Edinburgh 2013: Former salesman Rob Auton raises bar with Cadbury gag to win funniest joke of the year award

Funniest joke prize taken by 30-year-old Rob Auton – and his Chinese Wispa

A comedian and poet who recently gave up his job selling paint brushes to perform full time has come up with officially the funniest joke of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The sixth annual battle at the festival for the best one liner was fiercely contested, with Rob Auton beating out competition from former winner Tim Vine and Edinburgh veteran Marcus Brigstocke.

The line that won Dave’s Funniest Joke of The Fringe ran: “I heard a rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa.”

The 30-year-old from York has been performing stand-up comedy, sometimes described as “stand up poetry” since 2008 on an impulse, and his line secured almost a quarter of the votes for the funniest wisecrack.

Auton is performing The Sky Show at the Free Fringe, but the one-liner came from a sideline gig at Comedy After Lunch.

The comedian said he was “just pleased that a joke that tackles the serious issue of the invention of a new chocolate bar can be laughed at by the people of Britain”.

The second most popular line was spoken by Alex Horne: “I used to work in a shoe-recycling shop. It was sole-destroying.”

A joke by Alfie Moore, the policeman-turned-comedian, came in third. “I’m in a same-sex marriage… the sex is always the same.”

Vine, known for his quick-fire one liners, is never far from the top of the annual list. This year his quip “My friend told me he was going to a fancy dress party as an Italian island. I said to him: ‘Don’t be Sicily’” came in fourth.

Canadian comic Stewart Francis won the prize in 2012 for the joke: “You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.”

The Top 10 Funniest Jokes from the Fringe Festival 2013

  1. Rob Auton - “I heard a rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa.”
  2. Alex Horne - “I used to work in a shoe-recycling shop.  It was sole-destroying.”
  3. Alfie Moore - “I’m in a same-sex marriage… the sex is always the same.”
  4. Tim Vine - “My friend told me he was going to a fancy dress party as an Italian island.  I said to him ‘Don’t be Sicily.’”
  5. Gary Delaney - “I can give you the cause of anaphylactic shock in a nutshell.”
  6. Phil Wang - “The Pope is a lot like Doctor Who. He never dies, just keeps being replaced by white men.”
  7. Marcus Brigstocke - “You know you are fat when you hug a child and it gets lost.”
  8. Liam Williams - “The universe implodes. No matter.”
  9. Bobby Mair - “I was adopted at birth and have never met my mum. That makes it very difficult to enjoy any lapdance.”
  10. Chris Coltrane - “The good thing about lending someone your time machine is that you basically get it back immediately.”
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