Thursday, 2 April 2009

It's the way I tell 'em.....

Last night I had a Chicken Tarka for dinner. It’s a bit like a Chicken Tikka – just a little otter.

No? How about this one? A man walks into a pub and orders a pint of beer and a very small glass of water for his pet amphibian. The landlord says: “Why are you giving him such a small drink?” The man replies: “Because it is my newt”.

I can sense that you’re still not laughing very loudly so I will try one more which should suit the culturally intellectual readers of this fair blog in this fair city.

Shakespeare walks into a bar and the landlord says to him angrily: “Get out William – you’re Bard”.

By now, some of you will hopefully have laughed once, twice or even, if I’m very lucky, three times. Or you might just be thinking this isn’t funny at all, why doesn’t this idiot just get to the point!

Well, today, jokes are the point. For this week we saw the launch of the first Bath Comedy Festival which is hoping to celebrate one of the greatest attributes of the British personality – our sense of humour. As Al Murray says: “Where would we be without humour”? (His answer incidentally is Germany) .
The idea of having a comedy festival here in Bath is a very good one and, in these economically challenging days, it seems that being able to put a brave, smiling face on things may just be an invaluable weapon to help counter the gloom and doom that purveys.

Of course, as the reactions (or perhaps lack of them!) to my earlier jokes will show, one of the joys of humour is that we all have different ideas of what is actually funny.
I’m sure we all know from experience that you can be laughing hysterically at something while the only amusement other people in the room are having is watching your excited reaction. Some of the very best comedy in my opinion – Alan Partridge, Monty Python and both the US and British versions of The Office – leave other people as cold as ice while I, too, can barely raise a grin at other so-called comedy favourites which sell in their bucket loads (Little Britain anyone)? And that is why the comedy festival’s huge variety of different acts, shows, walks and competitions is a great chance for people to tap into what they find personally funny and not worry about those who simply don’t get the joke.

So in wishing the Bath Comedy Festival every success I do hope that everyone can find something to laugh at because, after all, laughter and humour have many great health-giving qualities.

However, as you traipse the streets of the city in the next few weeks, let me give you a of caution. It should be noted that it is actually possible to die of laughing. In the 1970s, a 50-year-old bricklayer laughed so hard and so hysterically at an edition of The Goodies that it tragically killed him.

It sort of adds a new poignancy to the term ‘dead funny’, doesn’t it?

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