Wednesday, 6 June 2012

10 things which aren't funny

The funniest things are often by accident
 It may (or it may not) surprise people to know that over my long career, I've done the odd bit of stand up comedy. People who have seen the band may wonder whether all of this was intentional and nope it wasn't (especially when I fell off the stage at the Cricklewood Hotel in 1985). On Monday, I had to unexpectedly use these talents, as I had been asked to be quiz master at the Sacred Heart Church Jubilee Street Party.

Now you may think this was an easy gig, but such things are taken highly seriously by the participents. To make matters worse, just before the quiz started, I was told that the organisers had lost the answers !

As the subject was "Her Majesty" I realised that I was in trouble. I actually hadn't got a clue what any of the answers were. My team quickly started trying to work them out, my job? stall as long as possible.

At the appropriate time, I was given a hastily pencilled list, which had 14 of the 20 answers. The rest I had to blag. It went OK until question 15. "What was unusual about the Queens birth?". The answer appeared to be two words, the first of which began with "H" and the second with "T". So I announced "The answer was of course that the Queen was born in a Hot Tub". No one argued, but the quiz organiser Jenny, standing at the back nearly wet herself. Now I guess it is a mark of how different to the rest of us the Royals are, that no one even queried it. Afterwards, Jenny told me that it was the funniest thing she'd ever heard. The answer was of course that the Queen had been born in a Hospital.

So if it is so easy to be funny when you don't mean to be, I thought about the issue of what about things which try very hard to be funny and fail miserably.  The Barnet Eye has decided to compile a list of things which are loosely listed under the flag of humour but which aren't funny.

1. Anything on a spam email which is deemed "hilarious" (unless you happen to be a bloke running a business repairing computers).

2. Jokes made by politicians.

3. The Monty Python Parrot sketch being recited in the pub after 9pm.

4. Ben Elton over the last 15 years.

5. Jokes made by any member of the Royal family (except Prince Phillip, who is often hilarious for the completely wrong reasons).

6. Any comedian who ever comments that Bernard Manning wasn't funny (yes he was a horrible racist, mysoginist and some of his material was not funny but he had exceptional comic timing and a comic who cannot acknowledge that does not know his job).

7. Humour records (after the first listen).

8. Your best friends four year old telling jokes at a party after 30 seconds.

9. Russell Brand

10.  Any video made by a political campaign team, which a politician tweets as hilarious.

Of course these are my choices. I am sure I've missed a few out. Feel free to chip in.

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