her hearing: ‘She got her looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon.’

Tribute to Groucho Marx’s Humor

Woody Allen thought Groucho Marx, was ‘the best comedian this country ever produced.’ Many people would agree. He died in 1977 at the age of 86.

Groucho Radio

The Marx Brothers

  • Chico – Leonard, 1887-1961
  • Harpo – Adolph, 1888-1964
  • Groucho – Julius Henry, 1890-1977
  • Gummo – Milton, 1892-1977
  • Zeppo – Herbert, 1901-1979   (There was also Manfred, but he did not survive childhood.)

The Marx Brother’s Best Films – (Source of many a Grouch Marx quote)

  • Animal Crackers 1930
  • Monkey Business 1931
  • Horse Feathers 1932
  • Duck Soup 1933 (Guy’s favorite Marx Brother’s film)
  • A Night at the Opera 1935
  • A Day at the Races 1937

Groucho Marx T.V. and Radio Show – You Bet Your Life

‘You Bet Your Life’ started on American radio in 1947 and soon made the transition to the NBC television network.  The show ran from 1950 to 1961.

The show started with the ‘Secret Word’.  The live audience knew the word, and if the contestant uttered it a toy duck descended from the ceiling
with a $100 in its beak.

Contestants were paired and then answered questions to boost their cash payout.  Precise formats changed over the years as the show experimented with ways of increasing the tension while the contestants built towards jackpots of $1,000, later raised to $10,000.

Groucho’s Cigar Joke Urban Myth – Or Fact?

Groucho was naturally the star, and full of his off-the-cuff repartee.  One urban myth that won’t die concerns what a Groucho said to a woman who had 22 children.

Groucho asked her, ‘Why so many children?’ ‘Well, I just love my husband.’ the woman replied.

Groucho’s riposte allegedly was:  ‘I love my cigar, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while.’

Despite the story resurfacing at regular intervals, no soundtrack or recording exists of this Groucho Marx quote.  Indeed, later Groucho denied ever saying it.  As the myth grows, so the story is embellished, for example, the audience’s reaction was taped and replayed whenever NBC needed canned laughter.

Addendum 1

Gary Kelly wrote in with this snippet.

Addendum 2

The cigar myth is no myth. At least that’s not what my stepfather told me growing up. The reason I believe him is the woman on the show was his grandmother and she had 22 children and was in the Guinness Book of World Records at the time. Which is why she and her husband were asked on the show.   J.E.

Footnote: Please write to us with your funny Groucho Marx joke.

Oscar Wilde’s quotes and one-liners

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

Born Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie, on 16th October 1854, he died on 30th November 30, 1900.  His mother Jane was a poet, while his father, Sir William Wilde, was a prominent Irish surgeon.  Both parents were prolific authors so it was no surprise that he inherited such literary talent.

One can only guess how he delivered his quips, but we can be sure that they gained extra power from Oscar Wilde’s delivery of his pithy wit.

A Selection of Oscar Wild Quotations to Get You Started

  • My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.
  • The English country gentleman galloping after a fox – The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.
  • Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.
  • We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.
  • There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.  Books are well-written or badly written.
  • But what is the difference between literature and journalism Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.  That is all.
  • America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
  • Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
  • It is absurd to divide people into good and bad.  People are either charming or tedious.
  • Arguments are to be avoided: they are always vulgar and often convincing.
  • Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.
  • Who, being loved, is poor?
  • I always pass on good advice.  It is the only thing to do with it.  It is never of any use to oneself.

New Oscar Wilde Quote

After being lost for over 120 years, this Oscar Wilde quote turned up on the cover of an old book ‘One can exist without art, but one cannot live without it.’

Oscar Wilde’s Wit

Oscar Wilde Plaque

From the above quotes, clearly, Oscar Wilde was not a stand-up comedian.  Instead of jokes, what you find amongst Oscar Wilde quotes are witty
one-liners and repartee, for example:

A pompous speaker who had a great opinion of himself gave a long after-dinner speech.  He then made the mistake of turning to his neighbor on the top table, who happened to be Oscar Wilde, and asked, ‘How would you have delivered that speech?’  Under an assumed name’, came the reply from Oscar Wilde.

What surprises Will and Guy is when we track down a witticism, I find that the source was an Oscar Wilde
quotation or a character in one of his plays.  For example:

Work is the curse of the drinking classes or One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.

Oscar Wild On the Subject of Women

  • Women are never disarmed by compliments.  Men always are. That is the difference between the sexes.
  • All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does.  That’s his.
  • Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance.
  • A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.
  • If we men marry the woman we deserve, we should have a very tedious time of it.
  • In married life, three is company, and two is none.
  • A man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.
  • Bigamy is having one wife too many.  Monogamy is the same.
  • Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.
  • As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.
  • A woman will flirt with anyone in the world, so long as other women are looking on.
  • She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.
  • A man’s face is his autobiography.  A woman’s face is her work of fiction.

More Oscar Wilde Quotations

  • A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.
  • Moderation is a fatal thing.  Nothing succeeds like excess.
  • There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.
  • To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
  • An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
  • Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
  • One should absorb the color of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar.
  • The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

An Extra Batch of Oscar Wilde’s Witticisms

Oscar Wilde Black and White

Will and I tried to select ten of Oscar Wilde’s best and most witty quotes.  The reason that we failed is that our opinion changed from one day to the next.  It was just so difficult to leave out any of his quotes, they all have a place where they sum up a situation succinctly.  This is why we have stayed with this long list of witty sayings.

