Formerly funny Monty Python star Eric Idle is to open a rehab clinic for ex-comedy stars who have lost the gift of the giggle.
Idle's ability to tease out a titter has deserted him and he has been reduced to rehashing old Python scripts into tired stage shows.
He has bought a small manor house in the Middlesex countryside named 'Wince House' which has been converted into a fully equipped treatment centre for lacklustre laughmakers.
Idle said: 'I looked around our annual Python dinner the other night and I realised how desperately unfunny we have all become.
'John Cleese spends all his waking hours staring into a mirror in his Santa Monica bedsit reciting 'Eric the Half a Bee' in German.
'Dear Micky Palin had fresh croissants and an ironed copy of the Guardian delivered from London when he was making a travel show in outer Mongolia recently and could not even see the irony.
'Then take someone like Lenny Henry. At the London date of his recent tour the only people in the audience were Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders and they spent the whole of the show fighting over a choc-ice.'
The clinic will have 15 beds for stymied snigger sources while chronic cases like Billy Conolly and Ben Elton will be treated in a secure adjoining sanitarium.
Idle hopes eventually to export the concept to help morribund mirth masters in the US.
He added: 'Steve Martin desperately needs help. I found out just yesterday he is trying to remake the 'Wizard of Oz' starring himself as Dorothy and Kelsey Grammer as the Tin Man.'