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David Pibworth | The Blog


A Good Old Fashioned After Dinner Speech

And a very busy week to boot ...



I have a splendid week coming up. I'm off to Ireland today where I have two good corporate days of work and possibly even a chance to have a look around the wonderful city of Belfast ...

I'm looking forward to travelling Belfast and my after dinner speech on Saturday.

I'm looking forward to travelling Belfast and my after dinner speech on Saturday.

copyright: alphaspirit / 123rf stock photo

When I get back, I have to clear the office in Olney as we have a large project coming along utilising our office space in the new year. There are a couple of stage jobs in the offing, and then I must get down to learning my pantomime script.

"I'm playing the role of Abanazer in Alladin in the Isle of Wight from December through to the new year."

And on Saturday night, I have an after dinner speech to make at the Newport Pagnell Young Farmers Dinner and Dance. Now you may think that this is just another gig and in some ways, you'd be right, but it isn't really. It is an opportunity for me to roll out some of my old jokes.

After dinner speaking is an odd thing. A speaker is usually called upon to pass on some profound knowledge to the audience and leave them with a new nugget of information that they didn't know. But not this time. I have a couple of events where I can more or less do what I want, rugby clubs being the other.

The problem with me is that I don't really view myself as someone who has a whole lot of information to pass on. Yes, I know how to direct a comedy production, I know how to act within a fairly narrow comedy field and I can make handkerchiefs disappear when called upon. At heart, I really just want to amuse people rather than teach them, and even when I am teaching magic to kids, I tend to look at the entertainment value rather than the educational value.

But this after dinner speech is different. They'll be a few people I know and many that I don't, but I do know what they want. And what they want is a meal, a number of jokes and then to get on with the drinking and dancing.

"It's not that I'm over confident, as
I never am."

I really look at what I'm going to say and rehearse for hours as my long-suffering wife and daughter will tell you when I pace around the kitchen working on the timing of the same joke over and over. I've been going back over my copious joke books and looking at the old style jokes.

It's not some clever routine where I aim to tell everyone how awful Donald Trump is or how stupid people are to have voted for Brexit, or how marvellous or terrible Jeremy Corbyn is. I take it that people I meet are intelligent enough to have made their decisions either way and it's of little importance.

I don't want to change anyone's views on anything, I just want them to laugh. To that end, I've been pouring over all sorts of old gags and a few new ones that I've either written or stolen. I'm not concerned about stealing jokes, nor indeed if people nick ones that I've come up with. I listen intently to the speakers before me, and the MC, in case they come up with something that I'm going to use and then I just cut that bit out. It does happen occasionally.

So I'm not going to give much away in case you are coming to it but I think my opening will be, "As I stood in front of the mirror today, admiring my naked body, I thought ... I'm going to be thrown out of IKEA shortly" and then ladies and gentlemen, I shall go through the card with a smattering of jokes that I have heard through the years and how they've changed.

"They tell me that joke telling is an art that's being lost."

So I am fighting against that, as I do believe everyone should enjoy jokes. So maybe, just maybe, I am going to teach the audience something, but really, I just want to make them laugh.

If I can work out how to do it, I shall download my script from the show as an attachment next week, and you'll have a load of jokes to pick through.

While some of them undoubtedly need visuals as well, most of them are relatively straightforward, and I'd like others to get as much fun out of them, as I have telling them.

Until next time ...


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More about David Pibworth ...

David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions (DPP) which provide corporate entertainment and also actors for corporate training and development.

Having worked in the Light Entertainment field for many years and produced shows for Al Murray & Joe Pasquale amongst others, David is in a position to advise on well-known comedy and musical acts. DPP also represent Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's scripts which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.

He is the director of MK Theatre of Comedy who are very well known locally for their stage adaptations of classic comedy scripts such as Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, Allo Allo and many others.

He is a long-standing member of Equity and the Directors Guild of Great Britain and has acted in, and directed, many productions over the years, mainly in Light Entertainment, but with occasional forays into Shakespeare etc. Every Christmas he is contracted as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, currently with 'That's Entertainment' who also use him as a director.

He teaches eccentric magic for The Pauline Quirke Academy and MKTOC also run a youth drama school in Olney from the DPP offices.

David maintains his busy lifestyle is a surefire way to avoid being on any committees. He is married to Julie, and they have one daughter, Esther and live in Clifton Reynes, surrounded by dogs, cats and horses. They live so close to the church that David has instructed his daughter - when he dies and not before - to fire him over the wall from a circus cannon.