Thursday, January 17, 2013

Funny Friday

It’s funny where thoughts and the internet can take you. 


Thinking about Lincoln, the film, picking up 12 Oscar nominations started me thinking about Lincoln, the historical figure. This in turn reminded me of the old joke:

“Other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?” 

Feeling inspired, I tried to find the origin of that bit of humour, only to learn that there are a number of possible sources: 

  • that it was the caption in a cartoon in the New Yorker
  • muso and humorist Tom Lehrer, known for his humorous songs of the 1950’s and 1960’s; 
  • from the New Statesman newspaper, which had a reader competition called Gruesomes in which readers were invited to suggest especially tactless remarks with an historical bent. Another memorable example was, “Salome, dear, not in the fridge.” 

Although I was unable to determine with precision the origin of the Lincoln comment, I did come across some other similar humorous questions:

Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how was your trip to Dallas? 

Other than that, Yoko, how did the recording session go? 

Other than that, Rory Kennedy, how was your wedding? 

(Rory Kennedy was the intended bride at the wedding to which John Kennedy Jnr, her cousin, was flying in a light plane. The plane crashed en route and John Jnr, his wife Carolyn Bessettte and sister in law Lauren Bessette were killed. The wedding was postponed). 


By now my mind was wandering, or more accurately, wondering: When did sick humour start? 

It turns out that the term “sick comedy” was what Time and Life called the new style of comedy and satire that developed in the US in the late 1950’s. Unlike the current comedy that was “in” – innocuous, innocent, inoffensive – the new style of comedy featured cynical outlooks, social criticism and political satire. It was also “in”, to wit, innovative and, in the opinion of many, inappropriate. In 1959 Time listed a group of “sick comics”: Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Shelley Berman, Jonathan Winters, Mike Nichols, Elaine May and Tom Lehrer, who commented that "The kind of sickness I wish Time had written about, is that school teachers in Oklahoma get a top annual salary of $4000, while Sammy Davis Jnr gets $10,000 for a week in Vegas." 

That style of humour has fostered various other forms such as shock humour that now make the comedians of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s look mainstream. It’s a bit like remembering the controversies created by The Beatles, The Stones et al at the time and now hearing it as piped music when you shop at the supermarket. 


My lad Thomas has often quoted a comic site, Sickipedia, to me but I had not gone there. Some of the humour that I have heard quoted from there crosses lines that, in my opinion at least, that should not be crossed. Venturing there for this post I came across some amusing items. There are gags there that are not funny or are too recent but there are also some goodies. Find the site by clicking on

Here are some examples:


"Palestine model shot dead in Israel" 

I hope it was Wallace, I really like Gromit.

I rang the RSPCA yesterday and said, "I have just found my dog lying down in a puddle of blood in my back garden." 

"That's awful," she said. "Is it moving?" 

"Quite emotional, yes."

I love walking on the beach with my girlfriend. 

Until the LSD wears off and I'm just dragging a stolen mannequin around a car park.

My mate just said, "What's your favourite mythical creature?" 

I said, "Those happy women in Tampax adverts."

I’ll never join one of those online dating services. I prefer to meet someone the old fashioned way. 

Through alcohol and poor judgement.

I found my son hanging in his bedroom this morning. 

There was a note on his bed which read, "I can't take the critism anymore." 

I quickly cut him down and managed to revive him. 

As he lay in my arms and slowly opened his eyes, I said, "That's not how you spell criticism."

I just joined a site after seeing a pop up saying 'Meet Lots Of Women In Your Area For Sex Tonight' 

The next stage of the application said 'Please Choose: 18-25, 26-33, 34-42, 43-49, Over 50' 

I've gone for 43-49 women. Over 50 is just being greedy

Scorpions are nature's way of saying "Fuck you, I'm gonna combine lobsters, spiders, wasps and nightmares."

"I've had enough of this," announced my son at the breakfast table. "I'm leaving to find some adventures, challenges, exciting women ..." 

I got up, cleared my throat ... 

"No!" he shouted. "You won't hold me back!" 

"Hold you back?" I said. "I'm fucking coming with you."

For want of conversation at the Christmas dinner table earlier I said, "I hear the water levels in Devon have been pretty substantial." 

"Parsnips?" my mum interjected. 

"Well I don't know if it's gone chest high, Mother, but it's pretty deep." 

I’m tired of my secretary being late. From now on I’m going to use condoms. 

The last time I was on a long haul flight I got really bored, so I strolled down the aisle and sneaked into first class. 

I got chatting to a very smartly dressed businessman for about an hour, and we talked about our hobbies, the economy, our families, and as I got to know him better, the things we're afraid of. 

"Do you ever get scared that the pilot's grown tired of life, and doesn't care what happens to himself or the passengers?" I asked. 

"Oh, I've been on many flights, and I've never worried about anything like that", chuckled Kenneth the CEO, as we helped ourselves to yet another complimentary double brandy. 

"Then maybe it's a good time to start", I replied, as I lurched drunkenly back to the cockpit.

The Weekly Limerick

A mortician who practised in Fife
Made love to the corpse of his wife.
      "How could I know, Judge?
      She was cold, dinna budge --
Just the same as she acted in life."

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.