Barry Cryer, who has died at the age of 86, established himself as a writer on the TV show The Two Ronnies, and he also worked with other British comedy stars such as Tommy Cooper, Sir Billy Connolly, Kenny Everett, Dave Allen and Les Dawson. He received an OBE in 2001 and in 2018 received a lifetime achievement award for his acting career from the British Music Hall Society.
He famously had 'a gag for every occasion'. Here are some of OGN's favourites...
First, Barry Cryer's wife's favourite joke: A man says to his doctor "I think my wife is going deaf, but I don't want to mention it as it'll be tactless and insensitive. Is there any way I can gauge it, preferably without her knowing?" The doctor replies: "There is, it's quite easy, choose a moment when she has her back to you, say something in a normal voice and if she doesn't answer, move a little nearer and say it again and you'll get an idea about her hearing."
So when he comes home from work, his wife is standing with her back to him in the kitchen. He says "What's for dinner love?" but gets no answer. He moves in a little closer "What's for dinner love?" again, no response, and moves in again "What's for dinner love?" - nothing.
By now he's right behind her, he says again "What's for dinner love?" She turns round and says "For the fourth time - chicken!!"
A man owns a parrot that can't stop swearing. So he says to him, 'If you don't stop swearing, I'll put you in the fridge.' The parrot keeps on swearing. So he puts it in the fridge. Five minutes later, he takes the parrot out of the fridge, and says to it, 'Are you going to stop swearing?' 'Yes,' says the parrot. 'But what did that chicken do?'
This, he said, was his 'ultimate' parrot joke: It's about a woman buying a parrot for just £5. “Well, I have to admit, he was raised in a brothel,” says the shopkeeper. “And, to put it politely, he has quite an extensive vocabulary.” “It’s okay,” the woman said. “At this price, I’ll take it.” So she brings the parrot home, puts its cage in the living room and removes the lid. “New place – very nice,” said the parrot. Then the woman’s two daughters enter. “New place, new girls – very nice,” said the parrot. Then the woman’s husband comes in and the parrot says, “Oh hello, Keith!”
A man and his wife are out walking one day when they spot a lone fellow on the other side of the road. “That looks like the Archbishop of Canterbury over there,” says the woman. “Go and see if it is.” The husband crosses the road and asks the man if he is indeed the Archbishop of Canterbury. “F--- off,” says the man. The husband crosses back to his wife, who asks, “What did he say? Is he the Archbishop of Canterbury?” “He told me to f--- off,” says the husband.
“Oh no,” replies the wife, “Now we’ll never know.”
There's an old man walking along the street at two in the morning. He's stumbling a bit and holding a glass. So the police stop him and ask him where he's going. 'To a lecture.' 'At two in the morning?' asks the policeman. 'What's the lecture on?' 'Smoking and drinking,' the old man says. 'Who's giving it?' 'My wife.'
An 82 year old man goes to his doctor. 'I want a complete physical examination. I'm about to get married,' says the old man. 'How old are you?' the doctor asks. 'I'm 82 and she's 24. I want a complete examination to make sure everything's working properly,' says the old man.
The Doctor said, '24! Well, I'll do the examination. But it might be better if you also got a young lodger. You know, company for your wife.' 'Yes, yes, what a good idea,' says the old man.
The doctor meets him again a few months later. 'Did you get married?' asks the doctor. 'How's your young bride?' 'She's pregnant,' says the old man proudly. 'And, erm, how's the lodger?' says the doctor nervously. 'She's pregnant, too,' says the old man.
“A wife is in the bathroom trying on a new dress. She comes out and says to her husband: ‘Does my bum look big in this?’ He says: ‘Oh be fair, love, it’s quite a small bathroom’.”
A man goes into a pub and says to the landlord: 'If you give me free drinks all night, I will entertain your customers so much they will stay all night and buy lots and lots of drinks.'
'Oh yes,' says the landlord. 'How are you going to do that?'
The man gets a hamster out of his pocket and puts it on the piano. The hamster runs up and down the keyboard playing the greatest piano music anyone had ever heard. 'That's incredible!' says the landlord. 'Have you got anything else?'
The man gets a parrot out of his other pocket and puts it on the bar. The hamster begins to play the piano again and the parrot sings along - sounding just like Pavarotti. Everyone in the bar is amazed and they stay all night drinking and listening to the hamster and parrot.
The landlord is delighted. 'I must have these animals. Will you sell them to me?' he asks. The man shakes his head: no.
'Will you sell just one then?' asks the bartender. 'OK, I'll sell you the parrot for £100,' the man says. The landlord is delighted and hands over the money. Another man standing next to the man who owned the hamster says: 'You're a bit stupid selling that clever parrot for only £100.' 'No I'm not,' the man replies. 'The hamster is a ventriloquist'.
Some of his best one-liners:
"Quick - the noise made by a dyslexic duck."
"Analysing comedy is like dissecting a frog. Nobody laughs and the frog dies."
"Hashtag, party game where you chase each other for drugs."