Victorian joke book proves that the old ones aren't best
Sunday 21 January 2007
I say, I say, I say - have you heard the one about the Victorian gags that hadn't been aired for 130 years? Well, when you hear them you'll probably understand why.
A long-neglected stash of jokes will this week be revived for the first time since their 19th-century prime. The material was gathered in two notebooks by the touring clown Thomas Lawrence to perfect and preserve his pioneering stand-up routines. This Victorian equivalent of Bob Monkhouse's joke book will by performed at the spiritual home of variety - Blackpool.
It might not be sufficiently sophisticated or bawdy to tickle the audience of today, but in their time, this material would have reduced the crowd to peals of laughter.
The books contains such gems as: "What's the difference between a rowing boat and Joan of Arc? One is made of wood and the other is Maid of Orleans."
Academic Ann Featherstone came across the volumes when she helped a friend's family research.
The two books had been passed through subsequent generations of his family, but no one was entirely sure what they were. Further research revealed that her friend's great-great-great-great grandfather was Thomas Lawrence.
The jokes will be performed by Manchester University students on Thursday at the Blackpool Grand Theatre, where Dr Featherstone will also talk on Victorian clowns
- 1 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Blogger captures footage ‘showing BUK missile launcher that shot down jet’ now back in Russia
In pictures: Israel-Gaza conflict
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£55000 Per Annum plus company car and bonus scheme: The Green Recruitment Comp...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Lead Hand - QCProgressive are recruiting...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Chemical Eng...
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...