A furious row has broken out over the whereabouts of the thinnest material in the known universe. ‘It’s in the final series of the geriatric TV sitcom ‘Last of the Summer Wine’’ a Southampton University professor of gags insisted.
But a lecturer in punchlines at East Anglia maintained the accolade definitely belonged to every programme in the series,’ My Family.’
The argument became international when an academic from the American Comedy College made a strong case for the US Matt Le Blanc vehicle ‘Joey’. ‘Material don’t get much thinner than that,’ he drawled.
But a PhD student at the Liverpool Institute of Stand Up begged to differ. ‘You guys are stuck in the past,’ he said. ‘Contemporary research proves beyond doubt the thinnest material by far is in the second series of ‘Miranda’.’
The debate would have raged on without a timely intervention from June Whitehead, the Visiting Professor of Funny Writing at Oxford, who urged her fellow academics to look to radio for the answer:
‘I think we can all agree, Nicolas Parsons’ script on ‘Just A Minute’ beats the others into a cocked hat,’ she said. ‘His jokes aren’t just thin, they’re completely invisible to the naked eye.’