The check-up

Comedians’ autobiographies are not always edifying, but Arthur Smith’s memoir My name is Daphne Fairfax is a lovely warm and thoughtful book—not least for his account of his father.

But that’s not important right now“. One of Arfur’s favourite jokes is widely told:

A man goes to a doctor for his annual check-up.

The doctor says: “Well, I’m afraid you’re going to have to stop masturbating.”

“Oh no,” says the man. “Why?”

“Because,” says the doctor, “I’m trying to examine you.”

This is another instance of what is known (ironically, in this case) as the “pull back and reveal”, where you (zzz) describe something and then reveal that the situation is not what people would expect. Stewart Lee gives it a typically thorough going-over (How I escaped my certain fate, p.196–7).

3 thoughts on “The check-up

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