Thursday, 27 January 2022

The true King of Comedy

  • A wife is in the bathroom trying on a new dress. She comes out and says to her husband: "Does my bum look big in this?" He says: "Oh be fair, love, it’s quite a small bathroom."
  • I’m 59 and people call me middle-aged. How many 118-year-old men do you know?
  • I'm thinking of entering myself in a talent contest... It's a neat trick if you can do it.
  • Quick – the noise made by a dyslexic duck.
  • Picasso was burgled and did a drawing of the robbers. Police arrested a horse and two sardines.
  • Hashtag - party game where you chase each other for drugs.

A man and his wife are out walking one day when they spot a lone fellow on the other side of the road. "That looks like the Archbishop of Canterbury over there" says the woman. "Go and see if it is.”
The husband crosses the road and asks the man if he is indeed the Archbishop of Canterbury.

"Fuck off," says the man.
The husband crosses back to his wife who asks "What did he say? Is he the Archbishop of Canterbury?"
"He told me to fuck off,"
says the husand.
"Oh no," replies the wife, "Now we'll never know".

A man was driving down a country lane and ran over a cockerel.
He knocked on the farmhouse door and a woman answered. "I appear to have killed your cockerel," he said. "I’d like to replace it."
"Please yourself," said the woman, "the hens are round the back."

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are camping out on Dartmoor after solving the case of The Hound of the Baskervilles. It's night-time and Watson is staring up at the sky.
"What do all those magnificent stars make you think, Holmes?" Watson asks. "Does your enormous brain turn to other life forms out there? To the origins of light? To God?"
"No, Watson," says Holmes. "They make me think, 'Who stole our bloody tent?'"

They're dropping like flies, dear reader!

Another legend has ascended that glittering stairway to Fabulon - the maestro of comedy writing, stalwart of panel shows, a "must-have guest" on many a chat show, stand-up comedian, TV presenter, raconteur, wit and "national treasure" - Mr Barry Cryer.

Having moved to London from his native Leeds in the late 1950s, after a stint dodging the hecklers as a standup comic at the notorious Windmill Theatre [home of the naked tableaux vivants, and made famous in the film Mrs Henderson Presents], Mr Cryer began writing material for the legendary drag queen Danny La Rue. It was while at Danny's nightclub that he was "discovered" by David Frost - who co-opted him to write for his TV shows The Frost Report, Frost Over England and Frost On Sunday - and the rest, as they say, is history!

Over his seven-decade career, he went on to write jokes and sketches for just about everybody who was anybody in the comedy world, including Morecambe and Wise, The Two Ronnies, Tommy Cooper, Jack Benny, Mike Yarwood, Billy Connolly, Russ Abbot, Bob Hope, Richard Prior, Bobby Davro, Jasper Carrott, Stanley Baxter, Dick Emery, Dave Allen, Frankie Howerd, Kenny Everett and Les Dawson, often in partnership with fellow geniuses such as John Junkin, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman. He did a double-act with the late, great Willie Rushton called Two Old Farts In The Night; as recently as 2019 (not long after recovering from hip surgery) he was on stage again with Barry Humphries [aka Dame Edna Everage], recreating slaptick routines from silent movies; and he was a mainstay of the cult "spoof panel show" I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue from its inception in 1972 until very recently.

In late 2021 he started a podcast (with his son Bob) called Now, Where Were We? that featured guest appearances from his friends Stephen Fry, Danny Baker, Miriam Margolyes and Sanjeev Baskar; the last episode was broadcast just two weeks before he died. Apparently, he was astonished by the format. "He was amazed," said Bob. "He couldn’t believe anything existed that paid less than radio."

Read a marvellous interview with the great man in The Oldie, a magazine to which he contributed for many years, published in tribute following the news of his death.

RIP, Barry Charles Cryer, OBE (23rd March 1935 – 25th January 2022)


  1. You can't play the six degrees of Kevin Bacon in Britain, you just play the one degree of Barry Cryer.

    1. He knew, worked with, and was praised by, just about everyone in showbiz! A remarkable man. Jx

  2. Christ! I'm starting worry! "I remember when tennis balls were white and George VI was on the throne..."

    1. It's quite sad to look at the pic of the I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue panellists and realise that now there's only Graeme Garden left... Jx

    2. Yes, I was choked for Graham Garden.

    3. The remnants of that classic era of witty comedy are disappearing before our eyes, dear. Jx

  3. A truly great talent and a bloody decent chap.
    sad loss

  4. And of course the co-writer of one of the best Panto's I've ever seen ( A sad loss indeed. xx

    1. We can but hope that Mrs Hudson’s Christmas Corker gets a revival in his honour! Jx


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