Francis usurps Vine as the king of the one-liners

 

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The Independent Online

David and Victoria Beckham are no strangers to comedians' barbs – and now one jibe aimed at the celebrity pair has earned comedian Stewart Francis the honour of the best joke at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Francis, a comedian known for his deadpan one-liners, picked up the fifth annual Dave Award for the Funniest Joke of the Fringe for the wisecrack: "You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks."

The line featured in Return of the Lumberjacks, a show he performs with fellow Canadians Craig Campbell and Glenn Wool, at The Assembly Rooms. The trio made their Edinburgh debut together 15 years ago. Another Francis line – "I saw a documentary on how ships are kept together. Riveting" – also made the list of top 10 funniest jokes of the festival.

On receiving the award and a cash prize of £2,000, which Francis is to donate to charity, the comic said: "1969 West Mall Soccer Association's Most Valuable Player, and now this. Thank you, Dave."

The digital channel's general manager Steve North dubbed him the "king of the one-liners".

Tim Vine, another comedian who specialises in one liners, regularly features in the award's top 10 list. He won in 2010, and this year came in second with the joke: "Last night me and my girlfriend watched three DVDs back to back. Luckily I was the one facing the telly." The comedian had another quip in sixth place: "I took part in the sun tanning Olympics: I just got Bronze."

Last year, Nick Helm won the award for the joke: "I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."

Dan Antopolski, who picked up the award in 2009, said winning was a "little bit useful. I was already established but it provided some free publicity, which is not to be turned down. It's not particularly meaningful."

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