A catchphrase is a very uncertain measure of a comedian's wit. It is difficult to imagine, for example, the audience's unconfined hilarity at the Holborn Empire 50 years ago when Jack Warner pronounced: 'Mind my bike.' That was perhaps in the golden era of catchphrases that stretched through the wireless age of the 1940s and 1950s: 'Don't forget the diver . . . After you, Cecil . . . I don't mind if I do . . . Stone me . . . It was agony, Ivy.' Often they signalled the entrance of a well-loved character to an unseeing audience. They remain mysteries without their context, and the context of the Newman and Baddiel line may help us understand the riddle of their success. 'That's you, that is' occurs during their sketch in which they play two crusty dons whose historical discussion descends into the trading of childish insults. Newman and Baddiel's largely teenage following loves the insults and thrills to the sound of rude words. A nation need not mourn.
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