From Wikipedia: A double entendre is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Typically one of the interpretations is rather obvious whereas the other is more subtle. The more subtle of the interpretations is sometimes sexually suggestive. It may also convey a message that would be socially awkward, or even offensive, to state directly.
Phil: So there we were enjoying a quick bite to eat before the Tim Brooke-Taylor show. I had posh bangers’n’mash, Candice, the pulled pork medallions. She enthused about the meal and offered me a little bit of medallion to try. In return, I asked if she wanted a little bit of sausage. “Only my husband is allowed to ask me that” was the reply.
The short radio segment of TBT’s show covered a lot of ground. He grew up when broadcast media were fiercely policed and any hint of rudeness excised from scripts by BBC censors terrified of corrupting the nations morals. Thus, if you wanted to be rude and funny, you needed to be careful and hide the smut in more innocent language. So popular did this become that shows such as Round the Horne were full of double meanings – precisely why the audience loved them so much.
In film we had the Carry On series where no potentially smutty pun was left unmined, but in oh so gentle a way. At least until the world became more liberal, the audience wanted things straight and all this double meaning stuff seemed so old-fashioned.
I wonder if we’ve lost something?
The best joke of the evening, and the one that made my friend roar with laughter, came from the radio show I’m sorry, I haven’t a Clue. It concerns the exploits of the the scorer, Samantha, a regular source of stories told by the quizmaster. It seems that she went to the local butchers and was offered beef in gravy, but she prefers his tongue in cider.
I think I might go away and stuff some more subtle smut in our masterpiece…