Clement Freud's funniest joke

The Telegraph celebrates the recently departed Clement Freud (writer, grandson of Sigmund, chef, politician, broadcaster) with this clip of the delightful old codger telling "the funniest joke ever told." I laughed aloud -- and I loved his Grimble kids' books, which were weird, subversive and funny in just this way.

Did Clement Freud tell the funniest joke ever told?


  1. i loled
    the delivery is good although it took me a couple tries to get through his slurring

    but the slurring makes it better

  2. Funny, but still not as funny as The Aristocrats

    Give Bob Saget a crack at it. Then ‘pants’ will be ‘eye socket’.

  3. His was a very warm, self-deprecatingly ‘English’ sort of humour.

    And I have to admit, I’d love to have heard his version of ‘The Aristocrats’, because I have no doubt at all that he had one. ;-)

  4. I guess Jhonen Vasquez wasn’t the first one to play off that basic premise. I laughed at his version and I laughed at this (well, smiled with an open mouth- it takes a real gutshot to get me literallly laughing, especially this late at night and online- but it was a genuine smile.) Well-told.

  5. Clement Freud was a Liberal MP, Cook, BOn Viveur and all about good edd.

    He once told a story of leading a trade delegation of British MPs to China in the late 70s.
    When they checked into the hotel he was surprised to find out that a junior member of the delegation had been given the presidential suite, while he had been given a decidedly poky single room.

    He asked at the front desk “I don’t mean to make a Fuss, but it seems that Mr. Winston Churchill (Grandson of WW2 Winston) has been given the presidential suite despite the fact that I am the leader of this delegation”

    The manager explained that it was because Mr. Churchill had such a very famous grandfather.

    Chuckling he replied “Well that is the first time I have ever been out grandfathered”

    His Grandpa was Sigmund Freud.

  6. His Grandpa was Sigmund Freud.

    My favourite Clement/Sigmund Freud story:

    I was taken for a walk by my grandfather, me holding one hand, the leash of his alsatian dog in the other. On that walk we came across a man having an epileptic fit. The man’s hat had fallen from his head and,as he twitched and salivated, people placed money into the hat as a token of sympathy. We walked away, grandfather, the dog and I. Why did you not give him any money, I asked. Grandfather looked at me and said: “He did not do it well enough.”

  7. Call me juvenile, but any joke that has somebody crapping in their pants is good in my book.

  8. Very funny but not as good either as the official funniest joke in the world. Short version:

    Two guys out hunting
    Terrible accident, one badly hurt, not breathing
    Other phones 911/999
    “Terrible accident, think I’ve killed my friend”
    “Calm down sir, first we need to be sure that he’s dead”
    “Uh OK…”
    “Right, he’s definitely dead. Now what?”

  9. @Ageing_Hipster – I remember that joke being declared officially the funniest ever a few years back. I think it’s pretty lame to be honest.

    It’s kind of like Shawshank Redemption being named the best film ever, just because some people in a focus group agreed that they all quite liked it.

  10. Maybe CF’s joke is funnier if you’re a drinker. For me, it rates a snort but not much more than that.

  11. I LOLed.

    And, sweet baby jesus, do we have to turn this into a competition or an opportunity to express how little we were moved? The guy just died and this is a small celebration of a much-loved entertainer and public figure.

  12. I’ve heard Gilbert Gottfried tell this on ‘Dirty Jokes’ – but Freud’s is much much better in it’s delivery.

  13. Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain.

    Doctor says: “Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.”

    Man bursts into tears. Says: “But, doctor…I am Pagliacci!”

    Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.

  14. Geekman, where did you get that from?
    I’m sure that I’ve seen it before, word for word the same.

  15. Going back a few posts to the man who is dying and is shot dead to make sure. Ir is one of the few jokes in the world where the source has been nailed down: it was Spike Milligan on the Goon Show in England. Could have have got it from anywhere else? Pretty nigh impossible as that sort of humor did not exist.

  16. @geekman

    It’s from ‘Watchmen’ by Alan Moore. The character Rorschach tells it at one point in the context of the Comedian’s death. Though I suspect it (or a variant of it) have been around before Moore’s sublime use of it.

  17. I’m still grinning.

    Great joke, great delivery, and a great man. That’ll take some beating.

    I’m still grinning…

  18. I find it a lot easier reading jokes, it just takes me a while when i’m listening to a joke.
    Yet i still laughed coz all i heard was “shat in my pants”

  19. as the saying goes one mans floor is another mans ceiling so humour is a very personal thing as i tell people last christmas i asked my beloved wife what she would like me to give her as a present she replied anything as long as it has a lot of diamonds in it so i bought her a pack of cards…

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