  • A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
  • A poet can survive everything but a misprint.
  • I am not young enough to know everything.
  • I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
  • A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
  • A true friend stabs you in the front.
  • All art is quite useless.
  • Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.
  • As yet, Bernard Shaw hasn’t become prominent enough to have any enemies, but none of his friends like him.
  • A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.
  • Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.
  • Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
  • Illusion is the first of all pleasures.
  • All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.
  • It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But… it is better to be good than to be ugly.
  • There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose.
  • Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.
  • Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.
  • There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
  • Now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a great deal of harm.
  • The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.
  • Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.
  • It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you place the blame.
  • The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, and the young know everything.
  • America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.
  • There is no sin except stupidity.
  • It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned.
  • A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?
  • Only the shallow know themselves.
  • Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
  • He hadn’t a single redeeming vice.
  • A pessimist is one who, when he has a choice of two evils, chooses both.
  • Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
  • When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
  • Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.  (School for Scandal was written by Sheridan, not Oscar Wilde)
  • Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
  • I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my work.
  • Genius is born – not paid.
  • See more witticisms

Oscar Wilde’s Statue

Oscar Wilde's Statue

While I knew that Oscar Wilde was buried in France, I was surprised to find a statue of the great man in Dublin’s Archbishop Ryan Park.  It looks just like a modern-day dandy posing on a rock.

His last resting place is now the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. Will reports that Oscar’s tomb in Père Lachaise, Paris was designed by sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein.  When Will was there he could not find any traces of lipstick that others report seeing on Oscar Wilde’s tomb.

Oscar Wilde’s Quotes Sent in by Readers

  • The basis of optimism is sheer terror. (Barry W)
  • If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.  (Lorraine J)
  • ‘One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.’  (Jerry P)
  • Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly
    uninteresting event. (Darius H)
  • The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated.  (John M)
  • To get back to my youth I would do anything in the world, except exercise, get up early, or be respectable. (Edith J)
  • Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made.  (Jane K)
  • I was working on the proof of one of my poems all morning and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again. (Maggie B)
  • I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying. (Oscar Wilde!!)
  • The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius. (Another from Oscar Wilde!)
  • I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train. (Sara W)
  • If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized. (Sara W)
  • Life is far too important to be taken seriously. (Sara W)
  • A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.  (Jeremy T)
  • To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity. (Tony K)
  • One’s real life is often the life that one does not lead.  (Ken H)
  • The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated.  (Doris K)
  • I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world. (Isfan K)
  • I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be
    too careful in the choice of his enemies.  (Shivangi)


Quotes from Oscar Wilde’s Plays Include:

Oscar Wildes Play
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Lady Windermere’s Fan
  • An Ideal Husband
  • A Woman of No Importance
  • The Ballad of Reading Gaol
  • The Duchess of Padua

Oscar Wilde’s Downfall

Back in 1891 homosexuality was illegal and Oscar formed an illicit relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas (known as ‘Bosie’).  They probably would have gotten away with it if Oscar had not sued Bosie’s

father for libel.  As always, the truth is an absolute defense against libel, therefore Oscar lost his case.  Worse was to follow when the police felt they had to take an interest; after all, homosexuality was illegal, and Oscar’s activity was now public knowledge.  It was a foregone conclusion that his prosecution for ‘Gross indecent acts’ would lead to conviction and a Gaol sentence resulted.  Even in
prison he continued to exercise his literary skill and wrote ‘De Profundis’ A book about his relationship with ‘Bosie’, also the famous ‘The Ballade of Reading Gaol’.

Then Oscar was standing in handcuffs in the rain, waiting to be taken to Reading Gaol after his court conviction, he was heard to say: “If
this is how Queen Victoria treats her prisoners, then she doesn’t deserve to have any.”

After Oscar Wilde was imprisoned, his wife Constance changed her name to Holland.  She felt it best to move abroad where she was less likely to be recognized and humiliated.

Oscar Wilde Rises Again

In July 2009 there was an unlikely twist to the Oscar Wilde saga, Paolo Gulisano, L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, now says that Wilde was much more than “an aesthete and a lover of the ephemeral”.  He had been “one of the personalities of the 19th century who most lucidly analyzed the modern world in its disturbing as well as its positive aspects”, Gusilano wrote.

This was a surprising turn of events because while Oscar Wilde converted to Catholicism on his deathbed in 1900, during his lifetime he had written many acerbic words about the church, for example:

  • Religion? The fashionable substitute for belief.
  • I sometimes think that God, in creating men, somewhat overestimated his ability.
  • When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.

Oscar Wilde’s Final Words – Kindly Sent by Lora Chacon and Also Andrea Greenwood

Biography lends to death a new terror.

One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.

As Oscar lay dying, penniless in a French hotel, he looked around at the room and said: ‘My wallpaper and I are in a battle to the death, one or the other must go’.

Those were his final words.

Footnote: Please write to Will and Guy if you have a good Oscar Wilde quote or a witty one-liner.

Ronnie Barker Jokes

Ronnie Barker

 

  • Born 25th September 1929
  • Died 4th October 2005 aged 76

Here is Will and Guy’s tribute to one of the five funniest men of the 20th century.  Not only was Ronnie Barker a superb actor but also he was a great writer of jokes and gags.

It is interesting to note how the Two Ronnies came about.  Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett co-presented the BAFTAS awards.  All of a sudden a technical glitch struck.  No worries the pair of Ronnies ad-libed so well that they were offered their show.

‘A strange thing happened during a performance of Elgar’s Sea Pictures at a concert hall in Bermuda tonight.  The man playing the triangle disappeared.’

‘The search for the man who terrorizes nudist camps with a bacon slicer goes on. Inspector Lemuel Jones had a tip-off this morning, but hopes to be back on duty tomorrow.’

The two Ronnies

‘The toilets at a local police station have been stolen. Police say they have nothing to go on.’


