15 of Les Dawson’s funniest jokes: A look back at the rubber-faced comedy icon

The Ada Shufflebotham comic is the subject of Gold's latest episode of The Interviews, an autobiographical series about Britain's greatest comedians.

Famed for his mother-in-law gags and curmudgeonly Northern wit, Les Dawson was one of Britain’s biggest and best loved comedy stars of the 1970s and 1980s.

Witty, a wordsmith, a talent pianist and blessed with funny bones, Dawson’s humour masked a tough upbringing that he successfully overcame to become a national treasure.

Gold’s retrospective series The Interviews features the life stories of some of the nation’s greatest ever comedians told through their greatest chat show moments. This week’s episode celebrates the life and career of Dawson.

To mark the occasion, we’ve put together a list of our favourite ever Dawson one liners for your amusement from Les Dawson’s Joke Book.

1. I got home last night, the wife was in the kitchen. I knew she was getting my tea ready – I could hear the fire extinguisher going.

2. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she’s a rotten cook but when I bought her a hi-speed gas stove all I got was my toast burned in half the time.

3. I’ve had some bad news about the wife’s wealthy uncle who’s ill in hospital. He’s recovering. I went to see him last week. I said: “Is there anything I can do for you?” He said: “Only one thing. Take your foot off the oxygen tube.”

4. I call my wife "Treasure". She reminds me of something that’s just been dug up.

5. I was playing piano. Someone shouted: "Get him off!" The manager shouted: "No, he’s ’armless!" I heard somebody say: "That’s what he ought to be."

6. People often ask me: “What’s the difference between a northern audience and a southern audience?” Frankly, as far as I’m concerned there’s no difference – they don’t laugh at me in the south either.

7. My dear wife swallowed a pocket watch/ ‘Twas only the other day/ And now she’s taking Epsom Salts/ To pass the time away.

8. I went to my doctor and asked for something for persistent wind. He gave me a kite.

9. My father drank so heavily, when he blew on the birthday cake he lit the candles.

10. When I was a child, I had wax in my ears. Dad didn’t take me to the doctor, he used me as a night light.

Les Dawson on The Interviews

11. I’m not saying the bride looked a mess but the vicar wore blinkers.

12. The people next door are awful. At three o’clock this morning they were banging on the walls and screaming. Good job I wasn’t trying to sleep — I was playing my drums at the time.

13. I was in a play on the TV once, it was one of those suspense plays. It kept you wondering: what’s on the other channels?

14. I’m so far behind with the mortgage repayments that the arrears are written in Latin.

15. I was in my local pub the other night. I said to the landlord: "This beer is flat, warm and full of sediment". He said: "You’re lucky - you’ve only got a pint. I’ve got a bloody cellar full".

Les Dawson: The Interviews airs on Gold on Wednesday (July 8) at 9pm, BT TV channel 310.

Gold is one of the 25 extra entertainment channels available for BT TV customers.

Photo Credit: Rex Features/UKTV

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