Monday, 23 August 2010

Best gags and Oink

This morning the TV channel Dave has managed its annual EdFringe Silly Season non-story success by announcing the Best Joke of the Fringe. As always their top 10 is debatable, and those of us foolish enough to chat about it have given the story just the spin it needed to ensure maximum coverage.

Today's most popular observation is that some of the jokes might not be all that original. Jack Whitehall's wristband gag, for example, is very similar to a Gary Delaney gag from a few years ago. And Gary Delaney's walk the plank gag is one that I remember seeing as a cartoon in Oink comic (I may have even drawn it myself. I certainly wrote and drew "would you like it wrapping? / No just talking quietly will do" in 1988, a gag which turned up years later in Time Vine's set, purely by coincidence).

Following on from the Keith Chegwin joke-lifting furore of a few months ago, it reminds us that some jokes are conjured up simultaneously by a number of people, and that some are not as new as we imagine. I tried to find my Oink! comic collection the other day in order to find just which gags had had their first outing there (but the box is buried deep in my studio, and suddenly it was time to come to Edinburgh).

Anyhoo, what better excuse could there be for digging out these clips? How many of these gags are brand new (I think about 25% of them), how many are more than 50 years old (I think 75%) of them, and how many have been unwittingly stolen from working comedians (I hope none of them, but I bet one or two). Either way, enjoy:

Dave's Top 10 funniest jokes from the Fringe Festival

Tim Vine – “I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again.”

David Gibson as Ray Green – “I’m currently dating a couple of anorexics. Two birds, one stone.”

Emo Philips – “I picked up a hitch hiker. You gotta when you hit them.”

Jack Whitehall – “I bought one of those anti-bullying wristbands when they first came out. I say “bought” – I actually stole it off a short, fat ginger kid.”

Gary Delaney – “As a kid I was made to walk the plank. We couldn’t afford a dog.”

John Bishop – “Being an England supporter is like being the over-optimistic parents of the fat kid on sports day.”

Bo Burnham – “What do you call a kid with no arms and an eyepatch? Names.”

Gary Delaney – “Dave drowned. So at the funeral we got him a wreath in the shape of a lifebelt. Well, it’s what he would have wanted.”

Robert White – “For Vanessa Feltz, life is like a box of chocolates: empty.”

Gareth Richards – “Wooden spoons are great. You can either use them to prepare food, or if you can’t be bothered with that, just write a number on one and walk into a pub…”

Some of the biggest groaners include:

Sara Pascoe – “Why did the chicken commit suicide? To get to the other side.”

Sean Hughes – “You know city-centre beat officers… Well are they police who rap?”

Gyles Brandreth – “I’ve got nothing against lesbians. I mean, that’s the point isn’t it?”

Doc Brown – “I was born into the music industry. My dad worked in Our Price.”

John Luke Roberts – “I made a Battenberg where the two colours ran alongside each other. I called it apartheid sponge.”

Sarah Millican – “I bought a cross-trainer to keep fit. I suppose that it’s not enough to just buy it.”

Bec Hill – “Some of my best friends are vegan. They were going to come today but they didn’t have the energy to climb up the stairs.”

Dan Antopolski – “How many Spaniards does it take to change a lightbulb? Juan.”

Andi Osho – “Floella Benjamin is in the House of Lords. How did she get in, through the round window?”

Gareth Richards – “My mother is always taking photographs of me; she said if you disappear tomorrow I want you to look good on the news.”

Emo Phillips – “I like to play chess with bald men in the park although it’s hard to find 32 of them.”

PS: Some of those jokes are not as new as they think.

- Here's the How many Spaniards? lightbulb/Juan joke From a 2008 blog

- Here's the Walking The Plank Earlier cartoon version of that gag, and here it is again, as Why did the Pirate Walk The Plank? Because he was in B&Q in a 2007 collection

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