One of the marks of a great comic is does their material bears re-reading or watching a repeat.  Ronnie Barker passes both tests with flying colors.  Another sign of Ronnie Barker’s greatness is that he wrote many of the sketches under the pseudonym ‘ Gerald Wiley’.  The production team accepted ‘Gerald Wiley’s’ material without knowing the true author.


‘Have you heard the one about the retired general who said he had not had sex since 1956? His friend said, ‘That’s a long time ago.’I don’t know, ‘the general replied.’ It’s only 20.27 now.’

‘The man who invented the zip fastener was today honored with a lifetime peerage. He will now be known as the Lord of the Flies.’

‘The prime minister held a meeting with the cabinet today. He also spoke to the bookcase and argued with the chest of drawers.’


While Tommy Cooper died in harness, Ronnie Barker made a conscious effort to retire at the top.  I must say it somewhat surprised me to see Ronnie Barker in the crowd at the Wimbledon Tennis championships.


‘Next week we’ll be investigating rumors that the president of the dairy council has become a Mason, and goes around giving his colleagues the secret milkshake.’

‘we’ll continue our investigation into the political beliefs of nudists. We’ve already noticed a definite swing to the left.’

In a packed program tonight we will be talking to an out-of-work contortionist who says he can no longer make ends meet.’

‘Following the dispute with the domestic servants’ union at Buckingham Palace today, the Queen, a radiant figure in a white silk gown and crimson robe, swept down the main staircase and through the hall. She then dusted the cloakroom and vacuumed the lounge.’

As well as the Two Ronnies, Ronnie Barker starred with David Jason (another top 5 actor/comedian) in Open All Hours.  Even though Ronnie Barker and David Jason are two of my favorite entertainers, I preferred them each in other programs, Ronnie Barker in Porridge, and David Jason in Inspector Frost.

As Fletcher in Porridge, when playing Monopoly: ‘Would you Adam and Eve it? Go to jail!’

Again from Porridge: ‘What have I learned, Mr Mackay? Three things. One – bide your time. Two – keep your nose clean. And three – don’t
let the bastards grind you down.’

To his assistant Granville (David Jason) who is toying nervously with the cash register in Open All Hours: ‘Come on, you aren’t there to play the Warsaw Concerto.’

Spike Milligan Quotes and Jokes

Spike Milligan

Genius, they say, is next to madness.  Never was this saying truer than with Spike Milligan.

What appeals to me about Spike Milligan’s style is imagination in creating surreal images.  I cannot think of another comedian who produced such a stream of original material.  Research almost any other comic’s material and you will find their ideas or routines belong to stars of a previous generation.  Not so with Spike Milligan, it’s all original humor often inspired by manic moments.

Spike Milligan Jokes and Quotes

  • After five days in the hospital, I took a turn for the nurse.
  • I have the body of an eighteen-year-old.  I keep it in the fridge.
  • I don’t mind dying.  I just don’t want to be there when it happens.
  • Is there anything worn under the kilt?  No, it’s all in perfect working order.

Spike Milligan and the Goons

One reason that Spike Milligan is revered by Englishmen of a certain age is that Radio was Spike’s best medium.  As a boy back in the 1950’s
radio was all we had, there was no TV.  In those days the goon show had us spellbound in a way that Harry Potter captivates the current generation.  To tell the truth back then, I did not think of Spike Milligan but only of the characters he brought to life: Eccles, Fred Fu Manchu, and
Bowser.  Later I discovered that it was Peter Sellers who played Bloodnok, Bluebottle, and Henry Crun, while Harry Secombe played Neddie Seagoon.  Even later I discovered that other characters were played by all manner of people; two of note were Michael Bentine and surprisingly, Ray Ellington.

Jokes from the Goon Show

  • Bloodnok: I’ll turn a deaf ear.
  • Seagoon: I didn’t know you had a deaf ear.
  • Bloodnok: Yes, I found it on the floor of a barber’s shop.
  • Seagoon: We’ve come to disconnect your phone.
  • The Red Bladder: I haven’t got one.
  • Seagoon: Don’t worry, We’ve brought one with us.
  • Seagoon: Any cases of frozen feet?
  • Eccles: You didn’t order any cases of frozen feet!
  • Seagoon: For an hour we ran in French, which I ran fluently.

At a distance of 50 years, it’s hard to express how the goon’s buffoonery became a cult of the era.  To give one example, with the nonsense song Ying tong Spike Milligan reached number 3 in the hit parade in September 1956. As then, once you read the verse a few times you cannot get it out of your mind.

Ying tong, ying tong, ying tong, ying tong, ying tong yiddle i po, Ying tong, ying tong, ying tong yiddle i po, yiddle i po,
Ying tong, ying tong, ying tong, ying tong, ying tong yiddle i po, Ying tong, ying tong, ying tong yiddle i po, yiddle i po.
Yiiiing, tongy tongy tongy, yiddy diddy diddy da doh, ying diddy, Ying tong diddle, yiddledy boo,
Ying tong, ying tong, ying tong yiddle, ying tong yiddle i po, Ying tong, ying tong, ying tong yiddle i po, yiddle i po, oh!

Remember in those days half an hour listening to the goons on the radio, followed by a kick-about with a ball in the street and boys were happy with the simple pleasures of life.

Spike Milligan’s Irreverence

Comedians are notorious for gently taking the Mickey out of politicians and any other dignitaries that they meet. Perhaps the incident that best sums up Spike Milligan’s irreverence and ability to shock was when in 1994 he called the Prince of Wales, ‘a groveling little bastard’. However, while the phrase is widely quoted, it does require context. The Prince of Wales had been a Goon fan since childhood, Spike Milligan and Prince Charles first met in 1969. The quip was in response to a letter that the Prince of Wales wrote congratulating Spike on his lifetime comedy award. Nevertheless, it was a shocking thing to say live on stage.

