Veteran British stand-up comedian (real name Robert Davis) who has been performing since the 1970s. He is also a folk singer and incorporates this into his act, both conventional comic songs and also Visual Pun or Literal Minded gags such as (strums guitar) "#Unforgettable..." (trails off with confused, searching look)
His comedy is focused on observational humour and he is particularly adept at weaving a story and carrying the audience along with him. A native of Birmingham and sporting a Brummie accent, some of his earlier routines were about the trials of supporting the not very successful football team, Birmingham FC. He was also the first and best-remembered host of Commercial Breakdown, The BBC's programme about amusing and unusual adverts from overseas (ironically, The BBC itself doesn't carry advertising). He has starred alongside Robert "Jesus Christ" Powell in The Detectives and Meera Syal and Nina Wadia of Goodness Gracious Me in the multicultural sitcom All About Me.
Although a successful comic, he made his fortune through his production company Celador (supposedly named for what many non-English speakers consider to be the most incongruously beautiful sound in English, 'cellar door') which has seen such prominent successes as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. He retired from stand-up in 2004 after a series of performances in Birmingham going through his best material of the past, but since then has popped up as the host of the Game Show Golden Balls. His daughter, Lucy, also broke into acting with the part of Dawn in The Office.
- Apathetic Citizens: Implied with the people of Northern Ireland about The Troubles when he did a show there, such as a security guard at a hotel the IRA recently bombed telling Carrott "I couldn't do your job, not with all that stress!", or when Carrott asks the event organiser whether it's okay to mention "Semtex" in a joke or it would be bad taste, to which the man is appalled and says "You can't say Semtex!...it's a brand name!"
- Arch Enemy: Has pursued a vendetta with The Sun newspaper for years due to them printing absurdly inaccurate stories about him such as "Jasper Carrott Allergic To Food".
"It just goes to show - when God perfected the Sun journalist, he then started on the amoeba!"
- More recently butted heads with David Hasselhoff. "Hey! I'm David Hasselhoff! Nice to work with you! Here's my signed photo!"
- Ass Shove: It's implied he did this to a fellow runner in the London Marathon who tried to spend the entire 26 miles playing "When the Saints Go Marching In" on a trombone.
"After about six miles, he hit 'the wall' a lot harder than he expected!"
- Later after noting about how the Marathon was formerly sponsored by Nestlé and they gave each runner a chocolate bar, but is now incongruously sponsored by Flora and they give them a tub of margarine...
"Anyway, we gave all ours to the trombone bloke, to help him get it out".
- Bait and Switch Comparison: Used as the punchline for a routine mocking astrology, after he comes up with pairs of completely dissimilar celebrities who share the same birthday and would therefore have the same horoscope. He ends on:
- Bald of Awesome
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Not the French, but a similar joke; in his routine about he and his mate Derek trying to travel across Europe on a moped in the early Sixties, he mentions that Derek (lacking a crash helmet) was wearing a German Army helmet his dad had brought back from the war, and when they got lost in a town in Belgium "the mayor surrendered to us!"
- The Comically Serious: In The Jasper Carrott Trial, the QC (played by Robert Cordery) is one. When Jasper tries to explain comedy to him with the example of the classic joke about a dog with no nose:
QC: You would cut off a dog's nose, its most sensitive organ, just to get a laugh?
Carrott: ...I'd bite its bollocks off if I thought it'd get a laugh!
- Dead TV Remote Gag: Talks about how people will push harder and harder on the button as though there's more chance of the signal coming out, will walk right up to the TV and hold the remote against the infrared sensor while hammering on the button...when they could just use the controls on the set.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: His impression of the Archbishop of Canterbury, stemming from him having a I Coulda Been a Contender attitude towards the Pope and trying to put a similar fear of God into the Anglican congregation, but also trying to be more liberal, and seesawing between the two:
Carrott (as Archbishop: You will not be allowed to divorce! You will not be allowed to divorce! Are you listening? Well...not more than two or three times, anyway! And there will no more adultery! Definitely no more adultery! Well...not in public! And anyone who does commit adultery in public will have a plague of boils visited upon them! Well...not boils, no...er...dandruff! Yes! Anyone who commits adultery in public will have very bad dandruff! So bad that even Head & Shoulders won't get rid of it!
- Don't Explain the Joke: Sometimes does this, usually as though explaining it to someone in the front row of the audience who's slow on the uptake.
- Double Standard: The subject of one his jokes. If a woman looks over her neighbour's fence and sees a man sun-bathing naked he'll be arrested for indecent exposure, but if a man looks over his neighbour's fence and sees a woman sun-bathing naked he'll be arrested for being a Peeping Tom.
- Also he has a routine about how teenagers and grandparents are exactly the same ("neither of them have got a job, they're both on drugs...") but you treat them differently.
- Driver of a Black Cab: While talking about unexpected people he found running the London Marathon:
"Loads of London cabbies. I didn't know they could walk, never mind run. You could tell 'em easily, they were the ones turning around and going "Ere, 'ow you doing, mate?" It took 'em all ages, 'cause they went via Bristol."
