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Remembering Tommy Cooper

October 12, 2013


Tommy Cooper was one of Britain’s funniest comedians. His jokes were silly, witty and full of dazzling wordplay. Even off stage, he liked to lark around and would often hand taxi-drivers an envelope as he said cheerily: “Have a drink on me”. Inside, they would find a tea-bag.

At the age of 62, Cooper collapsed on stage during a televised performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre in April 1984 and died soon afterwards.

Cooper’s hallmark was an Egyptian fez. An aunt gave him a box of magician’s tricks for his ninth birthday and it started a hobby that became a career, beginning in music halls. His jokes are remembered in a new book The Tommy Cooper All In One Jokebook.


• I’m on a whisky diet . . . last week I lost three days!


Fortune Teller
• I went to a fortune teller and she looked at my hands. She said, ‘Your future looks pretty black.’ I said, ‘Are you kidding? I’ve still got my gloves on!


3 • I said to the doctor, ‘It hurts when I do this’ [raises arm]. He said, ‘Well, don’t do it.’


Alarm clock
4 • A woman rushed into hospital with her little boy and said, ‘Doctor, my little boy has swallowed an alarm clock.’ He said, ‘An alarm clock? Does it bother him?’ She said: ‘It doesn’t bother him, but it bothers me.’ He said, ‘Why?’ She said: ‘Well, every time I go to wind it up, he bites my finger.’


5 • I said to the chef, ‘Why have you got your hand in the alphabet soup?’ He said, ‘I’m groping for words!’


Doctor (2)
6 • My doctor told me to drink a bottle of wine after a hot bath, but I couldn’t even finish drinking the hot bath!


7 • Last night I dreamt I was eating a ten pound marshmallow. When I woke up, my pillow had gone.


8 • A drunk was driving his car down a one-way street when a policeman stopped him. The cop said, ‘Didn’t you see the arrows?’ He said, ‘Arrows? I didn’t even see the Indians.’


9 • Gambling has brought our family together. We had to move to a smaller house.


10 • I took saxophone lessons for six months until I dislocated my jaw. How did I know I was supposed to blow in the small end?


11 • You know what a racehorse is . . . an animal that can take several thousand people for a ride at the same time


12 • What do you call an out-of-work jester? Nobody’s fool!


13 • What does a kangaroo eat for breakfast? Pouched eggs


14 • My wife said ‘Take me in your arms and whisper something soft and sweet’. I said, ‘chocolate fudge’.


15 • Never tell people your troubles. Half of them are not interested and the other half are glad you’re getting what’s coming to you.


Pork chops
16 • I bought some pork chops and told the butcher to make them lean. He said, ‘Which way?’


Marriage (2)
17 • I said to my wife, ‘I can’t eat this beef stew.’ She said, ‘Shut up! It’s custard pie!’


18 • Never trust an undertaker. He’ll always let you down


Doctor (3)
19 • I said to the doctor, ‘Can you give me something for my liver?’ He gave me a pound of onions.


20 • I sleep like a baby . . I wake up screaming every morning around 3am.


21 • There’s no end to his talent – and no beginning either.


22 • I was a dancer once in Swan Lake. I fell in.


Doctor (4)
23 • I went to see my doctor and he said ‘I want you to lie down on the couch.’ I said, ‘What for?’ He said, ‘I want to sweep up.’


24 • I told the waiter, bring me a chicken. So he brought me a chicken. ‘Just a minute,’ I said, ‘It’s only got one leg. ‘It’s been in a fight.’ I said, ‘Well, bring me the winner.’


25 • Two cannibals were eating a clown – one said to the other, ‘Does he taste funny to you?’



The Tommy Cooper All in One Joke Book (compiled by John Fisher) is published by Preface Press.

43 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2013 8:22 am

    “Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese.

    And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them.

    It’s either my mum or my dad.

    Or my older brother Colin.

    Or my younger brother Ho-Cha-Chu.

    But I think it’s Colin.”

  2. October 12, 2013 8:27 am

    “I got a greyhound the other day. my mate said “what are you gonna do with it?” “race it” i said…..he said “i think you’ll win….!!!!””

  3. egg permalink
    October 12, 2013 10:27 am

    Its a funny thing, humour

    ‘Know the difference between being funny and having a sense of humor. Both are important, and it’s usually difficult to have one without the other—but it’s not impossible.

    ‘Being funny means being able to express humor of one kind or another—maybe a pratfall, or a witty pun, or a good joke, well-timed. You do need to have a sense of humor to be funny.

    ‘Having a sense of humor means being able to laugh at—or at least see the humor in—life’s absurdities. You do not need to be funny to have a sense of humor.

    ‘Trying to be funny without a sense of humor is usually seen as bitter, sarcastic, and nasty.

    ‘To cultivate a sense of humor, try and avoid this.’


