Tommy Cooper's comedy centred on perfecting his inept conjuring show. Les Dawson attempted the same trick with a piano, and now our nation's economists are freshening up the concept with a very respectable stab at spoofing a clairvoyant act.
If this happens to be your type of comedy, prepare for a delicious treat this week, when the dismal scientists' equivalent of the Perrier Awards comes to town. First up will be that famed double act Ernst & Young, who perform at a venue called the Item Club.
There has hardly been a dry seat in the house there since the start of the financial crisis with the act's hilarious predictions of a return to health for the British economy, including this cracker from early 2011, when the pair reckoned that UK GDP growth would be "just" 2.3% last year (and 2.8% in 2012).
There are plenty more like that, but if you haven't been stretchered off at the Item, perhaps you might also enjoy taking in Tuesday's Office for Budget Responsibility gig. The body will be running over some of its favourite gaffes from the past year with the publication of its "annual forecast evaluation report" – and it's even got a decent gag about that. "[The report] helps us improve our future forecast judgments and techniques," it deadpans. Pure gold.
Star turn at the committee
There's an argument that if the parliamentary commission on banking standards could only call one witness, it would call Paul Volcker, the towering (in every way) former chairman of the US Federal Reserve.
The 6ft 7in-tall 85-year-old sage came up with that corker of a line about the one useful innovation devised by the financial sector in the past 30 years (the cash machine). Such nuggets will juice up his appearance on Wednesday in front of the Andrew Tyrie-chaired enquiry, called to scrutinise the banks after Barclays was fined for manipulating interest rates.