Have you heard the one about a bunch of schoolchildren making a joke of Stormont?
It's not often you hear roars of laughter coming from the Senate Chamber at Parliament Buildings. But thanks to the witty jokes of youngsters from primary and post-primary schools across Northern Ireland, MLAs were left chuckling instead of taking part in heated debates yesterday.
Education Minister John O’Dowd was among the MLAs left laughing at the 2012 Voice Box Awards final which saw the children come up with their own joke and deliver it with perfect comic timing.
The awards were held by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists as part of the UK Giving Voice campaign.
Finalists were selected to attend the joke-telling event held in front of fellow pupils, teachers, parents, MLAs and speech therapists — and hosted by Assembly Speaker William Hay.
He said: “As an institution in which speaking and communication play a huge part, I have been very keen that the Assembly should provide a platform to highlight the speech and language difficulties many people may face.”
Mr O'Dowd enjoyed the fun and even cracked a classroom-based joke. He said: “The Voice Box Awards encourage children and young people to overcome any communication difficulties they experience and helps instil confidence.”
His joke was: “A teacher asked her pupils what was the shortest month of the year. One boy said May. The teacher wondered where she had gone wrong and asked the boy to explain himself. He replied May — there's only three letters so it's the shortest month of the year.”
Conor Heavron (7), who attends Woodlands Language Unit in Londonderry, told the winning joke to lift the 2012 crown and an iPad 2.
The best MLA’s joke came from Basil McCrea with: “Why did the bacon laugh? Because the egg cracked a yolk.”
Conor Heavron (winner) :
“Do you know I had a really funny day yesterday — I went into my sister's room and you wouldn't believe who was there. Lady Gaga. I tried to wake her by poking her face. Next I went downstairs and there was all these biscuits flying about. Mum said they were little plain ones. Even when I got to school, the teacher told me to stand at the end of the line. I tried but there was someone already there. That's a cracker, it's the way I tell them!”
Ethan Faulkner (10) from Brookfield Primary School won the primary schools’ category:
“Knock Knock. Who's there? Aardvark. Aardvark who? Aardvark a hundred miles for one of your smiles!”
Terry McCann (14) from Our Lady and St Patrick’s college topped the post-primary category:
“What did one eye say to the other? Between you and me, something smells!”
Sarah McCandless (11) from Banbridge Academy:
“What do you call a man with a rabbit in his pants? Warren.”
Arwen Crawford (9) from Acorn Integrated Primary school:
“What do you call cheese that's not yours? Nacho cheese!”
Savannah Craig (12) from Downshire Secondary:
“Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants? In case he got a hole in one.”
Sean Stewart (7) from Thornfield House:
“Why did the jelly bean go to school? Because he wanted to be a Smartie!”
Rebecca Irwin (15) from Killard House School:
“Why did the sand scream? Because the sea weed!”
Faith Hargan (6) from St Colum’s Primary School:
“Why do cows wear a bell? Because their horns don't work!”
Eden Haycock (9) from Strandtown Primary School:
“What did the spider do on the computer? Made a website!”
Teri Joy Best (13) from Beechlawn School:
“Why did the lion not swallow the clown? Because he tasted funny!”
Dylan Watson (14), also from Beechlawn School:
“The English teacher said: “Give me a sentence with the word politics in it”. The pupil replied: “My parrot swallowed my alarm clock and now Polly ticks.”
Josh Canavan (9) from Crawfordsburn Primary School:
“Two old men are flying in an aeroplane. One says to the other: “If we turn upside down will we fall out?” The other replied: “No we won't, we've been friends for years.”
Maxwell Phoenix (10) from Ballymoney Model Primary:
“What do you get if you cross a rabbit with scallions? Bunions!”
Alana McCreesh (10) from Our Lady's Primary School:
“Johnny the farmer’s son was heading to the market with a crate of chickens his father had entrusted to him, when all off a sudden the box fell and broke open. Chickens scurried off in all different directions. But Johnny, being very determined, walked all over the neighbourhood scooping up wayward birds and returning them to the repaired crate.
Hoping he had found them all, he returned home expecting the worst.
“Father the chickens got loose,” Johnny confessed sadly. “But I managed to find all twelve of them.” The farmer smiled and said “You did real good johnny, because you left with only seven!”
Victoria Murphy (15) from Killard House:
“Knock knock. Who's there?
Thermos be a better knock knock joke than this!”
Guy Critchon (8) from Downpatrick Primary School:
“What big cat do you not want to play cards with? A cheetah!”
Sarah Wilson (13) from Victoria College said:
“I was in the park the other day and I was just thinking ‘how come frisbees get bigger the closer they get to you?’ And then it hit me!”
Sarah Devine (9) from St Joseph's Primary School:
“Why is a classroom like an old car? Because it's full of nuts and has a crank up front.”
SDLP MLA Mark Durkan said:
“I was out at Halloween and I saw a guy in a cool costume, but he had a girl wrapped around his neck. So I went up to him and I said: what are you supposed to be? And he replied “I'm a turtle.”
I said “Who's that wrapped around your neck.”
He said: “Oh that's Michelle.”
UUP MLA Sandra Overend said:
“My three children told me this morning ‘don't tell them the joke about the peanut butter, it'll only spread’”.
UUP MLA Michael Copeland said:
“What do you call an alligator in a vest?
UUP leader Mike Nesbitt joked:
“A man went to the doctor and said “Doctor, doctor I feel like a cowboy.”
The doctor asked him how long he had felt like this.
The man replied “oh about a yeee-haw.”