The best measure of Spike Milligan’s genius was the number of people who imitated him.  John Cleese and the Monty Python gang freely admit that Spike inspired their sketches, Eddie Izzard called Spike Milligan the ‘godfather of alternative comedy’.

More Spike Milligan Jokes

  • Spike Milligan: ‘How are you at Mathematics?’. Harry Secombe: ‘I speak it like a native’.
  • Many people die of thirst but the Irish are born with one.
  • All men are cremated equal.
  • Apéritif:: French for a set of dentures.
  • Sad Hamlet to Ophelia: ‘I’ll do a sketch of thee, what kind of pencil shall I use? 2B, or not 2B?’
  • I turned and rubbed my hands with glee. I always keep a tin of glee handy.  (Kindly sent in by Suzanne B)
  • Spike: there’s only one cure for seasickness Somebody: what’s that? Spike: climb a tree.  (Kindly sent in by Andy Davies)

Selected  Spike Milligan Credits

  • The Goon Show (Radio)
  • Q – (1970’s TV Program)
  • Adolf Hitler – My Part in His Downfall (Book)
  • Puckoon – (Book then Film)
  • The Great McGonagall – (Film)

Spike Milligan Epitaph – ‘I told you I was ill’

On Spike’s headstone at St Thomas’ Church in Winchelsea, East Sussex, England is his full name, Terence Alan Patrick Seán Milligan KBE. Unfortunately, the church would not permit the phrase Spike requested for his headstone namely, ‘I told you I was ill’.  However, they did allow the sentiment expressed in Gaelic, ‘Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite’, which translates to: ‘I told you I was ill’.  Incidentally, Spike’s request is often slightly misquoted as ‘I told you I was sick’.

Spike was born on 16 April 1918 and died at the age of 83 on 27 February 2002.   On the subject of going to heaven, he said: ‘I’d like to go there. But if Jeffrey Archer is there, I want to go to Lewisham.’

Spike Milligan Jokes and Quotes Sent by Readers

Perry Gamsby reminded us of this great excerpt from the Goon Show

  • Eccles:  ‘Quick, hide behind this pane of glass!’
  • Seagoon:  ‘But you can see through it!’
  • Eccles:  ‘Not if you close your eyes!’
  • Seagoon: ‘You’re right!’

Footnote: Eccles was played by Spike himself, and Neddie Seagoon was played by Harry Secombe

Mike Bowe sent us this excerpt from a famous UK chat show.

  • Parkinson: ‘Spike Milligan, welcome to the show.’
  • Spike (Face like thunder): ‘I’ve got a complaint.’
  • Parkinson (Warily): ‘What is it?’
  • Spike: ‘Leprosy.’

Funny Christmas Poem by Spike Milligan

Spike Milligan Cartoon

I’m walking backwards for Christmas,
Across the Irish Sea,

I’m walking backwards for Christmas,
It’s the only thing for me.

I’ve tried walking sideways,
And walking to the front,
But people just look at me,
And say it’s a publicity stunt.

I’m walking backwards for Christmas,
To prove that I love you.

An immigrant lad loved an Irish colleen
From Dublin Galway Bay.
He longed for her arms,
But she spurned his charms,
And sailed o’er the foam away

She left the lad by himself, on his own
All alone, a-sorrowing
And sadly he dreamed, or at least that’s the way it seemed, buddy,
That an angel choir did sing –
An angel choir did sing.

I’m walking backwards for Christmas,
Across the Irish Sea.
I’m walking backwards for Christmas,
It’s the finest thing for me.

And so I’ve tried walking sideways,
And walking to the front.
But people just laughed, and said,
“It’s a publicity stunt”.

So I’m walking backwards for Christmas
To prove that I love you.

If I could write words
Like leaves on an autumn forest floor,
What a bonfire my letters would make.
If I could speak words of water,
You
would drown when I said, “I love you.”

Footnote: Please write to Will and Guy if you have any good Spike Milligan jokes, quotes, or Goons one-liners.

Spike Milligan funniest joke, comic genius, writer TV star.

The World’s Funniest Joke

A professor investigating the psychology of humor says Spike Milligan was the author of the world’s funniest joke. Five years ago, Professor Richard Wiseman did an online experiment in which 300,000 people from around the world voted for the best gag. Professor Wiseman now says the winner was almost certainly written by Milligan during his Goon Show days.

The joke runs as follows: Two hunters are out in the woods in New Jersey when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his ‘ phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, ‘My friend is dead! What can I do?’ The operator says, ‘Calm down, I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.’ There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says, ‘OK, now what?’

Professor Wiseman explained to BBC Radio 5 News, ‘There is some very rare footage from 1951 showing the Goons in their first TV appearance. Just by chance I saw it on a documentary and saw a version of the very same joke.’

The script reads:

Michael Bentine: I just came in and found him lying on the carpet there. Peter Sellers: Oh, is he dead?

Bentine: I think so. Sellers: Hadn’t you better make sure?

Bentine: All right. Just a minute Sound of two gunshots.

Bentine: He’s dead.

‘It is very rare to be able to track down the origin of any joke but this is an exception, ‘said Professor Wiseman.

Tim Vine in the style of Tommy Cooper

Tim Vine

Tim Vine has written a great deal of his own comic material, unfortunately, some of Tim’s jokes have been mistaken for Coooperisms.  In fact, Tim is a fine stand-up comedian in his own right, and in 1995 he won the Perrier Award for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Festival.  Tim’s career has blossomed and British readers may have seen him compère TV shows such as Whittle (Channel 5), Fluke (Channel 4), and Housemates (BBC1).

