316. British Comedy: Tim Vine (Part 2)

Listen to Luke explain the rest of Tim Vine’s stand up routine from the video “One Night Stand”. Learn some natural phrases and bridge the linguistic and cultural gap between you and native speakers of English. Click here to listen to part 1 of this episode. Watch the video below.

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British Comedy: Tim Vine (part 2)
In episode 313 I played you part of a ten minute stand up routine by Tim Vine, who is a much loved British stand up comedian who specialises in telling one liners – those are very short jokes which usually involve some kind of word-play.
I played you 3 minutes of Tim’s routine.
I expect you didn’t get all the jokes.
I explained them all for you.
I expect you still didn’t find them all funny because explaining a joke often kills the humour of the joke.
BUT at least you learned a lot of language in the process.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s difficult to understand jokes in another language. You might go to a comedy show or watch it on TV and everyone else laughs but you’re the only one who has no clue what’s going on. This is because there’s a linguistic and cultural gap between you and everyone else who gets the jokes. Maybe it’s hard for you to hear exactly what’s been said as the lines of a joke are usually delivered quickly and with naturalistic speech patterns. Also, there’s the general cultural difference, which includes certain reference points but also the general mindset of British humour, like the fact that we enjoy laughing at ourselves, and we also enjoy the ironic fun of self-consciously bad jokes. I’m interested in closing that linguistic and cultural gap. The result, I hope, will be that you’ll learn some key bits of language and culture, and you’ll be a few steps closer to understanding natural British English like a native speaker.

In episode 313 I promised that I’d play you all of Tim Vine’s routine and explain it all. In fact, I only managed to get through 3 minutes in that episode. You might be wondering – what about the rest of Tim Vine’s routine? I want to understand that too! Well, that’s what I’m going to do now. In fact, I had one Japanese listener in particular who was very keen to hear me explain the rest of the routine. I’m sorry – I can’t remember your name or how you got in contact with me – it could have been an email, a FB message, a comment on the website, a tweet or some other way. I can’t keep up with the different ways people contact me sometimes – so if you don’t get a reply, I’m very sorry. My email address and other inboxes are often completely swamped by different notifications and messages. I do read everything, but then I don’t always get the chance to immediately respond, and then the message just gets forgotten about. So, I’m sorry if you have contacted me and I haven’t replied.

Anyway, this particular listener was quite desperate to understand the rest of Tim Vine’s routine, so here we go.

Bear in mind that there are some visual jokes in the routine and you’ll have to watch the video to really get them. I’ll explain it all for you step by step in just a moment. This routine is about 10 minutes in total. We’ll start by listening to the first 3 minutes again, which should work as a reminder of what you heard before. Then I’ll let you listen to the next 3 minutes, then I’ll pause it and explain everything before letting you hear the rest of the routine with my explanations.

OK? Got it? OK, let’s go. And remember, if you don’t understand anything at all – just hang in there because all will be explained in the fullness of time.

Let’s go. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome onto the stage again, the one and only, Mr Tim Vine – let’s hear it for Tim Vine everybody! Take it away Tim!!!

Full video: Tim Vine – One Night Stand

  • pio

    Hi Luke, what thas it mean: “It’s not the cough that’ll carry you off It’s the coffin they’ll carry you off in”? I can’t find any explenation. Cheers!

    • They’re talking about what will kill you or bring you to the grave, in a jokey way.
      “Carry you off” = kill you or carry you to the grave.
      Coffin = the box you’re buried in.
      The rest of it rhymes.

      • pio

        Blimey, you are very fast. Or maybe quick? Could you make an episode about……..hmm I don’t know how to call it – diferences between two or more word like – borrow/lend, discover/invent, require/demand, match/suit, mug/rob/steal, monkey/ape, travel/tour/trip/journey, scream/shout, treat/cure, rent/hire/let out, last/take, pain/ache, etc…. :)

      • Good idea!
        Any other word pairs that you can think of – write them here and I’ll add them to the list.

      • pio

        Ok, to pain/ache you can add sore, to mug/rob – thief/mugger/robber, say/tell/speak/tell, check/control, remind/remember, lose/waste, come/go (this is a problem), drive/ride, +voyage, +heal, mark/stain, raise/pick up/lift, study/learn, studetn/pupil, sick/ill, capable/able, woods/forest, send/dispatch, fatal/lethal, dependent/reliant, target/goal/aim, beware/mind, evidence/proof, common/ordinary/usual, choice/option, photo/image/picture, gather/collect, topic/theme/subject, annoyed/irritated, sincere/honest/frank, skill/ability/qualification… :)

      • pio

        and one example more opportunity/possibility/chance :)

  • Zdenek Lukas

    I enjoyed this one a lot because you were full of beans in it Luke. I noticed whenever you struggle with explaining something, you make this desperate farting sound, which is really hilarious.
    By the same token, I got a bit depressed, though because I’d realized that I’m still far from English proficiency. The linguistic and cultural gap are coming in to play. I wouldn’t mind a bit of gaming with them but I am a bit short of patience. The fact that I didn’t get most of the jokes without you dissecting the frog, really got me down.
    Anyway, always nice to hear you on fire like that.

  • Eri Taguchi

    Thank you very much continue explaining Tim Vine’s joke.
    I think I am the Japanese who wanted you to do this part and posted on this website.
    I have not fihnish listening all of it however, very happy and try to get things which you say.

    I want to be enjoy those comedy very much.
    So what I will do is… continiue listening your podcast!!!
    I am waiting your new episodes very much and also enjoy previous programmes!!!

    It is going to be a cold winter.
    Take care!!!

    • Eri Taguchi

      Hi Luke.
      I finishied listening this episode in this morning, on the way to my work.
      (I will send photos!!)
      And just now checked Tim Vine’s show again.
      Ofcause, I could not understand all, and did not feel all jokes funny as you said befoer.
      However much more easy to see the video befoer and thought some jokes very funny.
      Loved the second waiting song and following jokes, discuss one, disturbing one, CV, and wind chime.
      If there were big body movements or some items, then jokes would be understandable, I felt.

      And I reall feel I also watch and enjoy you and Paul makeing people laugh on stage through internet!!!
      Why don’ t you do same kind of episode on your podcast!!!