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A reference to the pleasure piers in British seaside resorts, which often featured music hall entertainment and were popular working-class holiday locations.


end-of-the-pier (not comparable)

  1. (Britain, usually derogatory) Pertaining to a bawdy, old-fashioned style of broad comedy.
    • 1999, Andrew Blaikie, Ageing and Popular Culture, Cambridge University Press →ISBN, page 156
      Meanwhile, that butt of the end-of-the-pier comedian's joke, the mother-in-law as dictatorial hag, has become a figure associated with nostalgia for the days when workingmen's clubs were just that (and, indeed, marking a time when generations were forced to live cheek-by-jowl in the same household).
    • 2002, Frieze: Contemporary Art and Culture
      It seems a simple yes or no question, but actually compresses a complex group of ideas - about sexuality, gender, meaning and the figurative history of sculpture - into something you might expect from an end-of-the-pier comedy routine.
    • 2009, Christopher Fowler, Paperboy, Random House →ISBN, page 180
      The production employed the John Barry Seven to re-work the songs of Gilbert & Sullivan, setting them against the dancing of Lionel Blair, with eye-rolling, end-of-the-pier jokes from Mike and Bernie Winters and Tommy Cooper.