The Art Of Stand Up Comedy

BLOG: 4th December 2019
Don’t mention the War

Relevant workshop section: STRUCTURE.

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!”