We’ve all met them: at school, work, at the pub. The person whose humour lends itself to going a little too far.
They’re funny at first, they’re funny for quite some time, but then it becomes tiresome.
The slightly uncomfortable quip, the prank that now annoys instead of entertains. Ultimately the joker becomes the joke.
Step forward Boris Johnson, who has claimed that war-torn Sirte, is set to become a new Dubai when all the dead bodies have been cleared away.
Johnson told a fringe meeting at the Tory conference: ‘There’s a group of UK business people, wonderful guys who want to invest in Sirte, on the coast, near where Gaddafi was actually captured and executed as some of you may have seen.
‘And they literally have a brilliant vision to turn Sirte, with the help of the municipality of Sirte, to turn it into the next Dubai.
‘The only thing they’ve got to do is clear the dead bodies away and then they’ll be there.’
Suspend the moral judgement for a nanosecond; it isn’t even funny.
And if Johnson isn’t funny, what’s the point in him?
Johnson has forever sold himself as the serious court jester; like Yorick in Hamlet, Johnson knows that being funny is a serious business.
When it works it places him above normal politicians; everyone knows Johnson.
Further, it gives him an edge on the populace; whatever he says or does that might be below the belt, it can all be forgiven when he gets stuck on a zip wire across the Thames.
The man may think scousers need to grow up a bit, something that would cost a normal politician their job, but here it’s ‘just Boris.’
But with time, responsibility and an increasingly stale act, the refuge that was once found in his persona is running thin.
Strip away what we know of BoJo, the man who allegedly runs the Foreign Office has said a region devastated by ISIS need simply remove a few dead bodies before it can reach its full tourism potential.
It’s crass, it’s out of touch, it’s morally revealing and above all, it’s not funny.
If Johnson isn’t funny then there’s no point to Johnson.
As Hamlet said: ‘Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?’
There not there anymore Johnson, it’s time to exit.