The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival, despite it feeling like the words aren’t quite in the right order.
It’s bigger than the Edinburgh International Festival (from which it was spawned) whichever way you look at it: acts, attendance, duration and Wikipedia page.
The Fringe features acts of all sorts, from theatre to music and dance, but more than anything else it’s a showcase and springboard for comedy acts. So much so that in 2012 about 36% of the shows were jokers.
They can’t all be funny, there just aren’t enough good jokes to go around. And The Fringe recognises this by putting together its list of the worst jokes of the year. I won’t name and shame the people responsible, but The Telegraph did if you really need to know.
- I thought ex-pats were people who used to be called Pat.
- My wife said to me, “Do you fancy going gay clubbing?” I said, “No, it sounds violent”.
- I once did a gig in a zoo. I got babooned off.
- I want to talk about something that’s close to my heart. My lungs.
- I’m married with kids. I don’t need to look good, I just need to look better than the prospect of single parentdom.
So it’s a good thing The Fringe also picks and publishes its best jokes of the year. You’d think. Here are the best five, from fifth to first.
- I can give you the cause of anaphylactic shock in a nutshell.
- My friend told me he was going to a fancy dress party as an Italian island. I said to him, “Don’t be Sicily.”
- I’m in a same-sex marriage… The sex is always the same.
- I used to work in a shoe-recycling shop. It was sole-destroying.
And the best joke from The Fringe at Edinburgh, as decided by TV channel Dave’s judges:
- I heard a rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa.
As with a lot of things, and I’m sure you’d agree, I feel like I could do better. Not least of all because I can’t stand the idea of losing at anything to a guy who looks like this. So here it is, my own best made-up joke, for public scrutiny.
- I didn’t get my chest waxed in the end because apparently it hurts worse than childbirth. No thanks, I cried like a baby when I was born.
Thank you, thank you very much. I’m here all week. See you in Edinburgh next year.