Nick Helm: It's all in the delivery (honest...)

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Last year I won the Funniest Joke of the Fringe for the following: "I needed a password eight characters long. So I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

Did I think it was my best joke? No. I don't think anyone in the audience would even think that it was the best joke in the show.

It's ridiculous to choose just one joke out of all of the millions here in Edinburgh. It's such a personal thing. Last year, I wrote 25 to 30 jokes with the intention of putting five in the show. You test them out and the ones that work consistently are the ones that end up in the show. You think, "Oh, that gets a laugh". It actually came from an email from my dad – and I turned it into a one-liner.

My jokes work on paper but they are deliberately half-good, half-awful. It's all about the delivery. In the show, I'm selling them to you like they're the best jokes you've ever heard and you should be grateful that you're hearing them – but really they are quite cheesy one-liners.

The most satisfying thing about last year was having a sell-out show and this was a lovely extra on top. Was it life-changing? Not really.

What it did change, because it got published in all of the newspapers, was that the joke didn't get a laugh anymore. I obviously couldn't take it out of the show because it had won the award, so everyone was waiting for it. But then I'd tell it... and it would be met by a stony silence.

Nick Helm performs 'This Means War!' Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh to 27 August