  4. Dianne permalink
    October 12, 2013 11:21 am


  5. egg permalink
    October 12, 2013 11:25 am

    Hello Dianne, we have missed you.

  6. Dianne permalink
    October 12, 2013 11:29 am

    Likewise i’m sure.

  7. egg permalink
    October 12, 2013 11:30 am

    So, what’s happening?

  8. October 12, 2013 11:31 am

    Nice to see you back Dianne… 🙂

  9. October 12, 2013 11:49 am

  10. Dianne permalink
    October 12, 2013 11:51 am

    Affected by Abbott’s wall of silence. Nothing to talk about. Wearing a gag.

  11. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 12, 2013 12:13 pm

    Hi dianne

    Best speak freely while you can, won’t be able to much longer if abbott has his way.

    There’s an International Plan to Censor the Internet in the Works — Let’s Stop It in Its Tracks

    One month.

    That’s the time left before the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could become a finalized agreement. For those who are drawing blank looks — and understandably so — the TPP is a highly secretive trade deal involving 12 nations around the Pacific Rim.

    Described by experts Lori Wallach and Ben Beachy of Public Citizen as “one of the most significant international commercial agreements since the creation of WTO”, the TPP is more than a trade agreement – it’s an underhanded attempt by old industry interests to censor the Internet.

    The lack of general awareness about the TPP is exactly what unelected trade officials and lobbyists hope for; the more covert the negotiations, the easier it is to usher in extreme new Internet censorship rules…

    …It’s not just Congress that has spoken up. Over 100,000 citizens from all across the Trans-Pacific region have made it clear that they’re against the TPP’s dangerous Internet censorship plan…

    …It’s time to put an end to Internet censorship now. Join the over 100,000 others who have spoken up and sign the petition against Internet censorship today at

  12. October 12, 2013 1:31 pm

    Hi Dianne, good to see ya back 🙂
    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘speak freely’ ‘ ‘ ‘ +
    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Plan to Censor the Internet’ ‘ ‘ ‘
    as teh-west hands over it`s manufacturing and finance to China, adopts Soviet-ideas on free-speech, and even requires Russia to give astro-naughts a lift to work, the old comrades of the USSR must be laughing their nuts off

  13. Dianne permalink
    October 12, 2013 1:52 pm

    Hello comrades. I am under the bed.

  14. egg permalink
    October 12, 2013 2:03 pm

    Its safe to come out.

  15. TB Queensland permalink
    October 12, 2013 2:32 pm

    Astounding! Eerie! And possibly psychilc!

    My grandson just turned yen and recieved a magic kit … last night I was showing him Tommy Cooper … wierd as, Jummy!

    What on Earth prompted this fred? Very curiouser …

  16. TB Queensland permalink
    October 12, 2013 2:41 pm

    “ten” … 🙄

    Michael Parkinson was a big fan of Tommy C (who wasn’t) … look for the interviews in Youtube …

    I remember a couple of “real” stories about Tommy …

    … he used to shop locally and walked back on a Saturday afternoon carrying two paper carrier bags in his old trench coat … ’cause he was so tall/big and splay footed he was easily spotted (apparently) … if there was a cricket game being played they’d stop play to to watch him walk past …

    Tommy got a job in the USA but they had a bit of trouble with his magic tricks … the manager called him into his office after his first show and advised him that he should prcatice a bit more …

    Tommy Cooper was one of those performers that NO-ONE could possibly emulate … such a unique talent …

  17. October 12, 2013 3:24 pm

    “What on Earth prompted this fred? “

    I read an article about the book of jokes yesterday..

  18. TB Queensland permalink
    October 12, 2013 3:59 pm

    Bloody odd if you ask me … 😯

    creepy … and I don’t think its the first time …

  19. October 12, 2013 7:03 pm

    reb has nothing better to do all day than search for frequencies that bypass your tin-foil hat. 🙂

  20. October 12, 2013 7:31 pm

    You will be telling me that you like the Goons next!

    Ying tong tiddle eye po

  21. egg permalink
    October 12, 2013 8:00 pm

    ‘creepy … and I don’t think its the first time …’

    No, but the rational mind tells us its just a coincidence.

  22. TB Queensland permalink
    October 12, 2013 8:12 pm

    I don’t often do this, 0007, but … get fucked …

    You have a problem with the Goons … IH

    Or The Pink Panther series?

    Oh, and, egg, thank you … after reading every post of yours here and elsewhere … you’re lecturing me on irrational thinking …? 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

  23. egg permalink
    October 13, 2013 8:13 am

    Ahh…. no. There is a lot we don’t know and I’m inclined to believe in the esoteric.

    I know a professional mathematician who doesn’t believe in UFO….. unfknbelievable.

    Did you know that astrology was Keppler’s day job, he used it to predict the weather for wealthy clients?

    I’m particularly interested in spates of coincidence, similar to what you have been experiencing over the past few weeks.

