Frankie Howerd on the General Election

Written by Erskin Quint

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

image for Frankie Howerd on the General Election
We can't go wrong. David Cameron, yesterday.

Good evening,

Ooh no, don't. Don't laugh. Oh no. What a week I've had. What a week, Missus. Have you had a week? I bet you have. No, don't titter. Don't mock the afflicted.

Oh but what a week it's been. Yes. No. Ooh. Hang on while I make some adjustments. I'm still breaking in these trousers you see. Don't mock. I shall have to knock through at this rate. No. Don't laugh. Yes, you Missus. Careful. You know what it's like. You can't hold it in for ever, can you dear? You've felt the need, haven't you? Felt the need. Yes. You know what it's like when you have to expand into new premises.

No don't laugh. Stop it. Yes. No. What a week I've had. And it's only Wednesday. We want you to do a talk, they said. A lecture. A commentary. Well, I started to perspire, I must say. I was sat in the bath when the call came. It was my agent. Shut your face, you. He was on the phone. I always keep the phone close at hand. You never know when you might get the call.

Yes. No. What a week. Yes. You never know when the call might come. You could be doing anything. It was my agent. I thought he was crying at first, but he said he'd been peeling an onion. He's a strange man, my agent. Funny man. He's got what they call a dual personality. Well, it's company I suppose.

"They want you to do a lecture", he said. Well, I was dripping with sweat. "Current affairs", he said. "Satire". "I'm sitting up as far as I can" I said. You see, here they come. They're coming thick and fast now.

No. Yes. Don't. You'd have thought they'd have put the lights on. I bet they haven't paid the bill. Takes me back, all this fumbling in the dark. I don't know where to put meself. I bet it takes you back, Missus, eh? Laughing in the dark, not knowing which way to turn next.

"Current affairs" he said. Well, I was dripping. It's all very intellectual, isn't it, all this lecturing. Very avant-garde. "What about Ned Sherrin?" I asked. "He's busy doing 'The Great British Bake-Off'" he said. No. Stop it. Shut yer faces.

"What can I talk about?" I asked him. "Contemporary events", he said. "Politics".

Well, what a week. Politics. Ooh. I'll have to knock through. I'm going to do meself a mischief. Yes, Missus, a mischief. You know. I can tell. Don't suffer in silence. Wriggle, dear.

Politics, he said. The General Election's coming up. You can talk about that.

"What?" I said. "What?" I retorted. Yes, Missus, I retorted. In the bath. Stop it. Is nothing sacred? Can a man not retort in his own bath now? I blame all this social media. What is it, Facebook? Facebook, yes. No.

Facebook. Do you need one for every face? How many Facebooks would Noel Edmonds need, do you think? He's a strange man, he gets older but his beard doesn't. He'd need a few Facebooks. He's very multi-faceted. Him and Claudia Winkelman.

Not to mention James Corden. He's a funny man. James Corden. Strange man. He can't relax, can he, have you noticed, he's always thinking. "How am I getting away with this?" No. Yes. Here they come. Satire. This is the stuff. Stuff, Missus, yes. Don't.

Politics, he said. David Cameron and Ed Miliband. No. Yes. Ah. What a thought. David Cameron and Ed Miliband. There I was, sitting in lukewarm bathwater, thinking about David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

How'd you like to share lukewarm bathwater with David Cameron and Ed Miliband, dear? I suppose it's no worse than Lord Boothby, Cliff Richard and Jeremy Thorpe, is it? Sharing a bath with them? Don't laugh. Shut yer faces. The riff-raff we get in here.

Well, I was sat in the bath, yes. No. Thinking, "what can I say about Lord Boothby, Cliff Richard and Jeremy Thorpe? What could anybody possibly say about them. Nobody would be interested. Especially in cold bathwater."

So I read this Conservative Manifesto. No. Stop it. Not in the bath, of course. It would get limp. Lose its power. Stop it. Shut yer faces.

Anyway. No. Ah. Conservative Manifesto, yes. It had a picture of David Cameron, Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill on the front. No. Yes. Not just the one, of course. No. Three different pictures. And Margaret Thatcher was on her own for a change. There was no General Pinochet, or Jimmy Savile, or anybody else there. It must have been a quiet day. Denis would be at the pub. And her son. Knight of the Realm. Gun runner. No. Yes. Here they come. This is it. Satire.

But no. Ah. Yes. Conservative Manifesto. I read it in the kitchen, among the potato peelings and the pickled eggs. It was very good. Oh no. Yes. Very good. I couldn't understand a word, but it was very good. Everything is very good. Oh yes. No. Very good, it was, everything. They can't go wrong, oh no.

Ah. Ooh. I wish I hadn't had these trousers starched. No. don't. Very good, it was. Sorted everything out, they have. Sorted everything out, oh yes.

No. Yes. Ah. I have to say. They say their sums don't add up, but I'm not having that. That's not fair. Not that their sums don't add up. No. How can they say that? There weren't any sums in there. No. Yes. They're coming thick and fast now.

It was all the fault of the other people, you see. Gladstone, Harold Wilson, Gordon Brown, that lot. You can't trust the common man with the purse strings. Just look at my agent. He's very good with money.

Can't trust the common man with the Nation's purse strings, oh no. Give it back to the rich man. That's the way. The poor are always with us, as my Uncle said when his whelk stall went bankrupt. No. yes.

Ah. Yes. No. Now we've got George Osborne we can't go wrong. You only have to look at him, eh, Missus. No don't. Don't mock.

George Osborne. No. Yes. George Osborne. Can't go wrong. He's got a very tall head, hasn't he? He must be a clever man. Head that size. All that space. Must be clever. There can't be nothing in there, can there, Missus? Eh? Can't be nothing.

Nature abhors a vacuum, as Quentin Crisp used to say when they asked why his flat was so filthy. Yes. Here it is. Satire. They're coming thick and fast now.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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