Barry Cryer has sadly passed away at the age of 86 after enjoying a career spanning seven decades.
The much-loved comedian was a long-time panelist on BBC Radio 4’s sorry i have no idea and wrote jokes for a host of legendary British comedians, including Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett and Tommy Cooper.
Cryer also wrote jokes for American comedians Bob Hope and Richard Prior.
To pay tribute to the much-loved comedian I take a look at some of his best quotes and funniest moments.
“Quick: The noise a dyslexic duck makes.”
“I am 59 years old and people call me middle-aged. How many 118-year-old men do you know?
“I met my wife and Ronnie Corbett on the same day. I flipped a coin… and married her.
“A wife is in the bathroom trying on a new dress. She walks out and says to her husband, ‘Does my butt look big in this?’ He’s like, ‘Oh, be fair, love, it’s a pretty small bathroom.
“Picasso was robbed and made a drawing of the robbers. The police arrested a horse and two sardines.”
“Analyzing comedy is like dissecting a frog. Nobody laughs and the frog dies.
Cryer was famous for his jokes about parrots, and the old magazine, where he was a contributor, published what he claimed was his “last” in 2020.
Describes a woman who buys a parrot for just £5.
“Well, I must confess that he grew up in a brothel,” says the shopkeeper. “And, to put it politely, he has quite an extensive vocabulary.”
“It doesn’t matter,” says the woman. “At that price, I’ll take it.”
So he takes the parrot home, puts its cage in the living room, and removes the lid.
“New place, very nice,” says the parrot.
Then the woman’s two daughters enter.
“New place, new girls, very nice,” says the parrot.
Then the woman’s husband walks in and the parrot says, “Oh, hi, Keith!”
In 2016, Cryer and his son Bob published a collection of parrot jokes titled Hercule Parrot’s Cagebook.
Cryer went on to work on numerous BBC and ITV Frost shows over the years, but is best known for his role in sorry i have no idea.
The radio show featured Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, Willie Rushton and Colin Sell and consisted of two teams answering fun questions. Cryer was often portrayed as an alcoholic who was itching to hit the pub.
He also made countless appearances on the BBC One panel show. Would I lie to you? including an episode where his team had to guess who his mystery guest was.
Cryer claimed that the unnamed man was Rhod, the man who drives the H14 bus he loves so much.
“He drives my favorite bus and every time I see him, I’m like, ‘Hey, honey!'” she said.
He then explained how he would shout the words on the bus like ‘it’s his friend’. His team captain, David Mitchell, asked him, “When you plan to get on, at what point do you yell ‘Hey, honey!’?”
Cryer joked: “I am a capricious creature. It may be early, it may be late, it may be when I’m getting going, I want to vary it.”
Mitchell asked if she had also said, “I’m coming in, honey,” to which Cryer replied, “No, no. There is no foreplay.”
In one of Cryer’s classic jokes, he talked about a woman who had an affair while her husband was in Hong Kong.
“There’s a lady in bed with a man she shouldn’t be with, her husband was in Hong Kong,” she told the crowd. “Classic beginning of any joke, the sound of the key in the lock.
“He told the guy, ‘Get out, get in the bathroom!’ and ran to the bathroom. Her husband came into the room obviously unexpectedly early and saw his wife au naturel or deshabillé. He said: ‘What is all this?’
“She said, ‘Welcome home, honey. I’ve missed you. You must have jet lag. Come to bed.’ He said, ‘Oh, that’s beautiful. I’ll go to the restroom.
Cryer also had a rare addition to his long and distinguished resume with a surprise number one hit.
The novelty song Purple People Eater had already become popular after its release in 1958, but a version by Cryer achieved sudden success in the Nordic countries and became number one in Finland.
Additional information from the Press Association.