Will and Guy's Humour In History
Will and Guy are convinced that humour, laughter and jokes have been with us since the beginning of human life on earth, and we would like to share some jokes with you that have an historical background.
Aristotle felt that laughter was a distinctive trait of humanity and one that distinguished humans from the animals.
Did you know that the eighth Duke of Devonshire, known to his friends as "Harty Tarty", was told off by Queen Victoria for picking his nose at dinner. A poor shot, he once killed a pheasant and his gun-dog and wounded two bystanders [one of whom was his chef] with a single cartridge.
Baldulf, the medieval soothsayer, prophesied to the king that his favourite mistress would soon die. Sure enough, the woman died a short time later. The king was outraged at the soothsayer, certain that his prophecy had brought about the woman's death. He summoned Baldulf and commanded him, 'Tell me when you will die!'
Baldulf realized that the king was planning to execute him straightaway, no matter what answer he gave. 'I do not know when I will die,' he cleverly answered finally. 'I only know that whenever I do die, you will die two days later.'
Our Top Ten Hilarious, Funny, Witty and Short Jokes from History
The Philgelos or "Laughter-lover" is probably the oldest compilation of jokes in existence; it contains some 265 jokes. It is said that the famous Monty Python Parrot sketch has its origins in a joke told in the Philogelos.
- Why were the early days of history called the dark ages? Because there were so many knights.
- It appears that shortest war on record was between Zanzibar and Britain in 1896. Zanzibar [now part of Tanzania] surrendered after 38 minutes.
- What kind of lighting did Noah use for the ark? Floodlights and Ark lights
- Which English King invented the fireplace? Alfred the Grate.
- How was the Roman Empire cut in half? With a pair of Caesars.
- I'm desperately trying to establish why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.
- Last words from a general in the American Civil War, 'Nonsense.
They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist……………'
- Asked by the court barber how he wanted his hair cut, the king replied, 'In silence.' [From the Philogelos]
- What's the difference between Joan of Arc and a canoe? One is Maid of Orleans and the other is made of wood. [The Victorians enjoyed jokes like this one]
- Wishing to teach his donkey not to eat, a pedant did not offer him any food. When the donkey died of hunger, he said, 'I've had a great loss. Just when he had learned not to eat, he died.' - Dated to the *Philogelos 4th Century CE]