Coffin up for smokers

Comic's hearse protest at fag ban

Stand-up Liam Mullone is protesting at England’s new smoking ban – by converting a hearse into a mobile smoking room.

The comic is offering to drive any smokers around London on Monday in his 1985 Pullman hearse, allowing them to light up en route.

He says he’s doing it to take a stand against the ‘draconian measures adopted by a sanctimonious nanny State’ – even though he’s a non-smoker himself.

The ban, which comes into force on Sunday, extends to every place of work, including taxis and minicabs, but Mullone is circumventing that by ferrying his passengers for free.

He said: ‘Nobody should have to smoke in discomfort. My hearse has comfy seats, a TV, a DVD player, a state-of-the-art sound system and a big Thermos of tea.

‘If anyone is planning a fag break, all they have to do is visit my website, arrange a time and I’ll be round with the hearse. We’ll go round the block – or to a newsagent for some fags – and be right back. All smokers will leave my hearse refreshed and relaxed.

‘I’m doing this to make a last stand against the extremists and safety fascists who are sucking the soul out of Britain, and to show that, if we pull together, we can circumvent this Pernicious law.

‘It prevents smoking in public places and company vehicles, but there’s nothing wrong with letting your friends light up in your own car. If you’re thinking along the same lines as me, then you’re a friend, and I’d like you to spark up in my hearse.

‘I don’t actually smoke myself. But now that doing so is such an act of rebellion I think I’ll start on July 1.’

Smokers can order the hearse for short journeys via Mullone’s MySpace page – on which he likens the ban to the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

‘Smokers. The new Jews? Well, yes,’ he wrote. ‘We've been reviled for years. They wanted done with us for decades but now the groundswell of intolerance towards this harmless and well-meaning group…has become strong enough to initiate Operation Smokefree. The final solution to the smoking problem.’

Mullone knows a thing or two about death, as he once dug graves for a living and is now an obituary writer at The Times.

He previously took a stand against the anti-smoking lobby by running a comedy night in Kentish Town, North London where smoking was compulsory. ‘Russell Brand headlined, clutching a shisha smoking pipe,’ he said. ‘It was all very civilised and everyone who attended is still very much alive.’

Published: 29 Jun 2007

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.