The Top Ten Purveyors of Embarrassing And Offensive Public Jokes
SIR Bradley Wiggins has apologised after cracking an unfortunate joke at the Firecracker Ball in aid of Barnado’s.
Wiggo had donated a signed shirt and when his face appeared on the giant screen he turned to auctioneer Jon Hammond, and said: “You’ve got a posh voice, I like posh voices. Suck me off.”
Sir Bradley’s representatives say he had been enjoying ‘banter’ but that can’t stop us including him in our totally subjective Top Ten Purveyors of Embarrassing and/or Offensive Public Gags.
Causing offence comes as naturally as breathing to Gervais, and he breathed freely as host of the Golden globes, managing to upset all and sundry, with some of his targets sitting in the audience.
He defended himself against various accusations, including ageism: I said “Congratulations to Hugh Hefner, who’s getting married at the age of 84 to 24-year-old beauty Crystal Harris. When she was asked why she was marrying him she said, ‘Because he lied about his age. He told me he was 94.’ Ageist? I don’t think so. I was suggesting that maybe the romance was based on something other than love.”
Reginald D Hunter
This year’s Professional Footballers’ Association awards dinner was thrown into hand-wringing chaos when the black American comedian used the word ‘nigger’ repeatedly throughout his routine.
“There were anti-Jewish jokes, there were anti-women jokes, there were anti-Irish jokes, there was the repeat use of the ‘N’ word.’ said PFA Deputy Chief executive Bobby Barnes. “If you were looking for a scenario of absolutely everything we wouldn’t want on the night, I think you had a montage there. This went so far over the boundary, it was totally unacceptable on every level, quite honestly.”
Chairman Clarke Carlisle described the choice of Hunter as a “gross error of judgement” and “embarrassing”.
Immediately after England’s victory over Poland, which saw them qualify for next year’s World Cup, the team’s mild-mannered manager found himself in hot water after a leak from within the England dressing room suggested that he had caused offence by telling an ill-judged joke about an astronaut and a monkey in order to illustrate his tactical instructions. These instructions were to give the ball to Andros Townsend at every opportunity – or, in the words of the joke’s punch-line, ‘feed the monkey’. The resultant ‘race row’ fizzled out when Townsend tweeted: “No offence was meant and none was taken. It’s not even newsworthy!”
Australians were probably less than surprised when the partner of their then Prime Minister Julia Gillard raised eyebrows during a speech to the West Indies cricket team. Not for nothing was he known as the ‘First Bloke’.
“My comments last night were trying to raise awareness about prostate cancer and the need for men to have regular checks and the importance of early detection,” said a contrite Tim afterwards. “It was meant as a joke and on reflection I accept it was in poor taste. I apologise for any offence caused.”
Little needs to be said about the camp comic’s notorious appearance at the 1993 British Comedy Awards, alongside – for some strange reason –Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont.
Earlier this year UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom – famous for his “Bongo-Bongo Land” remark –dismissed as “a joke” his description of a female audience as a room “full of sluts”. He made the comments while addressing a ‘Women in Politics’ event at the party’s conference.
The leaking of details of British National Party members in 2009 gave Brand an open goal for her routine Hammersmith Apollo which was broadcast on the BBC: “Let’s start with some important political news. Did you hear this, right, that BNP members and supporters have had their names and addresses published on the internet, hurrah! Now we know who to send the poo to!”
Cue official complaint to the police from the BNP. Police discussed the matter with the show’s producer but took no further action.
More embarrassing for Brand was her inadvertently offensive remark during a benefit concert at a West End theatre where the Sooty show was in residence. As compere for the evening, she was waiting in one of the distant dressing rooms while a friend of the manager’s did a few songs onstage before the show. He finished slightly earlier than planned, meaning Brand (who hadn’t met him) had to run to the stage to introduce the comedy.
“I’m so sorry I’m out of breath,” she wheezed. “I’ve had to run up from the dressing room miles away ‘cos that fucking Sooty’s got the best dressing room.”
Cue tumbleweed. Later it was explained to Brand that the audience thought she was referring to the black singer who had just left the stage a moment before.
In 1995 Manning was secretly filmed by Granada’s World In Action programme making offensive remarks about a black detective at a police charity dinner in Manchester. The film provoked widespread outrage and was condemned by prime minister John Major.
This was probably his most notorious moment, although it was really just one of thousands of equally charged incidents that went unreported.
Unlike Jeremy Hardy and Linda Smith, Manning never made clever satirical points about the royal family. He preferred to insult them instead. At a recent charity dinner, he approached a friend of the late Queen Mother and said: “One corgi turns to another and says, ‘Thank fuck the Queen Mum’s dead, now we won’t be blamed for the smell of piss.’” Throughout his performance people left in disgust.
Bernard was no hypocrite and he wouldn’t have complained. He often spoke ill of the dead, and never more pointedly than when Roy ‘Record Breakers’ Castle passed away. (“No-one had heard of him till he got cancer. The doctors told him he had six months to live; he said, I’ll do it in four!”) Right to the end he was still accepting cigarettes with a cheery “F*ck Roy Castle!”
With Manning gone, Jerry is now the guv’nor. Forget third-rate imitators like Frankie Boyle, who he describes as his ‘tribute act’: nothing can beat the impact of jokes like the one with which he opened his show at the height of the 1980s ‘right-on’ comedy scene.
Apparently as a bet with fellow comedian Nick revel, Sadowitz walked on stage and said: “Nelson Mandela,what a c*nt. [Pause.] Terry Waite, f*cking bastard. [Pause.] I dunno, you lend some people a fiver, you never see them again.”
Like Manning, he was too shocking for television, and he remains so to this day, as audiences at his recent shows can testify.