- Europeans Are Kinky: He and his mate Derek believed this in the early Sixties and attempted to get to Sweden on a moped. Failing that, they ended up in Hamburg.
- Eurovision Song Contest: When Birmingham hosted it in 1997, he complained about the lack of native-born presenters:
Carrott: Ulrika Jonsson and Terry Wogan. A Swede and a Spud. (Points to self) There was no bloody Carrott, was there?
- Everything Is Even Worse With Sharks: In his 'holiday in Bali' routine, he got secret scuba diving lessons and attended a session where they feed sharks under water, leading to this trope.
- Excuse Question: Mocked.
"Call in at £60 a minute and answer this question to win a fridge magnet! What is the capital of Britain - is it A, London, or B, 1948?" "Errrrm...I'm gonna phone in twice, make sure I get it!"
- Face Palm: Does the "forehead slap" version in response to stupidity.
- Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: In his 2004 "24 Carrott Gold" show, he mentions how Birmingham FC have destroyed much of his act by recently improving their performance to the point that they're no longer synonymous with failure.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: There's a routine where Carrott is mistaken for one.
Somebody rang my agent and said, "Do Jasper Carrott want to play at Scunthorpe Baths?"
Well, he's no fool. He said, "Um... they might."
- Having a Gay Old Time: One of his routines is about the fact that Durex is a brand of condoms in the UK, but a brand of sticky tape in Australia.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis had their own segment on Canned Carrott years before they (especially Dennis) became mainstay TV comedy actors and pundits.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: He has a set in which he fires off endless euphemisms for sex, breasts and penis before concluding with the punchline "and those are the things you can say on television!"
- Ignore the Disability: More "Ignore the Scandal", but he had a routine about Bill Clinton coming to Birmingham for the G8 summit (in the midst of the Lewinsky scandal) with Birmingham Council turning into this. First they put Clinton up at The Swallow Hotel, and then they realise that on the road from the airport to said hotel is a hairdresser's called Monica's...they pay the owner to rename it, only for the new name to be "Cut and Blow"...
- Kavorka Man: After discussing polls in women's magazines rating the perfect man (which had the top two characteristics as 'good sense of humour' and 'pert bottom'); "So where does Pavarotti fit into this? He pulls women like you can't believe, but he's not exactly a laugh a minute, is he? As for 'pert bottom' it starts at his neck..."
- Last Second Word Addition: In his Bali routine, talking about his scuba diving lessons and how each trainee is assigned a buddy:
Carrot: So I got paired with this Swedish blonde... (audience oohs) ...bloke, called Erik.
- Literal Minded: A common source of his jokes.
- "They put up this bloke's picture on Crimewatch UK with a phone number and said 'Have you seen this man?' Well my auntie rang them up and said 'No'."
- Logic Bomb: Reacts like this to his grandmother's comment "Is the oldest man in the world still alive?"
- (At a seance) "Is there anybody there? Knock Once For Yes, Twice For No!"
- Masochist's Meal: The "Magmaloo" curry he was introduced to by some Geordies:
"It comes in a bowl made of shuttle re-entry tiles...it comes with a side dish of Savlon...I put my spoon in, and it didn't come out!"
(When talking about people who name their children after themselves) "Take Ian Paisley. Sorry, `TAAAKE! IYAAAAN! PAAAAAAIRSLEYY!` His full name is Ian Kyle Paisley. He's got two sons, one's called Ian, the other's called...Kyle. Now what does that tell you about him that we didn't already know?
- One-Hit Wonder: He had a surprise hit in 1975 with "Funky Moped", which he often references.
- Opposing Sports Team: He presents Manchester United as this.
- Real Life Relative: In his recent one-off show The One...Jasper Carrott, his real life daughter plays his character's daughter in a sketch.
- Separated by a Common Language: One of his routines is about how "Durex" is a brand of condoms in the UK but a brand of sticky tape in Australia, and "rubber" means condom in the US but eraser in the UK.
Carrott (in an American stationer): Can I have a rubber, please?
American: ...Just one?
Carrott: I don't make that many mistakes.
- Supergroup: In The One...Jasper Carrott, he plays with "The Old Farts", including Rick Wakeman of Yes and Bev Bevan of ELO as well as Carrott himself.
- Sweet Home Midlands: A lot of his routines involve his home city of Birmingham.
- This Is Gonna Suck: When he ran the London Marathon (having signed up to it while drunk):
"At the front are all the professional runners, and then all the club runners, and then all the people who can run. And I'm at the back. With all these people dressed as ostriches. I'm wearing a body bag, to save time at the other end."
- Visual Pun: Most of his later musical gags are examples of this.
- "#While my guitar gently weeps..." (a hosepipe burst of water spurts out of the guitar and hits him in the face)
- (Jumps off the stage, runs through the audience) "Bear with me, bear with me" (reaches edge of auditorium, strums chord) "#FROM A DISTANCE!"