Say what...?

The comedy year in quotes

"It sounds like attention-seeking behaviour to me."

Paul Whitehouse, on the death of Spike Milligan


"Nobody wants me. All the work has dried up, and the phone has stopped."
Harry Enfield in the wilderness - even before Celeb


 "The unhealthy look has won me quite a few nice parts - drug addicts and drug dealers. And losers and weirdos."

Mackenzie Crook, aka Gareth in The Office


"The first duty of the comedian is to cause offence."
Labour peer Lord Dessai, calling for more jokes about ethnic minorities.


"I won the Perrier, I didn't want it. And I was in Phoenix Nights which I'm not particularly proud of."

Daniel Kitson enjoying every moment of a successful year


"Watching television is worse than not being able to see."
Eric Skyes, saying his blindness has its plus side - no TV



Ali G gets Sara Cox's Radio 1 breakfast show into hot water with the watchdogs


"He agreed to make a number of statements that, by his own acknowledgement, he did not understand, without making any checks about the organisation or probing in any depth on some of the bizarre statements he was being asked to make."
Watchdogs unequivocably throw out complaints by newsreader Nicholas Owen that he was set up by Chris Morris on Brass Eye


"Frankly, it has been some time coming. But let's not get into all that, as it will impinge my humility."

John Cleese, accepting a comedy award at the Banff TV festival


"Fucking hell, I'm being heckled by Pakis now. Why don't you go back to your curry house"
Stan Boardman's diplomatic put-down - at racially sensitive Leeds Utd.


"Barry Took, the Lanky Look"

The variety billing of a young Took, who died this year


"Best comedy act I have ever seen at the Fringe."
Bogus Chortle review Geoff Boyz used to promote his Edinburgh show.


"I'm the ideal role model."

Bernard Manning, deluded as ever


"There are these three niggers..."
Bernard 'role model' Manning starts one of his loveable quips.


"I don't know any comedians who are happy inside."

Jack Dee, cheery as ever


"You're really quite attractive, Anne. In a Mr Burns from The Simpsons kind of way."
Matt Blaize flirts with Anne Robinson in a Weakest Link special for new comics


"I can't think of anything worse than being a stand-up comedian. Travelling around constantly, having people be drunk and talk during the show."

Steve Martin, handing out careers advice



"It's always been my dream to play a third-full London Palladium to people who came to watch a dying man."
An underwhelmed Daniel Kitson at a benefit gig - about an hour before headliner Jerry Lewis collapsed offstage


"Certain things are sacrosanct. Some things you can't joke about. I would never make a joke about Her Majesty The Queen."

Jerry Lewis, doling out advice Kitson clearly doen't follow


"Fuck the Muslims"
Joan Rivers does her piece for cultural understanding


"I sincerely wish the show well in the future and look forward to watching - from behind the sofa."

Angus Deayton on being axed from Have I Got News For You


"If I could hand out prizes for sheer lack of imagination, two-thirds of the acts at the Fringe would be winners"
Perrier judge Fiona Sturges, loving her job at the Edinbugh Festival.


"An unattractive young man with indistinct speaking voice and extremely unfortunate appearance"

How the BBC rejected Tommy Cooper, according to a new documentary


"This could be a dreadful, dreadful mistake."
A Tory MP reacting to news Jim Davidson had been invited to address their conference.


"Better than The Office."

Steve Coogan's unbiased view of the return of Alan Partridge


"I can't believe it's all gone. It's 17 years work up in smoke."
Karen Koren, as her Gilded Balloon venue is destroyed by Edinburgh's inferno



Jim Bowen's comment to a black woman that cost him his job on BBC Radio Lancashire


"Countryside: The killing of Piers Morgan."
Stephen Fry coins a new definition during the 30th anniversary recording of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue

Published: 30 Dec 2002

Live comedy picks

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