Remembering Tommy Cooper
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.
1 • I’m on a whisky diet . . . last week I lost three days!
2 • 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.’
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!’
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.
16 • I bought some pork chops and told the butcher to make them lean. He said, ‘Which way?’
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
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.
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.