He told the story of General Francisco Franco being on his deathbed in a coma and attended by his daughter. A noise in the street roused him from his coma and he asked what it was. Carmen replied ‘It’s the people of Madrid come to say goodbye’. He looked bewildered and said ‘Why, where are they going?’
To give him his full title, Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov CBE was a comic genius, but he said,
‘Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.’
More on Franco? – see 1492 and all that!