I can remember as a young child watching with family members, Mr. Manning on TV telling his jokes. There would always be a silence that I could never understand. There were even cases where I would laugh but I learnt later, much to my own embarrassment that the jokes were based on me, and many other people like me! I thought there was something wrong as he was popular and enjoyed by millions of people. Why couldn’t I see the funny side of Me? Then I realised there wasn’t anything wrong after all I was able to enjoy comedians like Tommy Cooper, Morecombe and Wise, The Goodies etc. So a sense of humour did exist!!
But I thought jokes, humour was meant to be shared and to involve as well include, but Manning’s (and to a certain extent Jim Davidson) humour succeeded in excluding and offending sections of the community.
Did Mr. Manning expect that I should be able to identify with his humour? That he should see no reason why I shouldn’t ‘take it as a joke’? I always felt that underneath all those jokes was his contempt and disdain for minorities and disabled people; and the fact that he was from a Jewish background, makes me wonder if, by picking on the black community, it was a way of divesting himself of his own inadequacies and inferiority complex.