The Third Leader: It's the way they tell them...

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The Independent Online

Anyway, this man walks into a bar and says, "ouch" ... it was an iron bar, you see ... Waiter, this chicken is cold ... It should be, it's been dead two weeks ... Ah, well, it is, as another great thinker once observed, the way you tell them.

And this was a man who made an audience laugh simply by walking on to the stage. It also helps if you're 6ft 4in, with size 13 feet, wearing said fez, and have a manic cackle that irresistibly exposes the daftness of it all, on stage and off the stage.

The headgear would be something of a a high-risk strategy, obviously, but it's the last bit that really leaves those kindred performers, politicians, at a disadvantage, as that's the one joke they can't share, even if quite a few of them prompt it.

So, once again, you have to say that it takes a hell of a nerve; and so does getting up there armed only with tie colour and your words going slowly past in front of you.

One joke; not many at all yesterday, although he called the Liberal Democrats ruthless.

Personally, I think a Tommy Cooper favourite - "No, I must tell you this, I want to hear it myself!" - would have given Tony a big lift. But he did make his retirement disappear. Just like, all right, sorry.

The fez, by the way, was sold at the auction for £620.

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