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“This religious friend of mine, uh, arguments often end with him telling me I’m not very open minded. But because he’s my friend and I respect him, I’ve written him this song. It’s called ‘If you open your mind too much your brain will fall out’. Which I think is brilliant, it’s so, so clever. Unfortunately I didn’t come up with it myself, I read that in a book. So to avoid copyright issues I’ve given it a subtitle which is ‘Take my wife!’

(Singing)
If anyone can show me one example in the history of the world of a single psychic who has been able to prove under reasonable experimental conditions that they are able to read minds…

And if anyone can show me one example in the history of the world of a single astrologer who has been able to prove under reasonable experimental conditions that they can predict future human events by interpreting celestial signs…

And if anyone can show me one example in the history of the world of a single homeopathic practitioner who has been able to prove under reasonable experimental conditions that solutions made of infinitely tiny particles of good stuff dissolved repeatedly into relatively huge quantities of water have a consistently higher medicinal value than a similarly administered placebo…

And if anyone can show me one example in the entire history of the world of a single spiritual person who has been able to show either empirically or logically the existence of a higher power with any consciousness or interest in the human race or ability to punish or reward humans for their moral choices or that there is any reason, other than fear, to believe in any version of an afterlife…

I will give you my piano…
One of my legs…
And my wife!”

 

Tim Minchin is openly Antitheist, and expresses his ideas and beliefs openly. This joke works, firstly, on the awkward timing of the song, which does not come across in text format. But it also works around an old, common one liner: ‘Take my wife!’. The ‘Take my wife!’ joke was often used in the 40’s and 50’s, when sexism was more accepted, and as a one liner it tended to work. It uses the ‘Two phrases having the same meaning’ foil. Tim Minchin knows the history of this jokes and uses it’s base comedy to highlight his high-intellect comedy.

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