  • Tim Vine’s Material
  • Tommy Cooper Jokes – One-liners (Cooperisms)
  • Tommy Cooper Jokes – Two liners
  • Classic Tommy Cooper Jokes
  • Tommy Cooper – A Brief
    Biography

Tim Vine Jokes

  • “He said ‘I’m going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs and put it in a library’.  I thought ‘That’s a turn-up for the books.'”
  • “And the back of his anorak was leaping up and down, and people were chucking money to him. I said ‘Do you earn a living doing that?’ He said ‘Yes, this is my livelihood.’
  • “So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me “Can you give me a lift?” I said “Sure, you look great, the world’s your oyster, go for it.'”
  • “You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said ‘Parking Fine.’ So that was nice.”
  • “So I went down my local ice-cream shop, and said ‘I want to buy an ice-cream’. He said Hundreds & thousands?’ I said ‘We’ll start with one.’ He said ‘Knickerbocker glory?’ I said ‘I do get a certain amount of freedom in these trousers, yes.’
  • I went to Millets and said ‘I want to buy a tent.’ He said ‘To camp?’, I said [butchly] ‘Sorry, I want to buy a tent.’ I said ‘I also want to buy a caravan.’ He said ‘Camper?’ I said [campily] ‘Make your mind up.’
  • So I went to the dentist. He said, “Say Aaah.” I said, “Why?” He said “My dog’s died.'”
  • “Now, most dentist’s chairs go up and down, don’t they? The one I was in went back and forwards. I thought ‘This is unusual’. And the
    dentist said to me ‘Mr Vine, get out of the filing cabinet.'”
  • “So I got home, and the phone was ringing. I picked it up, and said ‘Who’s speaking please?’ And a voice said ‘You are.'”
  • “So I rang up my local swimming baths. I said ‘Is that the local swimming baths?’ He said ‘It depends where you’re calling from.'”
  • “So I rang up a local building firm, I said ‘I want a skip outside my house.’ He said ‘I’m not stopping you.’
  • “Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It’s either my mum or my
    dad. Or my older brother Colin. Or my younger brother Ho-Chan-Chu. But I think it’s Colin.”
  • “So I was in my car, and I was driving along, and my boss rang up, and he said ‘You’ve been promoted.’ And I swerved. And then he rang up a
    second time and said “You’ve been promoted again.’ And I swerved again. He rang up a third time and said ‘You’re managing director.’ And I went into a tree. And a policeman came up and said ‘What happened to you? And I said ‘I careered off the road.’
Car in ditch

Cooperisms – More Imitations

Tommy himself would have been flattered by imitations.  However, Will and Guy have been naive, and we thank readers for pointing out that since his sad death, there has been an industry of imitating ‘Cooperisms’.

More ‘Imitation’ Cooperism

I went to buy a ticket on the train to go to France.

The agent said, ‘Eurostar? I said, ‘Well, I’ve been on the telly; but I’m no Dean Martin.’

Ron pointed out that the history of the Eurostar rail service did not start until 1986, which was two years after Tommy’s death in 1984, and in fact, the Eurostar was not operational until 1994.

To steal a line from Groucho Marx – ‘Close but no cigar’.

I went to the chemist and said “Can you make something up for me?”

He said, “Frank Sinatra was in here this morning”.

I said “Really?” He said, “No, I made it up.”


Some Short, Droll, Clever, and Funny Jokes in the Mould of Tommy Cooper

  • I had a mate who was suicidal. He was really depressed, so I pushed him in front of a train. He was chuffed to bits.
  • I went to the cemetery yesterday to lay some flowers on a grave. As I was standing there I noticed 4 grave diggers walking about with a
    coffin… 3 hours later and they’re still walking about with it…thought to myself, these blokes have lost the plot.
  • A new Middle East crisis erupted last night as Dubai Television was refused permission to broadcast “The Flintstones”. A spokesman for the channel said, ‘A claim was made that people in Dubai would not understand the humor, but we know for a fact that people in Abu Dhab Do.’
  • Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.
  • I was walking in a cemetery this morning and saw a bloke hiding behind a gravestone. ‘Morning.’I said.
  • ‘No,’ he replied, ‘just picking daisies.’
  • My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds. I bought her some bathroom scales.
  • I start a new job in Seoul next week. I thought it was a good Korea move.
  • I got some new aftershave today that smells like breadcrumbs. The birds love it!

I was driving this morning when I saw an RAC van parked up. The driver was sobbing uncontrollably and looked very miserable. I thought to myself that guys heading for a breakdown.

Actual Tommy Cooper Jokes – (Cooperisms)

Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper was more than a catchphrase, he had an original approach.  Biographers say that in his earliest days, Tommy Cooper was so nervous that he made unintentional mistakes, he soon saw that if he could recreate these accidents then he would have people rolling in the aisles.

In fact Tommy’s earliest trick was with a milk bottle.  During the course of the trick he was supposed to turn it upside-down, but when he did the trick, the milk came pouring out along with the audience’s laughter.  That got Tommy Cooper thinking, I can get applause through making tricks go wrong – deliberately. ‘Always leave them laughing’.  To get the most from these classic one-liners, I suggest that you get into state, imagine that fez hat. ‘Just like that’.

