The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Friday, November 13, 2009

the ten funniest things in the world

1. In the Woody Allen film Love And Death, Woody is a Russian war hero around the time of Napoleon's invasion of 1812. He and his aged aunt are at the opera in Moscow. Sitting in a booth directly across the theatre from them is a beautiful Russian girl. Woody asks his aunt who it is. His Aunt replies: "That is the Countess Alexandrovna. She takes lovers." Woody leans forward eagerly and asks: "Really? She takes uppers?" His aunt says: "No, she takes lovers." Woody says: "Oh that. And who's the Laughing Boy sitting beside her?" His aunt says: "That's the Count Libednikov. He's killed ten men in duels for her honour." Woody shrugs and says resignedly: "Oh, I suppose I'll just watch the opera." Later during intermission he meets the Countess in the foyer. The Countess says: "Who is this handsome soldier." Woody says: "I am Boris Boriseyovich." The Countess says: "All Moscow is talking about your heroism." Count Libednikov now puts in: "I have heard his heroism was somewhat... inadvertent." Woody rejoins with: "Why, if a man said that to me, I'd kill him where he stood." The Count Libednikov snarls: "I am a man." Woody says: "Well I mean a much shorter man." Also Woody Allen's films Bananas and Sleeper.

2. When the Americans liberated Iraq from the Saddam Hussein family murderocracy, a writer called Mark Steyn decided to go see what the situation was like for himself. He drove around Anbar province unescorted. In his book America Alone he recalls deciding not to bother trying to dress like the natives. He describes all heads turning as he walked into a restaurant in Fallujah. He writes: "I was wearing the latest suit from the Western Imperialist Aggressor range at Brooks Brothers."

3. Top Secret. The whole film.

4. Dark Star. Nearly the whole film. The bit where the guy argues with a talking bomb trying to persuade it not to explode. The bit where a ridiculous looking but deadly alien traps one of the guys in the lift shaft, and the guy is hanging from the bottom of the lift while it goes up and down to the music from Figaro. The bit where the guys in the space ship are freaking out to music when an asteroid storm nearly destroys their ship.

5. The Good The Bad And The Ugly. The bit where Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach find a note left for them by the really evil Lee Van Cleef. Elic Wallach is trying to read the note. He says: "See you later, iddi, iddi, iddi..." He can't read the last word. Clint takes the note and reads: "See you later idiots." Then he hands the note back to Eli Wallach with the comment: "It's for you."

6. A drunk Bingo Little making the presentations at a school awards ceremony in one of the Jeeves and Wooster books by PG Wodehouse. The set piece scene in another PG Wodehouse book where Bertie Wooster and his cousins run a gambling scam on which Vicar will have the longest sermon.

7. In the television sitcom Fawlty Towers, the bit with Basil Fawlty saying to a confidence trickster who has been passing himself off at the hotel as a member of the aristocracy: "How are you then Lord Mellbury, me old mucker. How are you then? I'm sorry, we've just heard the Duke of Buckleigh is dead. Yes, terribly tragic. He was killed by a golf ball." Two real aristocrats enter and Fawlty says: "Ah Sir Richard and Lady Morris, any valuables to deposit? Any bricks?" Then as Lord Mellbury realises the game is up and tries to flee, Fawlty shouts: "You baaasssstaaarddd." Also, the film starring Fawlty entitled Monty Python And The Holy Grail. I never rated the Monty Python comedy team. But this film has two scenes of sublime comedy. Where the knights have to cross a bridge guarded by a troll who demands they each solve a riddle before crossing. And the scene where they encounter an horrific monster who turns out to be a rabbit but no less horrific for that. The guy playing the king does an amazing almost Shakespearian job. Fawlty maintains that the king was drunk for the whole film.

8. One from real life. Me and the brother who would one day be Doctor Barn at an up market restaurant in Galway when we were still teenagers. Doctor Barn said to the waitress: "What are Oranges In Cointreau?" Before she could answer I said: "Oranges In Cointreau is when a bunch of oranges with machine guns burst into the room and shout: Nobody move, the oranges are in cointreau." As the waitress took our orders I said: "I'll have the Dover Sole Bonne Femme. You can bring me the Dover Sole here and have the Bonne Femme sent to my room." Ah, I was hilarious in those days.

9. Some episodes of Southpark. The depressingly objectionable Southpark still occasionally produces moments of elevated comic genius. There was an episode where the kids were hired as junior detectives by the police force ("The mayor will have my ass, blah, blah, blah"), an episode where aliens visited the earth ("You guys I am not being controlled by aliens"), one satirising election recounts featuring Rosie O'Donnell along with a Terminator from the future ("I am starting to feel compashun"), a legendary episode poking fun at Nine Eleven conspiracy theorists (where Kyle asks the Hardy Boys "So who was behind Nine Eleven," and Stan interjects "Some pissed off Muslims," and the Hardy Boys say "Yeah, what are you, retarded?"), and a classic two parter featuring the Muslim attempts to intimidate the world when some Danish cartoons featured pictures of Mohammed, and bringing in the Fox channel, Family Guy ("If you say my sense of humour is like Family Guy so help me, I'll kill you where you stand") and the best ever chase scene in screen history with Cartman and Kyle on tricycles pursuing each other along the freeway.

10. Another real lifer. My older brother advising me about women in the dim and distant days of youth: "There are three secrets to women. Firstly, they all want it; Secondly, no means yes; Thirdly, whatever you do, never ever mention sex." You know gentle voyagers of the internet, it's advice like this that has ensured for many years, I remain very much a man alone.


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