The Art Of Stand Up Comedy


Articles and reviews by Tony Allen

4th December 2019

Don’t mention the War

I’m always looking for good examples of re-worked cliches being used in comedy punchlines especially if the wordplay employs Wit and not Pun. This example from last year was clearly Wit.

Comedy Blog 27th Jun 2018

Don’t mention the War

This afternoon, 2014 World Cup Football champions Germany were knocked out of the Current Cup Two Nil to South Korea. Not regular comedy blog subject matter for me, except for the notable Channel 4, 7 O’Clock News Headline - DON’T MENTION THE VAR referencing the latest goalline technology - VAR:Video Assistant Referee - used to confirm South Korea’s controversial and all important first goal.

DON’T MENTION THE VAR is a very funny joke and from a very unlikely source and doubtless appreciated by most English-speaking football fans also funny because W is pronounced as a V in German. The humour would have been perfect If, instead of South Korea, Germany had been playing England where the phrase “Don’t mention the War” is, in polite English social circles, muttered quietly with a measure of ironic schadenfreude, whenever the polite English meet the Germans - a syndrome memorably satirised in Fawlty Towers (October 1975 Episode 6).

On the football terraces however such petit bourgeois nuance is lost on England fans who, whenever the two National teams meet, brazenly chant in their thousands “Two world wars and one world cup, doo dah!”

1st December 2019

Cliche and Joke Structure

Following a workshop session on Cliche and Joke Structure and the various conversations I had with people after… Here’s an updated excerpt on the subject from my book Attitude - Wanna Make Something Of It?

12th November 2019
Matt Alford, closing time at the Bell

28th October 2019
Ronnie Rigsby Review

Updated review of Ronnie Rigsby originally from my book ATTITUDE.

24th October 2019
The Now Agenda

In Session One of the Workshop at Burdalls Yard on October 3rd I made various references to DYNAMICS and the RELATIONSHIP to the FOURTH WALL. Here are the original texts on the subject from my book ATTITUDE. Probably as concise as I have ever conceived it.

11th March 2019
Wobbie Wobbit: An indisputable one-off - unlikely and wholly unique.

Review of Wobbie Wobbit at Kings, Queens and Rascals.
9th March 2019, The King and Queen, Foley Street, London.