  • Went to the paper shop – it had blown away.
  • I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.
  • I bought some HP sauce the other day. It’s costing me 6p a month for the next 2 years.
  • Last night I dreamed I ate a ten-pound marshmallow, and when I woke up the pillow was gone.
  • Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, and the other was eating fireworks.  They charged one and let the other one off.
  • A man walked into the doctor’s, The doctor said ‘I haven’t seen you in a long time’ The man replied, ‘I know I’ve been ill’.
  • A man walked into the doctor’s, he said ‘I’ve hurt my arm in several places’. The doctor said ‘Well don’t go there anymore’.
  • I’m on a whiskey diet. I’ve lost three days already.
  • Slept like a log last night …….. woke up in the fireplace.
  • Went to the corner shop – bought 4 corners.
  • I went to the doctor the other day and I said, ‘Have you got anything for wind?’ So he gave me a kite.
  • I went to the doctor the other day, and he said, ‘Go to Bournemouth, it’s great for ‘the flu. So I went, and I got it.’
  • I cleaned the attic with the wife the other day. Now I can’t get the cobwebs out of her hair.
  • A woman told her doctor, ‘I’ve got a bad back. ‘The doctor said, ‘It’s old age.’  The woman said, ‘I want a second opinion. ‘The doctor says, ‘OK.
    you’re ugly as well.’

More Cooperisms Sent in by Readers

Tommy Cooper Cartoon

‘I became a member of The Secret Seven.  It’s so secret, I don’t even know who the other six are… ‘ Sent by Johan van Elk

Two fish in a tank, one says to the other – you drive I’ll man the guns.

A guy walks into a pub with a lump of asphalt on his shoulder.  He says to the barman give us a pint and one for the road. Sent in by Johnny

Tommy Cooper Jokes – Two liners

A man goes to the doctor. The doctor says, ‘Go over to the window and stick your tongue out. Man says, Why?  The doctor says, ‘I don’t like my neighbors’

Two Aerials meet on a roof – fall in love – and get married. The ceremony was rubbish but the reception was brilliant.

Now, most dentist’s chairs go up and down, don’t they? The one I was in went back and forwards. I thought ‘This is unusual’. And the dentist said to me, ‘Mr Cooper, get out of the filing cabinet.’

‘Doc, I can’t stop singing the green green grass of home. ‘That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome’.

‘Is it common?’ ‘It’s not unusual.’

‘I was standing at a party the other night and across the room was an attractive woman.  I looked at her and cocked my eye.  She looked at me and cocked her eye back.  And there we stood, cock-eyed. (Graham’s favorite Tommy Cooper Joke)

Classic Tommy Cooper Jokes

Tommy Cooper Comedian

Tommy Cooper was a comedian’ comedian.  The main reason was that he broke every rule in the book.  Other comedians would like to have tried what Tommy did, but only he could attempt the outrageous and not only get away with it but also turn the outrageous into his signature tune.  Jokes going deliberately wrong became his trademark, but there are other subtler things Tommy Cooper did that lesser comedians cannot, for example repeating a joke once he got the first laugh.  See the next joke, also see the last joke.

‘I had a meal last night. I ordered everything in French and surprised everybody. It was a Chinese restaurant. I said to this Chinese waiter, ‘Look, this chicken I got here is cold. ‘He said, ‘It should be, it’s been dead two weeks.’

I said, ‘Not only that. ‘I said, I said… I said it twice, I said, ‘He’s got one leg shorter than the other. ‘He said, ‘What do you wanna do with it, eat it or dance with it?’

I said, ‘Forget the chicken, give me a lobster, and he brought me this lobster. I said just a minute, he’s only got one claw. ‘He said ‘Well he’s
been in a fight. ‘I said, ‘Well give me the winner.’

Footnote: Please write to Will and Guy if you have any Tim Vine jokes in the style of Tommy Cooper

More Tommy Cooper Jokes

Here is a selection of jokes from that comic genius, Tommy Cooper.  What we liked about Tommy Cooper was his original style of humor.  Dale Carnegie once said that it was easier to earn a million dollars than create a new phrase.  Well in Tommy Cooper’s case, he did it – ‘Just like that’.

Tommy Cooper Jokes – One-liners (Cooperisms)

Tommy Cooper was more than a catchphrase, he had an original approach.  Biographers say that in his earliest days, Tommy Cooper was so nervous that he made unintentional mistakes, he soon saw that if he could recreate these accidents then he would have people rolling in the aisles.

In fact Tommy’s earliest trick was with a milk bottle.  During the course of the trick he was supposed to turn it upside-down, but when he did the trick, the milk came pouring out along with the audience’s laughter.  That got Tommy Cooper thinking, I can get applause through making tricks go wrong – deliberately. ‘Always leave them laughing’.  To get the most from these classic one-liners, I suggest that you get into state, imagine that fez hat. ‘Just like that’.

Tommy Cooper Recycling Joke

More Cooperisms Sent in by Readers

I went to the doctor with a jelly stuck in one ear and custard in the other. The doctor asked, ‘What seems to be the problem?’ I said ‘You have to speak up, I’m a trifle deaf.’ Sent by Julian Cheese

Two fish in a tank, one says to the other – you drive I’ll man the guns.

A guy walks into a pub with a lump of asphalt on his shoulder.  He says to the barman give us a pint and one for the road. Sent in by Johnny

Footnote: At first it shocked us to learn that many ‘Tommy Cooper jokes’ were actually created by others long after his death. If you find any of our items that are definitely not originals then please let us know.

Tommy Cooper Jokes With Garry Kasparov

So I was having dinner with Garry Kasparov and there was a check tablecloth It took him two hours to pass me the salt.

He said “You remind me of a pepper-pot”, I said, “I’ll take that as a condiment”.

More Tommy Cooper Jokes – Two-liners

One year I got a bike for my birthday. So I went peddling off down the road and knocked an old lady down.

‘Can’t you ring your bell?’ She said. ‘I can ring my bell,’ I said ‘But I can’t ride my bike’

I got home from work and the wife said – I’m very sorry dear, but the cat’s eaten your dinner’.

I said ‘Don’t worry – I’ll get you a new cat’.

