No laughing matter as Donnie Maroot raises £12,000 for charity


The record-breaking joke-telling efforts of a Lewis man have so far raised over £12,000 for good causes in the Western Isles.

Last Wednesday night, in front of a packed audience in Glasgow’s Park Bar, Donald MacLeod told 580 jokes in the space of an hour — a feat now believed to be a world record.

Donald, or “Donnie Maroot” as he is more commonly known, had earlier released two volumes of jokebooks as part of a fundraising drive for Bethesda Care Home and Hospice in Stornoway, Harris House in Tarbert, Tagsa Uibhist in Balivanich and Cobhair Bharraigh in Castlebay.

He said his joke-telling began by posting one-liners each day on Facebook.

“I went on holiday, and when I came back people were asking me what had happened to my daily jokes. It all started from there,” he said. “But it can be really hard to sell the jokebooks, so that’s when the idea of getting it all over within an hour came in.”

Previously the record was held by the well-known comedian Tim Vine, who told 499 jokes in a hour before an Australian comic set a new best of 548 in 2005.

Donnie, who didn’t rehearse and used original material throughout, revealed that he actually ended his performance slightly earlier than planned.

“I thought I had better not subject  the audience to  any more,” added the 39-year-old, who is originally from Stornoway but now lives in Glasgow, where he is head actuary for Scottish Friendly. His employers backed his fundraising efforts with £2,000 to kick start  the appeal.

Below is a sample of Donnie’s one-liners, courtesy of his own Facebook site.

What should you put on your car if you’re planning to drive on a beach in Harris? Lusken tyres
Best place in Yorkshire to buy half a catamaran? Hull
Why was the cow doing squat thrusts? She wanted her calves to get bigger
Which Star Wars character was addicted to nicotine? Chew ‘bacca
A weaver explained the secret of Harris Tweed to me It’s a great yarn