Dave Allen, the Irish comedian famous for his relaxed joke-telling style with cigarette in hand and whiskey tumbler at his side, has died in his sleep. He was 68.
His agent Vivienne Clore confirmed that he had died at home unexpectedly. He had been unwell over Christmas but had recovered, and was not suffering from any life-threatening illnesses.
"Now it seems there was this English soldier that went to Ireland for a vacation because he knew he could get the best whiskey there. (Dave takes a sip from his glass and smiles at the audience from over its rim ... ) Well ... after having had "quite" a night of pubbing he found himself wandering along the side of an Irish road at a very early hour of the morning.
Coming up the road was an Irish farmer on his way to market. In his wagon was his prize pig and pulling the load was his best horse. When the Irishman saw the soldier he thought, "Poor soldier. Out this early in the morning walkin' alone. I should offer him a ride." So, he pulled up next to the soldier and asked if he wanted a ride into town.
Now the English soldier wasn't too sure about accepting a ride from an Irishman, especially when he saw, sitting on the floorboards, the farmer's rifle. But the farmer insisted and the soldier was quite drunk (Dave takes another sip from his glass and smiles, sweetly, from over its rim ... )
When the soldier was in the wagon the farmer realized he was running late and coaxed his horse to go faster. Just at that moment a wild rabbit ran across the road and scared the horse. He broke into a mad gallop and no matter how hard the farmer tired to stop him, he would not slow down!
Then, suddendly, the horse made a sharp turn and the wagon tipped over and everyone fell out. The soldier landed in a ditch, face down, and couldn't move. He knew he'd broken at least one arm and a leg. He was feeling dizzy and thought he might even have sustained a concussion. He had trouble seeing from one eye and knew it was bleeding.
From behind him he could hear the farmer moaning over what had happened. "Oh, my poor pig! You've got a nasty cut in your side. I'd best be puttin' you out of your misery." And the soldier heard the farmer fire his rifle into the pig. Then, the farmer saw his horse. "Oh, my poor, poor horse! You've broken a leg. I best be puttin' you out of your misery." And the soldier heard the farmer fire his rifle, again, into his horse. Then he heard the farmer coming closer to him. The farmer turned the soldier over and said, "oh, you poor soldier ... how are you?" The soldier said, quickly, "I never felt better in my life!"
One of the funniest, most acerbic comics ever, amd my Dad's favourite. He'll be sadly missed.