The scrap pile: porridge

Welcome to the scrap pile! Each week I take a joke I’ve written that for whatever reason hasn’t worked and then try and fix it or at least work out what was wrong.

The joke

We’re getting straight into it this week!

Here’s the joke as I wrote it on Twitter where it did quite well (although well for me on Twitter is anything over 4 likes).

“My Grandad has just got out of jail. ‘Doing porridge’… which I didn’t know was a crime, but it ruined breakfast”

The reaction

This got liked by the Manford’s comedy club account over on Twitter so I wrongly assumed I was on to a winner, got up and said it on stage at a new material night, full of confidence and expecting a round of applause and to maybe be carried out on people’s shoulders, and was rewarded with a wall of silence.

The problem

A couple of things I reckon;

  1. Is the phrase ‘doing porridge’ a well known replacement for jail time? It’s a little anachronistic maybe?
  2. If my Grandad just got out of jail then he’s not doing porridge – he’s done it. Logically there’s an issue there which might prevent audiences following the joke.

The fix

Is there a fix if the issue is that no-one knows the phrase that the joke relies on?

I would change the joke to, “My Grandad has just been sent to prison…” so that there is more logical sense but it hinges on “doing porridge” so if that doesn’t work this joke might be a dud.

I thought about “doing time” but what is he then doing in the punchline?

I think the plan with this one is to try it a couple more times to get an idea of how well audience’s know the phrase and if it’s not working after a couple more tries, it’s a permanent addition to the scrap pile I’m afraid!

That’s this week’s scrap pile – as always if you have any fixes to suggest then do leave a comment and if you would like to see the good jokes that I write (because I promise they exist) then go give me a follow on Facebook or Twitter.



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