This comedy sketch once killed a man with laughter. Do you dare watch it?

In 1975, Alex Mitchell of England was laughing maniacally while watching the "Kung-Fu Kapers" episode of the UK comedy program The Goodies. After 25 solid minutes of guffawing, Mitchell let out one last chortle and died of a massive coronary.

Mitchell, a 50-year-old bricklayer from King's Lynn in Norfolk county, was particularly tickled by this martial arts demonstration, in which a Scotsman (who practices the art of "Hoots-Toot-ochaye") battles a black pudding sausage. Mitchell's widow watched her husband die and wrote a letter thanking The Goodies for sending her husband off with a smile on his face.


NOTE: The sketch contains blackface, so there's a good chance you'll die of groans instead of laughter.

UPDATE 6/13: Also, due to some messages I've received, I just want to make it clear that we aren't condoning this humor. The thing you should take away from this post is THIS WAS A TV SHOW THAT KILLED SOMEONE. LIKE THE RING OR HALLOWEEN 3. I'm not sure about your experience, but on this site, that's something you don't see everyday.

[via Snopes]

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When I saw this story, I knew what the reaction to the "blackface" was going to be. So let me share a little bit of context.

When "The Goodies" was first aired in England, "The Black And White Minstrel Show" was still one of the highest rating shows in the country. When "The Goodies" put on blackface, they were not trying to demean or insult black people. They were using satire to show how stupid and insulting blackface is.

Not only did they do a whole show, dedicated to lampooning the whole concept of "The Black And White Minstrel Show," but they also did an episode on apartheid (that the BBC insisted they tone down because it was too insulting to the white South African police). They put forward (in a comedic and satirical way) the idea that discriminating against a person on the basis of their skin colour is as silly and insulting as discriminating on the basis of height. This was in the '70s, before people outside South Africa had even started protesting apartheid.

Yes, The Goodies put on blackface. It wasn't for cheap laughs, but a protest against this kind of racist behaviour.

Except for the Rolf Harris episode. That one was just for cheap laughs...