Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour

There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection IS the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted.

Michael McIntyre (December 21 1976-)

“Posh hotels have a turn-down service. I had never heard of this and there was a knock at the door and a woman said, ‘I’ve come to turn down your bed.’ To which I said, ‘Well many women have in the past. Why should you be any different?’”

Tommy Cooper (1921-1984)

‘Two cannibals were eating a clown – one said to the other, ‘Does he taste funny to you?’

WC Fields (1880-1946)

‘I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That’s the one thing I’m so indebted to her for.’

Bill Murray (September 21 1950-)

‘A few decades ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don’t let Kevin Bacon die.’

Benny Hill (1924-1992)

‘Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.’

Bob Monkhouse (1928-2003)

‘When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did – in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.’

Ronnie Barker (1929-2005)

‘A man walks into a chemist’s and says, “Can I have a bar of soap, please?” The chemist says, “Do you want it scented?” And the man says, “No, I’ll take it with me now”.’

Eric Morecambe (1926-1984)

‘I always take my wife morning tea in my pajamas, but is she grateful? . . . No, she says she’d rather have it in a cup.’

Max Miller (1894-1963)

I said to my father: “Dad, I want to get married.”

He said: “Alright son, who do you want to marry?”

I said: “I’d like to marry Miss Green”.

He said: “You can’t”.

I said: “Why not?”

He said: “She’s your half-sister. When I was a lad I had a bike and I got around a bit.”

I said: “Alright, I’ll marry Miss White.”

He said: “You can’t, she’s your half-sister. Forget about it.”

Well, I was a bit despondent and I walked around and my mum said to me: “What’s wrong with you?”

I said: “Well, I said to Dad I wanted to marry Miss Green and he said I couldn’t because she’s my half-sister. I said, “All right, I’ll marry Miss White.” He said: ‘You can’t, she’s your half-sister.”

She said: “Look, you go and marry which one you like. He’s not your father anyway!”

Alexei Sayle (August 7 1952-)

‘I met my wife in Hong Kong. I said, what the bloody hell are you doing here?’

Billy Crystal (March 14 1948-)

‘Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.’

Josie Long (April 17, 1982-)

“When I was a kid, I asked my mum what a couple was and she said, ‘Oh, two or three’. And she wonders why her marriage didn’t work out.”

Marcus Brigstocke (8 May 1973-)

“If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.”