Thursday, September 1, 2011

Can't say fairer than that

Here’s the best joke from the Edinburgh Fringe, widely reported on 25th August.

I needed a password 8 characters long, so I chose Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

No I don’t think so either. We have Nick Helm to thank for that one, pictured. The prize was awarded by somebody or something named Dave. Here's a better one from BBC sports correspondent Gary Richardson who came on air on the Today programme immediately after this item.

A man went to the doctor and said I need speech therapy, I'm having trouble with my F’s and my T’s.

Doctor : You can't say fairer than that!

A couple of things to say about these jokes. Firstly, they have a common feature, namely each depends on the absence of speech marks around the operative phrase. Secondly, in the doctor joke, why did a man go to the doctor? Would it be better to say a patient or even a woman? No it wouldn't, imho. This really is an occasion where it’s better to be politically incorrect. Anything else distracts from the joke.


  1. I'd say a common feature is they don't work written down, they have to be verbal. Another one: A Glaswegian walks into a bakery and says "Is that a sponge in the window or a meringue?" to which the baker replies "No, you're right, it's a sponge". Doesn't make any sense at all unless spoken aloud!

  2. Exactly - proves the point! When spoken aloud the words "a meringue" sound like "am I wrong" in a Glaswegian accent! When just read from the page it doesn't make sense!