Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Lord Aberdeen's best joke.

So, yesterday I was grossly unfair to John Hamilton-Gordon, seventh Earl of Aberdeen. I went through the whole of 'Jokes Cracked By Lord Aberdeen', and deliberately selected the one that has aged least well in the last hundred years or so. So today, by way of atonement, here is his Lordship's best joke. Seriously, I really like this one.

A lady remarked to a former Bishop of London on one occasion “Oh! Bishop, I want to tell you something very remarkable. An aunt of mine had arranged to make a voyage in a certain steamer, but at the last moment she had to give up the trip; and that steamer was wrecked; wasn’t it a mercy she did not go in it?”
“Well, but” replied the bishop, “I don’t know your aunt.”

Pretty good, eh? And surprisingly cruel. Modernise the language and references, and Jimmy Carr could use that today. Not that I'm saying that's necessarily the highest accolade in comedy, but not bad coming from a late Victorian Governor General of Canada.

The Laird ruminates over whether he's better off sticking to his tight ten minutes tonight, or trying out some of his new stuff on the second Home Rule bill.


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That is indeed a good one, and thanks for resuscitating it. Very much up to contemporary standards in more ways than one.

The religious angle in this joke--and indeed in yesterday's--is a bit modern, too. It deserves more comment than I can summon (the early seeds of Anglican decline?).

I also find humorists to this day enjoy bashing the Bishop.

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