Lucy Vickery

Comic effect

In Competition No. 2980 you were invited to submit an extract from a politician’s speech ghostwritten by a well-known comedian.
At the 1990 Tory party conference in Bournemouth, Margaret Thatcher famously appropriated Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch to mock the Liberal Democrats’ new flying bird logo. But although Mrs T. gamely went along with her speechwriters’ suggestion to include the gag, it has since been revealed that a) she hadn’t actually heard of Monty Python and b) she didn’t entirely get the joke. ‘This Monty Python,’ she asked. ‘Are you sure he’s one of us?’
The most popular ghostwriter–comedian by a long way was Frankie Howerd (the lone Python voice in the entry was Graham Chapman’s). And while he was joined by a host of old-school stars of light entertainment — Tommy Cooper, Eric Morecambe and Ken Dodd — contemporary comics were few and far between.
Paul Carpenter’s imagining of Theresa May channelling Peter Cook’s E.L. Wisty was good, and commendations also go to Alan Millard, Anne du Croz and Josh Ekroy. But leading the pack, in what was a testing week, are the five printed below, whose entries earn them £30 each. Sylvia Fairley takes the bonus fiver.

Ooh no, I shan’t flaunt it, won’t raise it in public … (madam, please! Settle down, now…) Where was I? Oh, yes, I’m to be the unofficial adviser to The Donald — no, really! Lovely man, Donald, he wanted me as ambassador, but Theresa said no. Nice lady, I’m sure, but she can be nasty when she wants. Says I’m not up to it — nay, titter ye not, ladies and gentlemen, mock not the afflicted. No, please! He knows what I’ve done to the UK … oh yes, they all love me over there … so, what with one thing and another — mostly the other — Donald’s realised he needs my help to make America great again! Adviser to the president elect — will this change me? Not on your Nellie! Nay, nay and thrice nay, it won’t make me proud and stiff … (please, madam, we don’t sink that low, not outside the White House…)
Sylvia Fairley/Frankie Howerd
Terrible dream last night.

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