As a full time comic one question I’m often asked is where do jokes come from. Well, in truth it all comes from a variety of places. Yes I do sit at a keyboard putting blood sweat and jeers into developing material. But, sometimes inspiration comes from different sources. so what I’ve decided to do in this series of occasional blogs on the subject is post some jokes and routines up here with a bit background as to where they came from…
no.1. They say X-Factor has destroyed the spirit of rock and roll. But I think that’s rubbish. Because every time it comes on I’m ready to throw the telly right out the window.
I prefer the real rock and rollers. Live hard die young. I went to see the Manic Street Preachers. The next day Richey Manic disappeared, never to be seen again, presumed dead. A month later I went to see Big Country. just a month after that the lead singer committed suicide…. I’m trying really hard to get tickets for One Direction.
So as you can see we have two jokes here. the X-Factor is one I just came up with during my writing sessions. I thought I’d said goodbye to this gag a while back but then the second joke came by very recently so I decided to resurrect it. I actually sold this gag to BBC Radio 4 show Newsjack. Technically that means I shouldn’t use it any more. so far no ones complained.
The second gag is brand new in the past couple of weeks. It came from a conversation I was having with an actor while playing a very small part in the TV show Vera. the punch line just sprung up in the air. So there you have it….
no. 2. I don’t know the underground system in London very well. One time I was going around asking people for the Euston Line. Of course there isn’t a Euston Line so doing that really annoyed the locals. Eventually I met this salt of the earth east end cockney…he was French. I said, “Excuse me mate. Do you know the Euston line? He said, “Oui. Ah know thee Euston Line…it goes Allo Euston we ‘ave a problem!”
This came from when I was sitting on a tube in London. I over heard a French chap mixing up the words Euston and Huston in his conversation. It brought to my attention that the French often drop the H when speaking English. So with a mix of where I was and hearing a French accent the joke crystallised almost immediately in my head. It’s a nice clean one so it comes in handy at corporate events.
no. 3. I see that one of the donors to UKIP (* UKIP are a right wing UK political party) took out an Advert in the news saying there was no such thing as homophobia because the words not in the dictionary! So I got my dictionary out….And yes homophobia is in the dictionary. It’s actually sandwiched in-between homoerotic and homosexual…..which is probably the last place that homophobia wants to be sandwiched…but that should teach it a lesson.
no. 4. I was never any good at sports. at school they used to call me names…like goalkeeper.
A short and very old one this. I do a lot of political comedy now but I haven’t always. When I started out I was more like a character comedian. I even had a different name (John Littlejohn for anybody interested) My whole shtick was based around being a camp weakling from a tough mining town. This joke fits that persona. I’ve changed a bit since then…but yes I am still shit at sports.
no. 5. It’s nice to be here tonight…in fact it’s nice to be anywhere when you look like a homeless Bee-Gee. Mind you if you think about it Scottish people are quite like the Bee-Gees…We’re hairy, we like to sing…and two thirds of us die prematurely.