THERE is an event at the Holmfirth Film Festival in May where someone presents his or her favourite film of all time. But how do you choose?
The Shawshank Redemption might hit the spot for some, while others might claim you cannot beat Citizen Kane. Or how about those two British belters, Kes or Brassed Off?
Choosing any title is subjective. And does a film have to be a “worthy” drama to be judged superior to another? Could Singing In The Rain or Carry On Cleo be considered?
Then the other evening, at that time around a bar when almost anything can seem humorous, Ian posed a different question.
“What’s your favourite joke?” he said. “What’s the funniest joke you’ve ever heard in all the world?”
This is a conundrum that can blank the mind and dry a conversation. And it did, for a moment, as I tried to recall Tommy Cooper classics or a Peter Kay one liner.
“Go on, then,” said Jamie. “What’s your favourite joke?”
And Ian was laughing before he could tell it.
“It’s the clown joke,” he said. “It was sad, really. All the clowns at Billy Smart’s circus were sacked. Luckily they were in the union. So they took action for funfair dismissal.”
That opened the floodgates.
“I heard that Charlie Cairoli took his car back to the garage after a service. He wasn’t happy. The doors wouldn’t fall off.”
“What about the two ships that collided in the middle of the ocean. One was carrying tortoises and the other was carrying terrapins. It was a turtle disaster.”
“That’s nothing, what about the other two ships that collided. One was carrying red paint, and the other blue paint. Both crews ended up being marooned.”
“That’s not funny,” said Jamie, dismissively.
“I’ll tell you what is funny,” said Carl, and he told how he and Ian and Jamie had gone for a day at the races where they had enjoyed a few bets and a few drinks.
On the train coming back, Jamie, perhaps befuddled with the good time he had had, said: “By heck, but the nights are drawing in quick.”
And Carl explained: “Jamie, we’ve just gone into a tunnel.”
(What’s your favourite film or gag? Answers to the usual address.)