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This is the weekend for...telling jokes

With the Government offering death by a thousand cuts, the weather offering a sneak preview of autumn and old women torturing cats, heaven knows, we could all do with a laugh.

Luckily, the August bank holiday is traditionally the funniest weekend of the year. After some 40,000 performances and a million jokes, the Edinburgh Fringe draws to a triumphant close on Monday while the winners of the Foster's Comedy Award will be crowned today.

The smart money's on 20-year-old Bo Burnham to scoop the prize for his lean ("I did a piece about the Native American and the magic show – How") and mean ("What do you call a kid with no arms and an eyepatch – names") one-liners.

When repeating in the pub, add in a laconic sigh and pauses for comic effect. And remember, if you're retelling jokes, it pays to keep them short and sweet. There's far less danger of forgetting the punchline that way. Here's one from Tim Vine to get you started: "Black Beauty: he's a dark horse."