Ken Dodds funniest jokes revisited as late comics wife promises unseen gags

Lady Anne Dodd on saving Ken's hand written books

Sir Ken Dodd’s wife has revealed how she couldn’t bear to follow his wishes and burn all the joke-packed notebooks he’d accumulated over his seven decades in showbusiness and is releasing them to the public instead.

Branding them too important to destroy, she is now putting some of the “invaluable” relics on display for the first time.

As she prepares to unleash the very best of his scribblings five years after his death at the age of 90, reflects on some of the comic legend’s funniest jokes.

It wasn’t always about a complicated plotline; in fact some of his most powerful gags were one-liners.

One popular favourite included: “My dad knew I was going to be a comedian. When I was a baby, he said, ‘Is this a joke?'”

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Ken poked fun at the tribulations of family life with in-laws, once quipping: “I haven’t spoken to my mother-in-law for 18 months. I don’t like to interrupt her.”

He continued to give a playful take on the animosity between families when he brought up Honolulu as the perfect holiday destination.

“It’s got everything: sand for the children, sun for the wife, sharks for the wife’s mother…” he teased.

The comedian even found the funny side in his £800,000 tax fraud trial back in 1989 (he was acquitted).

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“I told the Inland Revenue I didn’t owe them a penny because I lived near the seaside,” he chuckled.

“Do I believe in safe sex? Of course I do. I have a handrail around the bed,” Ken joked on another occasion.

His gags even got him in front of the Queen, although he didn’t spare Her Majesty from being included in them, quipping at one Royal Variety Performance: “This audience tonight represents the creme de la creme. That’s French for evaporated milk!”

Ken was also known for his marathon live shows, leading him to rib the audience one time with a cry of: “You think you can get away, but you can’t. I’ll follow you home and I’ll shout jokes through your letterbox!”

As he approached his 80th birthday he declared that age was totally important – “unless you are a cheese”.

Meanwhile, on another occasion, he quizzed: “Did any of us in our wildest dreams ever think we’d live long enough to see the end of the DFS sale?”

Sadly, Ken – who received a glowing endorsement from David Walliams after the fellow performer said he had comedy “flowing through him like water”, lost his battle with a chest infection in 2018.

He will never be forgotten, thanks to Lady Dodd’s new promise to unleash even more unheard gems on the nation from her favourites of up to 1,000 notebooks.

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