Monday, January 21, 2013

Hitchcock Jokes

Did you know that Sir Alfred Hitchcock was a practical joker? He used Whoopie Cushions and make prank phone calls.

My favorite practical joke of his was this: he made a bet that his floor manager, Richard "Dickie" Beville, couldn't last all night handcuffed. Unable to use the bathroom. Dickie made the mistake of going on with the bet. Hitchcock gave the man coffee that was laced with a very strong laxative.... We all know how that night went.


  1. A Man and Alfred Hitchcock
    Denise Noe
    A man of modest means,
    he worked in a theater but
    was not a star, not even
    an actor.
    No career, just
    a job and
    a job's
    weekly wages.
    Property man: drag this here
    and put that there.

    Alfred Hitchcock was a genius:
    and rich.
    A name known ‘round the world.
    His first name and
    last and
    familiarized form:

    A week's salary -- said
    Mister Hitchcock.
    A week's salary,
    I dare ya!
    A week's salary said the man whose
    name we all know: the first
    and the last
    and the familiarized form.
    A week's salary
    held out to a man
    working an ordinary job:
    put this here
    and drag that there.
    A week's salary,
    said Hitch,
    who liked a joke
    and had the power to
    play some good ones.

    Sitting on a chair,
    the man drank
    proffered brandy.
    Click the handcuffs,
    off the lights.

    Everyone went home
    save one.
    He remained: in a chair,
    in darkness, trying
    to sleep sitting up.
    He drifted off, then woke.
    He woke
    in pitch;
    he woke
    in a chair,
    to a camera,
    unable to move.
    Awakened by that
    familiar knock
    in the bowel.
    A man in darkness,
    alone, he tightened
    his sphincter,
    not knowing,
    not realizing:
    not yet.

    His guts squeeze, then
    roar. A cold clammy
    sweat breaks on forehead,
    upper lip, the back of his neck.

    Dizzy in darkness, he feels
    a bottle of acid
    break across the back
    of his scalp and he knows:
    laced with laxative.

    Terrified, he screams; knowing,
    knowing, he screams.
    No one hears. No one rescues.
    He pulls
    on handcuffs,
    pulls pulls pulls
    as his own waste like rocks with
    sharp jagged edges
    pummels him from inside his stomach.

    A human, not a badger
    or beaver -- so blessed -- caught
    in a trap. His teeth cannot
    tear painfully through his own
    flesh veins muscle tendons
    to set him free.
    His teeth cannot
    bone from
    to save a shredded
    fragment of his dignity
    the meanest modicum
    of cleanliness.

    But his teeth gnash and grind and
    bite down on his lower lip, hard,
    as he is beaten from within his belly.
    Sweat sweat sweat runs
    cold and clammy as misery.
    Defeated by defecation,
    the man is dirtied in the private
    place between his buttocks,
    dirtied dirtied dirtied.

    Fierce pains, attack after attack.
    For hours
    for hours
    for hours
    Excreta runs and sticks
    down his thighs,
    the back of his knees,
    calves, and ankles.

    Crying, he bends his wet face of
    fire into his palm as shit
    like lava dries and burns on
    the skin all down his legs. Crying,
    his neck curved down
    for hours
    into the inescapable stink.

    In the morning, the door opened.
    The terrible odor,
    the sound of the man crying.
    Then: light: gasps.
    Hands cover

    Because Alfred Hitchcock,
    a genius,
    and rich,
    liked a joke
    and had the power to
    play some good ones
    like the time he tricked
    and trapped and
    shattered a man
    whose life was
    drag this here
    and put that there.

  2. Dear Coley,
    I have a question for you: Why do you regard Hitchcock's brutal and intimate torture and torment as a "favorite practical joke"?

    1. I realized that I forgot my actual favorite joke, which was the story that he put the "mother" from Psycho in Janet Leigh's dressing room. I guess "Favorite" wasn't the way to write that, but I thought it was a good story. It wasn't "nice" but it was Hitchcock.

    2. It was Hitchcock. And it was a horrendous crime of degradation and torture. It's an ugly story. What do you think of my poem?

    3. I think your poem is very well written. You did a great job :)

  3. Could you email me at
    I've written a brief Hitchcock related essay focusing on "Psycho" and would like your opinion of it.