Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Britain is Nation of grimwits

If you didn't laugh, it is often said, you'd cry.

And from that philosophy of finding hilarity in hardship has come some of the best humour in history, according to a book of comedy from down the years.

The examples are all around us. The pain of marital break-up dissipates in the dour delivery of Les Dawson as he recounts the story of the husband whose wife has just run off with the man next door and responds: "I do miss him." Click here for more jokes.
"British humour is frequently melancholic, probably because of the weather, sexual repression, resentment at the class system, and those sorts of things,' he continues.

"Northern humour is particularly downbeat. After all, for years, the North generated the wealth on which London and the South grew rich so there's a kind of suspicion of optimism.

"There hasn't, usually, been enough discontent in British society to provoke real social upheaval. But there has been enough to create a very sophisticated humour."

The quotes in the book, published by Penguin, go back to the Bible and are credited to writers from all over the world, including many from the UK.

Contributors includes Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill, The Beatles, The Queen and Viz magazine.