METRO

Comedian

A funny thing happened to me on the way to this column: I slipped on a banana skin and the cake I was holding flew up in the air and landed on my head. As I lay there, custard streaming down my face, I thought: "comedian: what a job. If I was a comedian I'd be laughing!"

Apart from my sour-faced sister, we all like a laugh: belly laugh, chortle, chuckle, doesn't matter. Laughter is the best medicine and is readily dispensed by doctors: "Take two episodes of Seinfeld daily until symptoms subside." But these mirth-makers are a funny breed: wayward, wanton, often Jewish, they live on their wits, huddle in groups (a cackle of comedians) and dispense one-liners to keep the world at bay. And some of them never stop. I bumped into my stand-up friend Deadpan Tony the other day. He's so bright, if you look at him for too long your eyes hurt. I asked him what he'd been doing. He replied, "I've been lying in the park – I told a woman there I have a large penis!" Then I enquired about his new flatmate. "She's a literary type," he said, "as opposed to Times New Roman. She really is a brilliant woman, bordering on Romania. She's terribly forgetful though – last Tuesday she left her legs open. Sorry, I do like a play on words. In fact, I've written one. It's called, "Hilary Swank Isn't She?" Anyway, got to dash – I've been off work with a terrible Spaniard. Here, would you like some defecated coconut?"

And with that he was gone. He's a very funny guy but I wouldn't want to be there when the laughter stopped. That's the other thing about comedians – the misery, depression, tears-of-a-clown persona. Milligan. Hancock. Howerd. Cook. Jimmy Crankie. They all had it – making audiences howl, then taking to their beds, their bottles or their regular and illicit homothermal liaisons. Deadpan Tony's alright, though. He's planning on changing his name to ‘Dan Brown' and writing a novel about codes. And next month he's opening a kosher restaurant called, "The Last Chance Shalom". I hope it fares better than his previous effort, The Esperanto Bistro.

Anyway, I'd love to stick around and chat but I have to dash: I just got a call and apparently my grandmother's not well. A flasher approached her in the street and she had a stroke. She couldn't help herself. Boom-tish.

© copyright 2008 Saul Wordsworth
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