‘I was standing at a party the other night and across the room was an attractive woman.  I looked at her and cocked my eye.  She looked
at me and cocked her eye back.  And there we stood, cock-eyed. (Graham’s favorite Tommy Cooper Joke)

Extra Tommy Cooper Jokes Kindly Supplied by Ian Stevens

  • I went into a butchers and I said, ‘I’ll have a pound of sausages. ‘He said, ‘I’m very sorry, sir, we only serve kilos in here. ‘I said, ‘Okay then
    I’ll have a pound of kilos.’
  • So I said to the doctor. ‘People keep taking the Mickey out of me because I keep thinking I’m a cricket ball. ‘The doctor said ‘Howzat?’ I said, ‘don’t you start’.
  • So I knocked on the door at this bed & Breakfast and a lady stuck her head out of the window and said: ‘What do you want’, I said, ‘I want to stay here’.  She said, ‘Well stay there’ and shut the window.
  • ‘I got up just like that, well it could have been like that, but, no it was like that…. anyway I leaped up, and I opened the door in my pajamas, It’s a funny place to have a door I know’.

Tommy Cooper – Called to the Bar

“Man walked into a bar. He went ‘Ouch’. It was an iron bar.”

“Man went into a bar, he only had one arm. The guy sitting next to him said ‘Hey, you’ve got your sleeve in my drink’, the man replied, ‘There’s no (h)arm in it’ “

Classic Tommy Cooper Jokes

‘I had a meal last night.  I ordered everything in French and surprised everybody.  It was a Chinese restaurant.  I said to this Chinese waiter, ‘Look, this chicken I got here is cold. He said, ‘It should be, it’s been dead two weeks.’

I said, ‘Not only that. ‘I said, I said… I said it twice, I said, ‘He’s got one leg shorter than the other. ‘He said, ‘What do you wanna do with it, eat it or dance with it?’

I said, ‘Forget the chicken, give me a lobster, and he brought me this lobster. I said just a minute, he’s only got one claw. ‘He said ‘Well he’s been in a fight. ‘I said, ‘Well give me the winner.’

A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet.  ‘My dog’s cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him? ‘Well, ‘says the vet, ‘let’s have a look at him’ so he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth.

Finally, he says ‘ I’m going to have to put him down.  ‘What? Because he’s cross-eyed?’  No, because he’s really heavy.

A man goes to the Psychiatrist and the Psychiatrist says: ‘What’s the problem’ The man says, ‘I think I’m becoming a kleptomaniac. ‘The Psychiatrist says, ‘Here take these tablets, and if you’re no better in a week’….. ‘Bring me a color TV’.

“I woke up the other night. I had one foot up here like this (pushing the flat of the hand under his chin), and the other up there like that; not like
that (rotating his hand and back again), like that.

Then I thought to myself; My feet are killing me”.  [Thanks to Steven Bryant]

I backed a horse last week at ten to one. It came in at quarter past four.  [Sent by Adrian Cole]

I went to the doctor. He said ‘I’d like you to lie on the couch’. I said ‘What for?’  He said ‘I’d like to sweep the floor’

How do you get out of prison? Rub your hands together until they’re sore, then use the saw to chop through the bars…

Then, shout until you’re hoarse, mount up, and ride away!  [Thanks to Aleyn D. Lester]

I was clearing out the loft and I found an old violin and a painting. I took them to an expert and he said what you have there is a Stradivarius and a Rembrandt. Unfortunately, Stradivarius couldn’t paint and Rembrandt couldn’t make very good violins. [Kelvin Vaughan]

I was walking down the street the other day when I saw a guy lying out on the road.  Like that, I say to the guy, “Have an accident?” he says
“no thanks, just had one”  [Mike Perrott]

‘Went to the doctor – he said “You’ve got four minutes to live” I said, “Is there anything you can give me?” He said “A boiled egg?”‘ [Kindly sent
in by Grahame Platt.]

A man walks into a tie shop. The assistant says  ‘Yes sir, what can I help you with?’ The man says, ‘I want to return this tie’. The assistant
says, ‘Yes sir, and what’s wrong with it sir?’, The man says  ‘it’s too tight, much too tight’.

Got a new car the other day, pushed the horn it went woof woof, it was a Rover.   [Two Tommy Cooper jokes kindly sent in by S. Spieirs.]

Footnote: As with one or two of the other Cooperisms featured on this page, we are not sure if Tommy ever said this, or whether it has just become part of his folklore.

Readers Contribute Tommy Cooper Material

The following Tommy Cooper joke was kindly sent in by Tom Fairnie.

“I woke up the other night. I had one foot up here like this (pushing the flat of the hand under his chin), and the other up there like that; not like
that (rotating his hand and back again), like that. And I thought to myself; My feet are killing me”.

I went to see my neighbor and knocked on their door.  The lady of the house answered, I thought she looked a bit odd.  I asked her if her husband was in. ‘Johnny passed away this morning I’m afraid’ she said.

‘Oh dear, that’s awful’ I said ‘What on earth happened?’

‘Well he just told me that he felt a little poorly and took to his bed and that was it’

I didn’t know what to say. I asked if she was with him at the end. ‘Yes. I was’ she sobbed. I enquired if he managed any last words. ‘Well, yes a
few’ she said.

So I asked her, ‘He didn’t say anything about a tin of red paint did he?’

A monkey and an Hyena, best of mates were walking through the jungle when the Hyena was attacked by a vicious Lion. The Monkey escaped up a nearby tree and watched his friend the Hyena being mauled and ripped to bits.

Once the fight was over the Hyena was only just alive and turned to the Monkey and said. “Why didn’t you come and help me?” And the Monkey
replied, “The way you were laughing I thought you were winning so I didn’t bother.”

