Les Dawson’s Joke Book by Tracy and Charlotte Dawson (Michael O’Mara Books)
Les Dawson was a very funny man, a proper old-school comedian who paid his dues on the Northern club circuit and then made it big on ‘70s and ‘80s TV. The Les Dawson Joke Book has been compiled by his wife Tracy and daughter Charlotte, and works as an introduction to Dawson’s humour as well as any DVD or Christmas Special repeat. It's definitely a better place to start that Blankety-Bloody-Blank, truly the dullest game show ever devised, and only made tolerable by Dawson’s deadpan stories and wicked one-liners.
Which brings us back to the book, a collection of fantastically funny quips about his mother-in-law and missus, in particular, and the rest of his family, in general. It’s mostly one-liners, and it makes them even funnier if you adopt a Dawson-esque inflection when reading them. Try it on this one:
“I took my mother-in-law to Madame Tussauds Chamber Of Horrors and one of the attendants said, ‘Keep her moving, sir, we’re stocktaking.”
See what I mean. Irresistible. Obviously released for the Christmas market, it’s a book that’s sure to put plenty of smiles on plenty of faces over the festive season. Probably not meant to be read in one sitting – though I just did – it’s a collection to dip into whenever a little extra cheer is required.