When I was in Cuba I got a bus from Viñales to Havana. For some reason the bus company decided to subject us to a DVD of the worst comedian in the world. He is some American cockfarmer who tells lamer antediluvian jokes and does ventriloquism with puppets. At one point he played that "Could you hear us? We could hear you!!!!" gag on some unfortunate member of the audience who had just come back from the toilet. My research suggests that this joke was already old and tired when the following piece of dialogue appeared in Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
CLOWN: Good morrow, sir! Tell me, whilst thou wert away, attending to thy business, wert thou able to hear us engaged in our merriment?
MARGATE: Marry, sirrah, I heard you not.
CLOWN: Well sir, we heard thee right well, and thou in stool.
I gather something similar appears in the third tablet of Gilgamesh.
But back to the worst comedian in the world. His politics seemed as conservative as his humour. Homosexuality was something he kept coming back to, with his homophobic "jokes" having a distinct air of protesting too much. Racial stereotyping was another staple of his craft, with one of his puppets being a hilarious blaxploitation African American and another a Cuban. The latter in particular made me marvel at bus company Viazul's entertainment programming policies.
When the excruciating routine ended I felt a great sense of relief, only to have my hopes dashed by another concert recording of his starting up. The horror. Still, I reckoned I could handle it. But you know how it is when you are in a terrible situation – you slip in to thinking that things cannot possibly get any worse, and then they do. Thus it was on this bus of doom. The worst comedian in the world had been chatting away to one of his puppets about suicide bombers (a perennially fertile subject for comedians), when he said to the audience: "You know, there's been a lot of crazy stuff going on in the Middle East lately. I've often wondered what it would be like to talk to one of those suicide bombers… and now we have the chance! So ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Ahmed The Dead Suicide Bomber!"
Fortunately for everyone I was not wearing a bomb belt.
Other passengers found all this hilarious.
An inuit panda production