Press Release

Date: 14 March 2012


Heard the one about the comic who sold all his joke books?

He is a professional comedian who currently holds The Guiness World Record for non-stop joke telling of 101 hours and 39 minutes, but a move to a new house is no laughing matter for comic John Martin. He's decided it's time for a good clear out and he's selling his cherished collection of over 1500 comedy books, amassed during a lifetime's collecting, on the UK's largest independent free advertising site

John, who has written gags for such comedy legends as Ken Dodd, Jimmy Tarbuck and the late Bob Monkhouse, has an extensive library of comedy and joke books that includes hundreds by celebrated comedians, ranging from Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnies, to Tommy Cooper, Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin.

The huge library is a treasure trove of hilarious material for any aspiring comic, including joke books, comedy writing books, after dinner speaking and speeches, sitcom scripts and biographies.

John says, "I have collected the books over nearly 40 years, since I was a kid, so it really is an encyclopaedic collection of joke books and books on the art of humour. They have certainly helped in my act, which now takes me all over the world. They also helped me break the world record for non-stop joke telling in 1993."

The library includes old and rare examples of comedy books, along with some First Editions which John says are highly collectible. "I think it's rare for a comedian to have such a collection, but I have studied the art of comedy since I was nine-years-old. Ken Dodd has a collection like it, but other that him I'm not sure of anyone else."

A few of the books also include some of John's own annotations that demonstrate his love of the comedy craft. "Some of them have comments or even added jokes that I have written on the page. Occasionally I have even crossed out the punch line and put a better one in!"

The comedian, who has been described as a 'human joke factory' and has given performances at both The Labour Party and Conservative Party Conferences dinner, has enjoyed a career spanning almost 30 years making people laugh across the world. However, John, who lives with his wife in North Wales, admits that the thought of saying goodbye to his beloved collection when he finds a buyer willing to pay £500 will be no laughing matter. "I will be very sad to see them sold, but we are moving house and they have to go. I would love a budding comedian to buy the collection and use them with a passion like I have over so many years."

Managing Director of, Ian Buzer, says, "While we understand that John will be a little sad to see his fantastic comedy collection sold, we hope that the money he raises will give this story a happy punchline and put a smile on his face."

John's Favourite Jokes

I saw a farmer dancing in front of  Massey Ferguson. I said, "No, I told you to dance to attract her!"

I said to a man in the pub "What's the latest from the Gulf?" and he said "Tiger Woods is 3 under par!"

I joined a gym which has a machine perfect for me - it has crisps, chocolate bars and fizzy drinks.

Last Christmas I came home to find all the windows open and everything gone. Why someone would do that to my advent calendar I do not know!

"Dad do all fairy stories begin with Once Upon A Time?" "No son, some start with If I Get Elected!" 

The union representing Christmas tree light manufacturers has gone on strike. It's a case of one out, the lot out!

Light travels faster than sound which explains why some people appear bright until you hear them speak!

Britain's oldest man put his secret down to a long life to having a cup of tea first thing in the morning, a glass of whiskey last thing at night and selling his ticket to travel on Titanic!

My wife has left me as she said I think more of football than I do of her, which is a shame really as we have been together 12 seasons now!


For further information, please contact Justine Dench

Notes to Editors

Preloved is the web site for people that love some of the older things in life. Started in 1998, Preloved has grown to become the UK's leading second hand website with hundreds of thousands of adverts in over 500 categories. Each month the site attracts over 5 million unique visitors. As a community-based advertising site it has over 1.5 million active members. Preloved is ranked amongst the top 500 most visited sites in the UK. 

For buying or selling second hand, Preloved is a great alternative to the hassle and expense of auction sites, and a friendly change to the other more anonymous classifieds sites

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