Those of us of a certain age will remember when television writers would build a whole sitcom, such as 'Mind Your Language', around the idea that 'foreign man he no speak good English'.
Thirty years on this tired joke seems to have found a new lease of joyless tedium on the pages of broadsheet newspapers.
Of course it's all done in the name of irony now.
Matthew Norman writing in The Telegraph recently brought this joke out of retirement and spread it across a whole 1,000 word article about jobs being outsourced to China:
"In decadent imperialist Western powers like America and our own United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northerly Ireland, tale of US software writer who delegate all duties to Chinese lackey for small fraction of own pay and sat in office idling whole time caused laughter..."
It went on.
By the time Norman confirmed his laboured set-up was a joke within a joke about lazy racism, any joke there had ever been had long since curled up and died, urging its readers to go on and save themselves.
Officially, the medical report will say the joke died of old age, but its friends will always suspect it died of boredom.
However, it seems Giles Coren over at The Times liked what he saw, writing a piece in broken English for this Saturday's paper about Polish becoming 'the second language' in the UK.
The opening paragraph tells us:
"Many of you is no doubt read in famous Times newspaper, yesterday before yesterday, how "Polish is now England's second language". This very interesting small information piece. For what is probable esteemed Times readership not aware: your columnist actual Polski man. Is come in boat from small willage..."
Textbook stuff. Assuming the textbook is 'How To Write Like a Twat'.
It went on:
"...today I am celebrate Polish is become number two language entire of England not count Wales by write whole opinion column topical observation of week's news for first time in actual Polish language."
Some critics, such as Hanna Kozlowska, associate editor of Poland Today, took to Twitter to brand Coren's piece racist:
It certainly isn't the first time Coren has angered sections of the Polish community with his writing.
In defence of Coren, others suggested it was just a staggeringly unfunny piece.
But whether lazy racism or just very lazy satire, it seems remarkable The Times hit publish on Coren's offering. It's possible to imagine even the Daily Mail's Richard Littlejohn - a master of both lazy racism and lazy satire - might have thought twice about putting his name to such a piece of writing.
And Littlejohn probably loved 'Mind Your Language'.