Saturday, June 10, 2006

Funny joke

In an ultimately futile and pointless exercise Prof Richard Wiseman conducted an online experiment in which 300,000 people from around the world voted for the best gag. Sadly, I was not one of them. Truly, I don't think I would be able to decide if I had one funniest gag. Would you? Harder than you'd think. Anyway, here's the gag.

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?'

That is a good gag. Professor Wiseman takes up the ball: "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."

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 gun shots.

Bentine: He's dead.

Prof Wiseman concludes this was almost certainly written by Milligan during his Goon Show days.

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