14 July 2014
‘We are not amused’ is a famous, nay infamous, quote attributed to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. What elicited this retort has not been exactly recorded, but it was probably said after the Queen heard a particularly poor joke, I’d wager. I imagine that the hopeless gag-teller was subsequently hung, for Her Majesty did not suffer fools gladly. A useless comic could, quite literally, die on stage at the royal court.
To avoid a similar fate yourself, here are some genuine Victorian japes and jokes for you to enjoy, sourced from some of the finest mirth-masters of the age, with which you can become quite the jester for any royalty you may meet in your day-to-day routine. Should you hail from the lower orders, then you can use them to have them rolling in the aisles at your next dinner party, wedding or court hearing. Let the chuckles commence!
1. What is the difference between Joan of Arc and a canoe? One is Maid of Orleans, the other is made of wood!
2. Some one crossing a bridge asked Theodore Hook who built the bridge. He replied: “I cannot tell, but if you go over you’ll be tolled!”
3. A man said that port taken in large quantities made him fat. His friend answered : “I once saw it make you lean – against a lamp-post!”
4. “See here, wait, I’ve found a button in my salad.” “That’s all right, sir, it’s part of the dressing!”
5. Who is the greatest chicken-killer in Shakespeare? Macbeth, because he did murder most foul!
6. If all the seas were dried up, what would Neptune say? I really haven’t got a notion!
7. Why is the devil riding a mouse like one and the same thing? Because it is synonymous!
8. What is worse than raining cats and dogs? Hailing omnibuses!
9. Why is a married man like fire? Because he provokes his wife by going out at night!
10. “Mary,” said the mistress sternly, “never let me catch you kissing the policeman again.”
“Lor, mum, I hope not!” replied Mary, “But you do bob up so!”
11. What is the difference between a tube and a foolish Dutchman? One is a hollow cylinder and the other a silly Hollander!
12. Why do we generally dub a city ‘her’ or ‘she’?
Because about a city there is so much bustle and because she has outskirts.
13. Mistress: Why, Mary, this figure of Venus is covered with dust.”
Mistress: “Didn’t I tell you to brush it off?”
Mistress: “And why didn’t you?”
Maid (Blushingly): “Because, mem, I thought it needed something on it.”
14. Why is a woman like the telegraph?
Because she is always in advance of the mail intelligence.
15. Why is an aristocratic seminary for young ladies like a flower garden?
Because it is as place of haughty culture.
And a Half: Why is the Queen like a hat?
The reason why the last joke in only half finished is because I should like YOU, my fair readers, to complete the quip! Give me your best punchlines and I shall have the funniest/weirdest/most arousing drawn up as a terribly mirthful, scurrilous and quite possibly treasonous cartoon and presented to the winner as a SPECIAL PRIZE!
So put on your thinking caps and your pondering trousers, and let me see your punchiest punchlines! Submit them either in the comment box below, or send them via electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can also reach me ‘pon the Twittering Device or at the Book of Many Faces.
The closing date shall be the First of August. Good luck, and may the wittiest wit win!
- Lord Likely.
Jokes sources: Everybody’s Book of Jokes’, Saxon & Co, 1889.