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The following men have the best job you could ever dream of. I hate them. I don’t really, I love and admire them immensely. To make people laugh in my own life would be a lifetime dream fulfilled. To get paid for the privilege should be illegal. But as this will never, ever, ever happen, I’m content in letting these amazing people bring laughter into my shy, stage-phobic little life. On a random side-waffle, I have fancied a few of these men at some point over the course of my life. Why? Because I’m weird. Honestly and truly, why? Because a sense of humour is attractive and in my opinion, these men have the best on the planet. Send in the inexplicably cute clowns…


PAUL MERTON

First of all, he’s hugging a dolphin up there. What’s not to like? Second of all, Paul Merton may be the most quick-witted man on the planet. While he had a stand-up career, sketch show and Improv show (still touring today) long before a certain news quiz, he is still at his razor-sharp best sitting on the ‘Have I Got News For You’ panel. Paul is living proof that you needn’t be rude or shocking to be funny…just surreal and off your absolute trolley. If there were a comedic G-spot, he hits it every time without fail. He’s absolutely brilliant and inspired me to want a career in comedy, in whatever form. I WILL meet you one day to thank you (and most certainly make an arse of myself in the process).


BILL BAILEY

I purposefully didn’t make this list chronological, as I love each comedian for their own unique style. However, for argument’s sake, Billus Baileus (real name Mark Bailey) is Numero Uno. The man is a Philosopher, a story-teller, a skilled musician, a carefree Hippy who openly discusses his substance abuse for comic effect and an intelligent bloke with a surreal yet brilliantly accurate take on the world. Move over, Orson fucking Welles! Have you set Daytime soundbites to a post-modern drum beat? Nope, didn’t think so. Skidaddle!

SEAN LOCK

Sean Lock is what I like to call ‘Bill Bailey after-dark’. They’re best friends, they even have similar voices. But whereas Bailey is a ‘hopeful optimist’ in his own words, Sean Lock spins his philosophical yarn in the manner of a world-weary, cynical bastard. And don’t I just love him for it. Without warning, he can go from complaining about the smoking ban to ineffectively killing a Budgie with a teaspoon; From why football fans eat meals in the stadium to why you probably shouldn’t punch a midget. I have cried many laughter tears watching this dude.

LEE EVANS

The UK’s very own Jim Carrey, Lee Evans is not so much stand-up as run up and down the stage until sweat is pouring from you. (He needs to change suits in the middle of every show) Whether warning us about the nutters that roam Tesco’s in the early hours of the morning or impersonating his wife’s beauty habits, Lee’s facial expressions and mannerisms have me laughing until my cheeks do that weird sharp ache disallowing me to smile/breathe for several minutes.

VIC & BOB
I’m appalled and deeply insulted that some people don’t ‘get’ the humour of Vic (Jim Noir) Reeves and Bob Mortimer. (What’s to get?) Along with Paul Merton, these lovely northern lads are the closest thing to my sense of humour: mental, surreal and innocently bonkers. Their sketch show The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer is one of the most consistently funny comedy series I’ve ever witnessed and Shooting Stars is a close second. One particular sequence briefly turned me into an asthmatic. You can’t help but love them. For anyone who bad-mouths the North, I say to them only this: It is home to Vic and Bob (and Rowan Atkinson. And Wallace and Gromit). Here endeth the North/South debate!


Rebecca O’Kane


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