No laughing matter
Could somebody, anybody, supply the prime minister with a few new gags?
This afternoon, in a Q&A session at the Bournemouth conference, he resorted yet again to the old standards, the single transferable jokes.
Not that they’re bad gags. And he tells them with verve.
But we’ve heard them before.
We’ve heard the one about President Nixon meeting folk in Africa, clasping them by the hand and inquiring “how does it feel to be free”, only for the guy at the end of the line to reply “how should I know, I come from Alabama.”
Speaking purely personally, if I hear that story again, I fully intend to scream.
Ditto the one about Reagan being told that a Scandinavian leader was an “anti-Communist” and retorting: “I don’t care what kind of Communist he is...”
Ditto the comparison between himself arriving as a youngster at Edinburgh University and Mark Twain setting off into the world (although I’m inclined to stretch a point for that one: anything about the author of Huck Finn bears repetition).
Find some new material. Trawl the archives. Recruit the Chuckle Brothers. Translate a few funnies from Aristophanes. Anything.
Mind you, maybe Team Brown feel they should leave well alone.
Maybe they feel their man wouldn’t wash as a species of stand-up comedian.