I do have a humorous post scheduled for Boxing day but thought I would give you all a Christmas gift in the form of laughter. My sense of humour is something I am proud of so I thought I would share some of my influences and the things that amuse me. I confess that I almost never actually laugh, no matter how amused I am. This is an introvert thing that non- introverts rarely understand! I also learned early on never to show emotion or expose vulnerability in any way. Thankfully I am no longer quite so screwed up. Some of you may disagree….
I am a Lancashire lad. Lancashire has a long tradition of comedy. I was born only a few miles from Stan Laurel and now live very near to where another comedy hero, Eric Morecambe, was born. Charles Nevin in his book ‘Lancashire, where women die of love’ explores this comic heritage in a wonderfully insightful way. If you want to understand Lancastrians then this is the book for you. He points out also that soaps and sitcoms set in the North of England, (especially Lancashire if one includes Manchester and Liverpool in the county as they once were) often portray men as impractical romantic comic daydreamers, and women as hard nosed pragmatists that keep their menfolk strictly under the thumb. I value my life too much to comment upon the accuracy of the latter.
Before I continue I just want to wish you and your families a truly heartfelt Happy Christmas. You folks have come to mean the world to me during my journey of the last few months. Thank you my friends, from the bottom of my heart.
So, some laughs.
I already mentioned the wonderful Stan Laurel. His performance in the short ‘Towed in a Hole‘ is just marvellous. The scene where he is obliviously sawing through the mast Ollie is climbing , beginning at about 13.5 mins, is a favourite of mine.
I also mentioned Eric Morecambe above. It is hard to pick a favourite moment from his double act with Ernie Wise. The legendary Breakfast sketch has to be included. They also had a habit of persuading screen legends and TV stars to allow themselves to be made fun of, or even something as simple as Eric eating a bag of crisps.
Also a Lancastrian is Mike Harding, he recently toured again with a comedy act after years of doing other things, largely in the folk music arena. His standup work in the 70s and 80s was just wonderful. There are a few shows available on youtube, such as this one
Moving away from Lancashire to Scotland. Billy Connolly is one of the rare comedians that actually makes me helpless with laughter.
And finally, something whimsical and beautiful. A magical scene from the Paddington animated series.