Kindly sent in by Dave Young. 

Please send us your favorite Tommy Cooper story.

Tommy Cooper the Practical Joker

Tommy Cooper had an engagement at Allinson’s nightclub in Liverpool.  As usual, it was sold out and a good time was had by all.  On the last night, after the show, Tommy called all the nightclub staff backstage and thanked them for his help.   He shook each by the hand pressed an envelope into their hands and said: ‘Have a good drink on me’
.
Later when they opened the envelope, inside was not a large denomination note, but a tea bag!   That’s Tommy Cooper for you.

Tommy Cooper At the Royal Command Performance

Each year it was the custom for the very best performers to appear at the Royal Command Performance.  At the end of the show, the very best of the best were introduced to the Queen.

‘Did you think I was funny?’, Tommy Cooper asked the Queen. ‘Yes, very funny Tommy’, replied the Queen.

‘Did your Mother think I was funny?’, Tommy asked. ‘Yes, she laughed non-stop’, said the Queen

‘Would you mind if I ask a personal question?’, Tommy asked.

‘No, you can ask, but I am not able to answer’, the Queen Replied

‘Who are you supporting in the Cup Final?’, asked Tommy.

‘Neither, I am impartial’, said the Queen.’

‘In that case, … ‘ said Tommy, ‘….do you mind if I have your Cup Final Tickets?’

Tommy Cooper Jokes From His Royal Variety Command Performance

I came here to watch the show last year.  I asked at the box office ‘How much are the tickets for the seats?

They told me £25.  I said ‘That’s too much’. Then I asked, ‘How much for a program?’

They told me £5. ‘OK,’ so I said, ‘Give me a program and I’ll sit on that!’

… And later on at the same performance?

I bought myself a shockproof, dustproof, waterproof watch the other day.

It caught fire.

Footnote: Reminiscences of Tommy Cooper on stage kindly sent in by Adrian Feather.

Cooperisms – Imitations

Tommy himself would have been flattered by imitations.  However, Will and Guy have been naive, and we thank readers for pointing out that since his sad death, there has been an industry of imitating ‘Cooperisms’.

More ‘Imitation’ Cooperism

A mate of mine recently admitted to being addicted to brake fluid.

When I quizzed him on it he reckoned he could stop any time…..

Tommy Cooper’s Statue

Tommy Cooper Statue

On February 23rd, 2008 a new statue was unveiled to Tommy Cooper in Caerphilly, South Wales.  This event is full of personal coincidences. My wife was born, and lived, a stone’s throw from Tommy’s statue.  The new statue captures Tommy Cooper in a classic pose with his fez.

My personal co-incidences continue; the statue was unveiled by Sir Anthony Hopkins who went to the same school as me (although we were at Cowbridge Grammar school in different eras).  In 2007 Sir Anthony and my paths crossed when we each made an independent trip to visit the old-school tuck shop.

One last coincidence, while Sir Anthony is the Patron of the Tommy Cooper Society, the secretary and force behind the society is Tudor Jones, whom I met at my parents’ house.

Tudor says that the main objective is to emphasize the connection between Tommy Cooper and Caerphilly.  Tommy’s daughter Vicky picks up this theme when recalls how proud her father was of his Welsh roots.

The society commissioned James Done to sculpt the 9ft statue and when that was finished, it took a further two months to be cast in bronze.   Whereupon, Sir Anthony Hopkins flew into Caerphilly and performed the unveiling ceremony with Tommy Cooper’s catchphrase:

“Before I begin I just want to say this – ‘this’.”

Tommy Cooper – A Brief Biography

Tommy was born in Caerphilly, Wales on the 19th of March 1921. Although he was proud of being Welsh, his family moved to the South Coast of England when he was but a baby, hence he never developed a Welsh accent. Was his comic genius nature, or nurture?  Interestingly his father was a very funny man, and his mother had a determined streak that manifested in Tommy as an obsessive desire to perfect his act.  The man himself once said on the subject: ‘Acting is in my blood’….’A straight actor bit me once’.

Nurture, or opportunity, came in the unlikely form of the British army. It’s true to say he had an undistinguished military career, but it was here that discovered that this trademark fez could get a laugh.  While he did not have a ‘captive audience’, 1,000 troops starved of entertainment was probably the next best thing to discover what bungled magic worked, and what went down like a lead balloon.

Tommy Cooper Plank

Only the very greatest comics are idolized by their fellow show-biz performers, and Tommy Cooper was one of those select groups. When asked to analyse Tommy and his act, they say it’s his ability to have a rapport with himself that makes him stand out as a great comedian.  Once alerted to this internal dialog of talking to himself as he performs, you can see what they mean.

Once I realized that magic was his hobby, as well as a big part of his stage act, I began to imagine all the hours of practice to make a bungled magic trick appear an accident.  While Tommy Cooper flirted with films such as ‘The Plank’ 1967 and starred in numerous T.V. programs, his peers in show business unanimously say that his live act saw Tommy at his best.

Tommy Cooper played Las Vegas in the late 1960’s; they loved his crazy conjuring act, but could not understand his accent and delivery.  As for Tommy, he craved Variety Shows where he could play on his size and awkwardness, and work a live audience to get their applause.  So he quickly returned to Britain.

Sadly, Tommy Cooper died during a TV show on the 15th of April 1984 in London. ‘Always leave them laughing’.

Perhaps his most lasting claim to fame is inventing the word ‘Cooperism’ to describe a funny, almost silly joke.

Footnote: Please write to Will and Guy if you have a good Tommy Cooper joke or a Cooperism.

For example, Ian Greenaway sent in: “Bought a Jaguar for wife last week ……ripped her to bits”

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