A Peterborough comedian has won the acclaimed award for the funniest joke of the Edinburgh Fringe festival in his first full-length show.
Darren Walsh’s pun won 23 per cent of the votes in the annual competition run by TV channel Dave.
His effort, “I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It’s Hans free”, beat jokes by regular nominees such as Stewart Francis to take this year’s title.
This is not Darren’s first appearance at the Fringe, but his show Punderbolt is the first time he’s taken on an hour-long performance. Winner of the first UK Pun Championship at the Leicester Comedy Festival in 2013, the 39-year-old is no stranger to an award or two and boasts a published book of puns called Cheap Laughs. He even created a “Pun Guide to the Fringe” for this year’s festival; an animated video punning the name of “almost” every comedian performing in Edinburgh 2015.
On being awarded the top spot, Darren said: “I am delighted to win this award. What a punderful feeling. Thanks Dave.”
This year’s top 10 featured a number of new entries, including 12-year-old Grace The Child, the youngest ever nominee. Previous winners include Tim Vine, Rob Auton, Stewart Francis, Zoe Lyons and Nick Helm.
The list in full is:
1. “I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It’s Hans free.” – Darren Walsh
2. “Kim Kardashian is saddled with a huge arse... but enough about Kanye West.” – Stewart Francis
3. “Surely every car is a people carrier?” – Adam Hess
4. “What’s the difference between a ‘hippo’ and a ‘Zippo’? One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter.” – Masai Graham
5. “If I could take just one thing to a desert island I probably wouldn’t go.” – Dave Green
6. “Jesus fed 5,000 people with two fishes and a loaf of bread. That’s not a miracle. That’s tapas.” – Mark Nelson
7. “Red sky at night. Shepherd’s delight. Blue sky at night. Day.” – Tom Parry
=8. “The first time I met my wife, I knew she was a keeper. She was wearing massive gloves.” – Alun Cochrane
=8. “Clowns divorce. Custardy battle.” – Simon Munnery
10. “They’re always telling me to live my dreams. But I don’t want to be naked in an exam I haven’t revised for...” – Grace The Child
Other honourable mentions that just missed out included:
“I never lie on my CV...because it creases it.” – Jenny Collier
“If you don’t know what introspection is you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.” – Ian Smith
“I usually meet my girlfriend at 12:59 because I like that one to one time.” – Tom Ward
“Whenever I get to Edinburgh, I’m reminded of the definition of a gentleman. It’s someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, but doesn’t.” – Gyles Brandreth
“Let me tell you a little about myself. It’s a reflexive pronoun that means ‘me’.” - Ally Houston
“Earlier this year I saw “The Theory of Everything” - loved it. Should’ve been called “Look Who’s Hawking”, that’s my only criticism.” – James Acaster
And some of the jokes voted most groan-worthy included:
“What do honeymooners eat for breakfast? Wedded Wheat.” – Lou Sanders
“I am Canadian. But if you think I’m Russian, Soviet.” – Steward Francis
“I suffer from PMS. My wife gets it and I suffer.” – Jeff Green
In order to compile the shortlist, each of the judges sat through an average of 60 different comedy performances and sifted through more than 3,600 minutes of material. This meant they each had a potential pool of around 7,200 different jokes to choose from.
General manager of Dave, Steve North, said: “The Fringe is renowned for being the best place to spot new and emerging comedy talent, and although there are some returning contenders in our top 10 this year, there is a high volume of new talent which is very exciting to see.”
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