Video
cliff joke

By Sophie Norris 


A young farmer has added a new twist on the classic cliff joke ‘what do you call a man with a seagull on his head?’ joke – by telling it with a seagull on his HEAD.


Tom Carlisle, 25, is a sixth-generation farmer from the Yorkshire Dales who had been out preparing for lambing season when he discovered the seagull, which had been blown into the fence and become trapped.

The sheep and cattle farmer rescued the bird and held it in his hand while it recovered last Thursday – before it suddenly flew and landed on his head.

Seizing the opportunity, Tom decided to record himself telling the cheesy joke for the entertainment of friends and his parents and 82-year-old grandfather, Donald, who he works the farm with.

The footage shows Tom speaking into the camera to ask ‘what do you call a man with a seagull on his head?’ before declaring ‘Cliff!’ as the camera reveals the bird perched on his pink hat.

Tom, from Skipton, North Yorks, said: “I was out on a hundred-acre field checking our sheep in preparation for lambing season next month when I noticed a seagull stuck in some wire.

“Storm Doris had blown it into a fence and it was trapped. I helped to get it unstuck and it was just sat in my hand for a while.

“I saved its life – it would have just died there if I hadn’t found it. It was happily sat there then flew on to my head, flapping around.

“I thought it was really funny and so strange, so I recorded it on Snapchat for my friends.

“It just sat there calmly whilst I told the joke for about ten seconds but because it flew off straight afterwards, it knew it was a terrible joke.”

Tom and his friends are always sending each other funny videos and playing tricks, but he thinks he is by far the winner with this video.

Tom said: “I thought my mates would find it funny and obviously it’s been shared around, so others must find it funny too.

“We’re always messing around playing jokes and sending daft videos.

“Last year, my friend decided to leap frog over a post box and we filmed it, but he fell off and landed on his back.

“It was hilarious, but this is getting more attention.

“The seagull had damaged its wing a bit, but it seemed perfectly happy. It will no doubt survive now.

“This was really strange for a seagull. If it was Trafalgar Square and a pigeon had done it, I wouldn’t be so shocked.

“I highly doubt this will happen again anytime soon. Working with animals, they can be so unpredictable.

Tom’s family own 650 sheep and 40 cattle, but come spring they are expecting around 1,000 newborn lambs.

They also have two working sheep dogs which will help them keep the energetic young lambs in order

Tom said: “I showed my granddad earlier and he thought it was funny and had a good laugh.

“Although granddad is 82-years-old now, he still helps around the farm. He drives around on a cart with me and has helped me with the sheep.

“Our farm is 500 acres and we get up at 6am at this time of year, so he doesn’t help as much as he used to, but he still comes along with me on some mornings.

“We’ll check the sheep are okay and solve any problems, then the rest of the day is taken up with other jobs.

“Hopefully this cliff joke video will make other people laugh too.”