Twentieth Century Books

The Bible (the Old Testament) According to Spike Milligan

There’s a joke out there which goes along the lines of:

God said: Come forth and receive eternal life.

But John came fifth and got a toaster…

I’ve no idea as to the origin of that joke, but I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit surprised to discover that Spike Milligan wrote it. Milligan (1918-2002) was the creator of and starred in The Goon Show during the 1950s, alongside Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe, and his brand of comedy influenced Monty Python (Milligan had a cameo role in Life of Brian; he was in the area while they were filming).

The Bible (the Old Testament) According to Spike Milligan is full of such jokes, beginning with:

1.In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth.

2.And darkness was upon the face of the deep; this was due to a malfunction at Lots Road Power Station.

I particularly like the thought of God passing His GCSEs by correctly naming light ‘Day’ and dark ‘Night’.

I should perhaps declare a religious viewpoint, being a cradle-Catholic, and I greatly enjoyed this wonderfully irreverent retelling of the Old Testament. I’m sure there are plenty of thought-provoking sentiments hidden within the jokes, but I just read it for the laughs, I’m afraid. An excellent pick-me-up.

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