The best jokes of the Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival is the UK's biggest comedy jamboree. Here is a selection of the great – and not so great – punch lines from the first week
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The Independent Culture

"If you are in your forties and you are wearing trainers and jeans it makes you look a bit special... like a responsible adult should be holding your hand."

John Bishop, Pleasance Courtyard

"My favourite overheard argument at an arts festival this year: 'Roger, it was you that left bloody Actimel to spoil in the sun!'"

Russell Kane, Pleasance Courtyard

"If you ever have trouble opening a bottle of champagne. My advice, hit it with a ship. I've seen people do that. It works."

Paul F Taylor, Pleasance Courtyard

"My family decided to move to Bradford for a special reason – we got to the outskirts of the city and saw a sign that said 'No Pakis'... and we thought, 'ooh, a shortage... let's settle here!'"

Isma Almas, The Stand

"Have you been down to Morningside? It's very pretentious, I mean I wouldn't say that Morningside was pretentious but the ice cream van plays Rachmaninov."

Gavin Webster, The Stand

"Susan Boyle finished second in Britain's Got Talent to a group called Diversity. They got that name because they're made up of 15 different personalities. Susan, sadly, is only made up of four, maybe five at the most."

Jeff O'Boyle of Silence of the Trams, The Stand

"It's hard being a parent especially when you discover your kids are thick."

JoJo Sutherland, The Stand

"When Barack Obama got in, a lot of people said that the Obamas could be the new Kennedys. My first thought was no one can replace Karl and Susan on Neighbours."

Fergus Craig, Pleasance Courtyard

"I've not been to the shops in two weeks. I'll just have to go to a restaurant... they'll have toilet paper."

Matt Kirshen, Pleasance Courtyard

"Q: What's the similarity between Chickenpox and terminal cancer? A: You can only catch them once."

Damian Clark of Wild Colonial Boys, The Stand

"I took my nephew out recently. The London Eye was too expensive so I took him up a tower block in Hackney and told him it was the London Arm."

Micky Flanagan, Pleasance Courtyard

"I was watching the London Marathon and saw one runner dressed as a chicken and another runner dressed as an egg. And I thought: 'This could be interesting.'"

Paddy Lennox, Gilded Balloon

"One night, I was having dinner with a girlfriend. I ordered fish, offered her some and she said 'Oh, I don't eat fish... because I'm a Pisces.' I said: 'Wow, because I don't eat scorpions." She was like, 'Oh, because you're a Scorpio?' I said, 'No. They're poisonous.'

Celia Pacquola, Gilded Balloon

"I may be an atheist but I'm the first to bust out a 'Hail Mary' on a turbulent plane."

Janeane Garofalo, Gilded Balloon

"My girlfriend's mum has got quite a lot of crucifixes in her house. She's a proper northerner, though: she's got three that get bigger as they go up the wall."

Rob Rouse, Pleasance Courtyard

"My girlfriend thinks we've got the latest top-of-the-range sat nav. She doesn't know it's me!"

Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, Underbelly

"My grandfather gave me some sound advice on his deathbed: 'It's worth spending money on good speakers.'"

Jonathan Broke of Comedy Bitch, Underbelly

"We all know Jesus was a carpenter but he never actually sang on any of their records."

Mark Walker, Gilded Balloon

"Gordon Ramsay has a face like a bag of smashed crabs."

Andrew Lawrence, Pleasance Dome

"It's against the law to hit kids in the UK. So how about vacations to places where you can hit your kids? Just to see their little faces when you tell them you aren't going to Eurodisney, but to Kenya with a stick."

Pete Johansson, Underbelly

"My brother has been sniffing curry powder and now he's in a korma."

Joke submitted to Rick Edwards to read out on Channel 4's T4

"I always carry a lighter in my pocket. I am not a smoker. I just really like certain songs."

Joke submitted to Rick Edwards to read out on the Channel 4 show T4

"Kill our children, not your speed."

Rhod Gilbert's suggested welcome sign for Pontypridd, as told at Pleasance Courtyard

"Ah, Bonnie Tyler. Wales's answer to Blondie. Christ knows what the question was, though."

Denise Van Outen, Udderbelly's Pasture

"I'm sure wherever my dad is, he's looking down on us. He's not dead. Just very condescending."

Jack Whitehall, Pleasance Courtyard

"Both my parents were teetotal as both of my grandads were alcoholics and they didn't want to put us through what they went through. And I think that's admirable. But I read an article on alcoholism and apparently it skips a generation, so I drink so my children don't have to."

Ava Vidal, The Stand

"I gave up emotion in the 70s, and now if you cut me open, moths would fly out."

Laura Solon in character as hard-bitten literary agent called Marcie Blitzer

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