Number 398 in our Shakespeare’s Funniest countdown is a rare gem, a passage from one of his lesser-known works, Ductus Boucher, where he laments the austerity of the Duke of Burgundy’s pantry. If this doesn’t have you rolling on the floor, then none of his jokes will!
Oh but to shuck the heathen flans!
That, bereft of laiteuse topping, do flaccid appear on thy noble plate
To break thy fast, auspicious maiden
Laid bare of squirty playfulness, in morning’s bleak gaze
Cake-like creatures do frost’d berries crave
But for Jos’ph Tradeur I would be only knave!
Today’s standup comics take note: this humor is timeless and matchless–a superlative iambic pentameter–we should all learn from the immaculate phrasing and timing of our talented forebear!