Thursday, 22 September 2011

Hard Times, You Need to Laugh.

Don't you get fed up of the news; doom and gloom ad infinitum. At times you have to laugh or you'd cry. And I got to thinking, who/what makes me laugh. We went to the theatre in the week. (I do reviews in exchange for tickets. Better than money, who needs money at my age.) The performer was Bernard Wrigley, a folk singer/actor comedian from Bolton. A bit old fashioned but none the worse for that. I can only remember one joke he told.

A teacher rang in sick in termtime, took the day off and went to Wimbledon to watch the tennis.

When he got back a dustbinman tapped on his window.

'Where's yow bin.

'I haven't bin anywhere, I've bin poorly.'

'No, where's yer wheely bin.'

'Oh, all right then, I've bin to Wimbledon.'

Now this story, one is old, two very 'localised/northern' and three very British. My young or overseas readers probably won't know what we're talking about but I think its funny. But I would, wouldn't I, at my age! I was brought up after the war. (The Second World War not the first!) I was very influenced by the radio (wireless we called it.) in the days before television became the norm. I remember some of the comediens over the years. Rob Wilton, Vic Oliver, Arthur Askey, Arthur English, Ted Ray. I started to realise what a small place Britain and England in particular was in those days. Comedy and comediens in particular didn't travel well. The talk now is of the world as a global village. It certainly wasn't thenadays. Some comediens, particularly northern comics achieved almost godlike status in their own 'backyards' yet were virtually unknown in places like London. Have a listen to Bobby Thompson The Little Waster. I still find him incredible even after all these years. But do you agree. Do my overseas readers follow any of this. What/who did you find funny. And who do yo find funny today. I've no doubt I will return to this subject in the not too distant future.






22 comments:

CWMartin said...

Ken, I'd have to say I'm better at translating English to American in print, apparently. Got the joke, but Bobby was very hard for me to grok. As for what I find funny, I watch Are You Being Served most chances I get.

JeannetteLS said...

I can't help it... right off, at the beginning, when he said, "I'v had it up ta 'ere wi' debt. I wish I was a little taller." I don't know, but that just got me. I understood a great deal of it, and laughed. I enjoy British humor. I hit my teens on Monty Python, after all. And I know about dustbins and such, so that made me laugh as well. I listen to Jon Stewart because he makes me laugh at things that anger me in our Yankee politics. He shows the insanity of it all. But I still laugh at Monty Python. There isn't much on the t.v. that DOES make me laugh, however. These days, it is my friends--we make very bad puns. Reruns of Keeping Up Appearances and ... oh, dear... there was a British show that took place in an old folks home--that show still can make me laugh. Waiting for... something. Feh. As I said, these days my friends and I laugh together so that we do not cry. We collect odd names. We make fun of the stupidity of the American conservatives in national politics. My guess is that, once one gets over the language glitches, wordplay on either side of the Atlantic will do me in. (And thanks, Ken, for stopping in at my blog.)

quilterliz said...

G'day Ken. We had the series of Keeping up Appearances on telly many years ago, here in Australia where I live and I just loved it. Are You Being Served was another great favourite and of course Some Mother do have em, always made me laugh. Take care. Liz...

Gill - That British Woman said...

blast from the past, I hadn't seen him in years. Mind you I did have to listen carefully, to catch everything he said, as I haven't been around that accent in years now.

British comedy is the best, my personal favourite, Del Boy and Rodney in "Only Fools and Horses." Still as funny now as it was when it first came out.

Gill in Canada

Expat mum said...

Being a Geordie, I grew up with Bobbie Thompson. Hilarious. I used to love all those old comedians.

the fly in the web said...

Loved the clip.
Chick Murray used to make me laugh and probably still would.
There used to be a chap doing really good political funnies on French radio in the mornings...but he got the sack.

A Heron's View said...

Thanks for the laughs Ken, tho' to be honest I was unable to adjust my ears sufficiently enough to understand all that he said... just shows up my southwestern ears & 25 years out of the UK !

Levonne said...

Doom and gloom is killing me about now! Enough! Anyway, you get tickets for doing reviews? Is that reviews in your blog? What makes people feel that the cost of the review warrants the price? I'd like to do this.

SueAnn said...

Good thoughts!!
There is a ton of doom and gloom!!
Sigh!
Have a better day than they predict!
Hugs
SueAnn

Gene Pool Diva said...

The man is a treasure.

Star said...

Great idea for a series of posts. To the list of great British comedy shows and comedians, I'd like to add Tony Hancock's "Coughs and Sneezes" (which I still sing to myself every winter...I can't help myself!) and the WONDERFUL show "Waiting for God," of which, much to my belated chagrin, I missed almost all the rebroadcast programs because I feared it was a religious show. Caught the last two, and have been regretting not trying earlier, ever since. "Fawlty Towers" can't be missed...what/who else comes to our minds? As for this fellow, what I could understand I found funny, but--poor me--it was a hard row to hoe.

Our Life In A Caravan said...

It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Alf Garnet, and Dad's Army.
Just a couple of my all time favourites! "You stupid boy Pike" and "Stick it up um" Being great catch phrases and of course Windsor Davis "Shut UP" such great memories.
Oh and what about the Two Ronnies and the hardware shop sketch! Brilliant. Nothing beats British Comedy!

Connie in Japan said...

I ignore gloom and doom now...I go walking up mountains instead! Loved the humor....thanks for the laughs!!

Clippy Mat said...

I love Bobby Thompson's patter and often quote him to my other half, and vice versa. Classic comedy.

Alexander said...

I really like the video! ! I will send it to all my friends!

Troy said...

The joke may be more global than you think because I saw it illustrated on a card with the binman asking the question to a chinese man who replies "I bin to Hong Kong". When asked the question again he replies the same. Then the binman says "No, where's your wheely bin?" to which the chinese man shouts "I wheely bin to Hong Kong!"

prateek_sethi said...

nice post...
SEO Services in India , E - Commerce Solution, Website Designing

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Brilliant response. I too can't follow half our little friend comes out with and I'm British born. One or two things comes out of this. One, I'm going to include other examples of British humour on occasion, at its best, at least as I see it. Probably from a geriatric point of view. Two, anyone requiring request inclusions, please say so. Two, I see my blog as being with friends. Lets keep each other smiling in these most trying of times. Three, whilst we need to look at the serious aspects of life, they reckon it takes a lot less muscles to frown than to smile.

Affordable Pay Per Click Management Company said...

Hello admin, Excellent article. You have gained a fresh reader. Please keep them coming and I look forward to more of your superb articles. Thanks a lot....

Insurance Logo Design said...

That's really massive exposure post and I must admire you in this regard.

Adim said...

This is a great inspiring .I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. I am looking to reading your next post.

Ready-Made Consumer Electronics Logo

Admin said...

I have been really glad after reading this blog as the knowledge which has been given via this blog is simply tremendous.

Logo Design