  24. October 13, 2013 8:24 am

    I had a spooky “coincidence” just recently…

    I was thinking of an old school friend of mine who I hadn’t seen or heard from in over 30 years.

    I did a google search on his name to see if I could find any info about what he was up to these days only to find an obituary notice that he had passed away two days earlier.

  25. egg permalink
    October 13, 2013 8:32 am

    Yeah, fascinating stuff.

  26. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 13, 2013 11:14 am

    The internet means we’re really not out of touch with anyone now. An old girlfriend from about 25 years ago, now living in the US left a message for me recently. I’m not sure that’s such a great thing.

  27. egg permalink
    October 13, 2013 11:37 am

    We have become neurons in a big brain, this is a good thing but my preference is to remain below the radar.

  28. October 13, 2013 12:09 pm

    For some reason l enjoy this one,

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Even off stage, he liked to lark around and would often hand taxi-drivers an envelope as he said cheerily: “Have a drink on me”. Inside, they would find a tea-bag.’ ‘ ‘ ‘

    l`m not sure why. 😆

  29. Dianne permalink
    October 13, 2013 1:12 pm

    Under the bed is better Egg. Safe beneath the the inner-spring. Obediently wearing the gag. Thinking ……

    Thinking of free trade agreements and what it will mean.

    Thinking of Australian cities being turned into glittering Asian-style high rise sterilities with Chinese money and open-door planning.

    Thinking fondly of the quaint notion of the family farm with dad killing a two-tooth for a special Sunday roast. Poor little creature.

    Mulling over a new word – for me anyway – pre-umption. Mere consumption will be no more. The consumer will call the shots. I heard that word on Ockham’s Razor – may be wrong there as night and day are one under the Queen-sized. It was used by a uni prof talking about the demise of old style book learnin’ and lecturin’. Millions are on-line ‘attending’ MOOCs or Massive On-Line Open Campuses. The students are now involved in what is being taught just like citizen journalists and bloggers are redefining journalism. Unis as centres of trad learning are on the way out. Lots will go the way of newspapers.

    I hadn’t realized until lately that lawyers are outsourcing to India.

    The penny has just dropped on my leaden foot that we truly live in a time of tumultuous change. If Egg is not correct and nothing is happening to the climate then future gens will be reading about us or maybe they will just go off to a knowledge dispenser somewhere and fill their brains up with anything they want to know.

    I hope Malcolm is just foxing us with that rubbish NBN model and we will end up with the ALP’s better model. I think we are going to need it.

    Meanwhile I will remain under the bed with my fountain pen and abacus. Have always preferred the past. I prefer to look back.

  30. Dianne permalink
    October 13, 2013 1:14 pm

    Correction: if Egg IS correct. Found it hard to tap that out I suppose

  31. October 13, 2013 1:45 pm

    Sorry Dianne,
    Mr-Talkbull will trash the nbn everywhere outside the North-Shore,
    Egg is not correct, the 97% of scientists are more accurate,
    Lots of back-office, records-work and service stuff is now outsourced to lndia, so is some of the tech stuff, don`t be surprised more things go.

  32. Dianne permalink
    October 13, 2013 1:54 pm

    That’s why I am in retreat

  33. egg permalink
    October 13, 2013 2:19 pm

    ‘I prefer to look back.’

    I prefer to look forward, using the past as a guide. Historians will look back and wonder how sophisticated societies could be hoodwinked into believing CO2 is a pollutant.

    The university structure has to remain in place, the staff are still needed to handle the online students and vet them when they come in to do an exam on quantum physics.

    Do not be afraid of the monk and his merry men, they want to be popular and do what ever it takes to stay in power.

  34. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 13, 2013 2:33 pm

    ugh, disappointing

  35. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 13, 2013 3:00 pm

    shorten wins with 12,000+ vote,s despite albanese getting 18,000+ votes!

    how is it fair?

  36. egg permalink
    October 13, 2013 3:03 pm

    I demand a recount.

  37. October 13, 2013 3:14 pm

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘I prefer to look forward,’ ‘ ‘ ‘
    sorry egg, `looking` requires the eyes to be `open`

  38. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 13, 2013 3:39 pm

    Yes Shorten is hardly likely to take the ALP in a progressive direction. Given the outcome of the membership ballot, he’s also not likely to seek too much more democracy.

  39. Neil of Sydney permalink
    October 13, 2013 3:48 pm

    I was watching ABC 24 and Bowen was wearing a blue tie.

  40. October 13, 2013 3:53 pm

  41. October 13, 2013 3:55 pm

  42. IPA permalink
    October 14, 2013 5:15 pm

    Rev. Lovejoy: Now Homer, feel free to tell us anything. There’s no judgment here.

    Homer: The other day I was so desperate for a beer that I snuck into the football stadium and ate the dirt under the bleachers.

    Rev. Lovejoy: I cast thee out!

  43. egg permalink
    October 14, 2013 6:25 pm

    Extra dry.

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