15 classic tattyfilarious Ken Dodd jokes

Ken Dodd had a larger than life persona on stage, with outlandish outfits and props which made an instant connection with his audience. However it was his talent for joke writing that kept people laughing for hours at his legendary long shows - and kept loyal fans returning to see him live again and again over many decades. Here are fifteen classic Doddy jokes, which give a flavour of his wit and personality.

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1. Freud said that the essence of the comic was the conservation of psychic energy. But then again, Freud never played second house, Friday night at Glasgow Empire.

2. This morning the BBC sent a car for me. Luckily it missed. 

3. What a beautiful day for dashing down to Trafalgar Square, chucking a bucket of whitewash over the pigeons and saying there you are, how do you like it?

Ken Dodd wearing a smart suit and holding a tickling stick (or feather duster) in each hand, his eyes and mouth wide in a surprised and delighted expression
© Alamy


4. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you! 

5. (On stage in Widnes) I’d only been here two minutes when I fell for this place. There was a big hole in the pavement outside.

6. I told the doctor, every time I bend down I see Mickey Mouse yet every time I stand up I see Donald Duck. So he said how long have you been having these Disney spells?

Ken Dodd holding a ventriloquist's dummy. Both of them have protruding front teeth and wide eyes
© Peter Rogan


7. I wouldn’t part with my teeth. I’m the only one in my family who can eat a tomato through a tennis raquet. 

8. 200 years ago this barmy MP he's sitting along there in Westminster one afternoon he thinks I know I'll invent income tax. So he did. 200 years ago. In those days it was tuppence in the pound. I thought it still was.

9. My little uncle Willie, he works on the docks, he’s what they call a diesel fitter. He goes round the docks looking in all the cases saying “Dees’ll fit her”.

Ken Dodd holding a large red clock face with text 'Happiness' across it
© Peter Rogan


10. This is an educational show. When you go out of here tonight, you’ll say "well that’s taught me a lesson".

11. I wasn't a pretty baby. My father put shutters on my pram.

12. St Georges Hall. Sixteen Corinthian columns, sixty feet high supporting the façade. It started out as a bus shelter, but it just got a bit out of hand. 

Ken Dodd wearing a smart suit with a colourful tie, standing at a microphone stand on stage with his arms outstretched and a smile on his face
© Jeff Morgan/Alamy Live News


13. It’s a posh audience here tonight. There are people in the front row eating chips with their gloves on.

14. Nobody wanted me. My mother had to tie a pork chop round my neck to get the dog to play with me.

15. On Friday morning there was a tap on the door. He’s got a funny sense of humour that plumber.

“You can’t make people laugh. You can only give people laughter. Laughter is inside you… as a comic all you can do is just touch the spring of laughter.” 
Ken Dodd talking on ‘The Michael Parkinson Show’, 1980

Happiness! exhibition

Experience more of Doddy's unique blend of whimsical, physical, surreal and theatrical humour in the Happiness! exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool until 7 July. Featuring memorabilia from Ken Dodd’s personal archive, the exhibition gives a unique glance into the career and prIvate life of a true Liverpool legend.

You can also find one of Doddy's eye catching stage costumes - with a tickling stick of course - on permanent display in the Wondrous Place gallery at the Museum of Liverpool.