SCOTLAND, and in particular the West of Scotland, delivers great comedy with the speed and regularity of an Amazon driver on a promise.

But why? How about endemic poverty, cultural and economic deprivation - and sectarian bigotry? Could it be helped by the fact that so many young lives in the West of Scotland would have made perfect subject matter for an Oscar Mazarolli photograph?

And think of how our Fifties town planners promised so much – and delivered so little. Hasn’t the absurdity that was the inner-city defenestration policy also helped form – and inform – our comedians?

Not convinced yet? Well, a glide over the comedy content of some of our funniest people can offer more than a clue that being downtrodden has indeed fostered heaps of defiant joy. The social and economic darkness has prompted us to become delightfully cynical and circumspect. And the legacy of our No Mean City aggression has fostered the instinct to be funny and hit out.

Let’s take some comedy themes and consider the evidence, such as Aggression. Doesn’t Frankie Boyle’s line; ‘Our greatest fear is to die alone, which is why I intend to take quite a few people with me,’ convey a beautiful hostility?

Yes, we love to be angry, thanks to a cold countenance since our time began, most likely thanks to the weather, varying levels of starvation and exploitation. Think grumpy Victor Meldrew. Or Janey Godley’s delicious hot soup story, where she talks of scalding her child. And what of Fern Brady’s line; ‘A little girl just blew a raspberry at me for checking out her fit dad and honestly, it’s the most offended I’ve been in years. Gonna sh*g your da, ya wee cow.’ Brutal. Or Jerry Sadowitz’s ‘I only hate two things – living things and objects.’

And who in the UK can top the comic menace of Chewin’ The Fat’s Big Man’s (gangster) Maw when addressing a Christmas shopping rival? ‘You agitating ma’ boy? I'll stick this Barbie that far up you’re a*** that Ken will need tae dangle fae your tonsils just tae get a goodnight winch.’

Our comedians have also fed on the Scottish survivalist trait which is Sarcasm. Consider Armando Iannucci’s In The Thick Of It politico Malcolm Tucker on greeting a pair of rival advisors. ‘Laurel and f*****g Hardy! Glad you could join us. Did you manage to get that piano up the stairs OK?’

Tucker also produced the wonderful line; ‘I’d love to stop and chat to you, but I’d rather have Type 2 diabetes.’

Most of our comedy stars have reached into the well of history and personal experience for comedic value, from our music hall and variety stars such as Jack Anthony, Lex McLean, Rikki Fulton and Stanley Baxter, Dorothy Paul and Elaine C. Smith. Thankfully, that well has been as black as a burnt witch’s heart at three in the morning in winter.

But turn this darkness into jokes and funny stories and you have comedy dopamine. Give these stories a twist, turn them over a few times and they emerge as Absurdist. Billy Connolly once declared; "Never trust a man, who when left alone with a tea cosey doesn’t try it on.” Wonderful.

And how about Chic Murray’s ridiculous; ‘I rang the bell of this small bed-and breakfast place, whereupon a lady appeared at an outside window. “What do you want?”, she asked. “I want to stay here”, I replied. “Well, stay there then”, she said and closed the window.’

There’s also no doubt that the likes of Connolly have filled their comedy boots with Poverty, ‘My parents used to take me to the pet department and tell me it was a zoo.’

And we offer a nice line in Self-deprecation, evidenced by Arnold Brown’s clever ‘I enjoy using the comic technique of self-deprecation – but I’m not very good at it.’

Indeed, putting ourselves down (via our incomprehensible speech) was also exemplified brilliantly via Stanley Baxter’s Parliamo. ‘“Izat a marra on yer barra, Clara?’ Parliamo and later with Chewin’ The Fat’s Rab McGlinchy, who interprets court conversation for the neds.

We’re also fortunate in Scotland also to have such tragic Weather. As Rab C. Nesbitt once reflected; ‘You can tell when it’s summer in Scotland. The rain’s warm.’ Connolly also worked the weathervane with; ‘There are two season in Scotland; June and Winter.’

But let’s not forget our talent for turning the country’s embracing of Darkness into comedy. Frankie Boyle, for example often proves to be darker than the inside of Ossie Osbourne’s under-the-stairs cupboard. ‘And welcome,’ he once said to a television audience, ‘a woman who’s brainier than Kurt Cobain’s garage wall - it’s Carol Vorderman.’

Kevin Bridges also likes to switch off the lights every now and again. ‘I love the Americans who visit Edinburgh, they're enthusiastic,’ he says. ‘When they're up at Edinburgh Castle, they think it's a high school because they hear gunshots every lunchtime.’

Yet, let’s not forget the talent for the Surreal, with Chic Murray the master. ‘My father was a simple man; my mother was a simple woman; you see the result standing in front of you, a simpleton.’

Now, to destroy the argument that Scots comics are blessed to have been born into a backdrop of unremitting wretchedness, Billy Connolly once maintained there is no such thing as a ‘Scottish comedy.’ But can you imagine his bum and bike gag emerging from any other backgreen in the world? Or the Crucifixion played out anywhere else but a Gallowgate bar?

So, who can truly deny that regular infusions of sadness, sarcasm and distress have seeped into our souls to the point it’s part of our DNA, and passed down to our children?

How else can you explain the thinking of one nine-year-old schoolboy? When asked to pick a character from Macbeth - and sum them up - he chose The King, and wrote this mini-script; Day One: ‘Going to see ma’ wee friend Macbeth and hoping he disnae kill me in ma’ sleep.’

Day 2 (Ghost King): ‘A’ cannae believe he killed me.’

Does this not indeed confirm our wonderfully troubled past, our sense of marginalisation and being dammed to wallow in misery has contributed to our wonderfully disturbed sense of humour?