To get this joke, you probably have to know about the legendary unpopularity of Buddy Rich amongst his band…
A horn player who had been playing with Buddy Rich for many years came back from vacation to hear a rumour that Buddy had died. He didn’t quite believe it, so he phoned Buddy’s wife and said “Can I speak to Buddy please?”
Buddy’s wife said, “I’m sorry, Buddy passed away last week.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” he said, and hung up.
A couple of hours later, he called her again. “Is Buddy there please?”
“No, I’m sorry. Buddy’s no longer with us,” said Buddy’s wife. And hung up the phone.
Ten minutes later, he called Buddy’s wife again. “Can I speak to Buddy please?” he said.
She recognised his voice, and said: “Look, I’ve told you before, BUDDY’S DEAD!” And slammed down the phone.
Two minutes later, and the phone rang again… “Is Buddy at home please?” the horn player asked.
Buddy’s wife was furious. “I’m not going to tell you again, Buddy is dead.. D. E. A. D. DEAD. Why do you keep ringing me to ask for Buddy???!!!!”
He thought for a moment, and said: “I just love hearing you say it.”