Edinburgh festival: The 100 best jokes from this year

Following a debate yesterday on what makes a good gag on the Fringe, our comedy critics pick their favourites from this year's crop

Wednesday 22 August 2012 15:18

1 "What do we want!? More research into a cure for ADHD! When do we want it!? Let's play swingball!"Joe Lycett, Pleasance Courtyard

2 "I've been keeping a count of the prostitutes I've been sleeping with. Tally ho." Mark Smith, Pleasance Courtyard

3 "I was very naive sexually. My first boyfriend asked me to do missionary and I buggered off to Africa for six months." Hayley Ellis, Pleasance Courtyard

4 "Gok Wan has a programme telling us what to wear, now what to eat. I feel like I'm in an abusive relationship with Channel 4." Hayley Ellis, Pleasance Courtyard

5 "I really fancy Ed Miliband. Mainly because he looks like David Miliband reflected in a spoon." Gráinne Maguire, Udderbelly – Daisy

6 "The Only Way Is Essex's popularity is mystifying . Nothing happens in it. It's like a never ending hen night mixed with Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot."

Gráinne Maguire, Udderbelly – Daisy

7 "The best musical to go and see at the moment is Ghost. Apparently it's still starring Patrick Swayze." Tom Deacon, Pleasance Dome

8 "My Dad's advice when I was younger about women was 'Treat 'em mean keep 'em keen'. I guess that's why they had that divorce."

Tom Deacon, Pleasance Dome

9 "You can keep paying us and we'll keep waving from the balcony."

Andrew Maxwell on the Royal Family, Assembly George Square

10 "Watching porn on the internet is like witnessing a crime scene – I feel like I need to call the police."Alan Davies, EICC

11 "I used to want to be star but now I just like hot darkness."

Anti-comedian Eddie Pepitone, Just the Tonic at The Tron

12 "The finest Rioja comes from Fife. Meanwhile Spain is on fire."

Phill Jupitus on a climate-changed world in 2052, The Stand

13 "Just had a near death experience. I was metres away when this dude got hit by a train." Iain Stirling, Udderbelly

14 "When Jesus went to heaven, was that not essentially 'moving back in with your parents'?" Iain Stirling, Udderbelly

15 "Alex Salmond says he's proud of Scolympians. I presume he means Scottish Olympians? What a Scarsehole."

Matt Forde, Udderbelly, Bristo Square

16 "You should never take the mick out of a nightclub bouncer. These guys put themselves in the line of fire to protect us on a nightly basis. When they kiss their wives goodbye in the morning they don't know if they'll ever see their sisters again." Jarlath Regan, The Stand – Assembly Rooms

17"I decided to lose weight as I have learned obesity is the leading cause of heart disease, stroke and your flirting at work being construed as harassment" Pete Johansson, Udderbelly – Pasture

18 "The internet says pigeons can fly at 65mph. They can, just not necessarily in a straight line. This is a myth created by crows." Tim Fitzhigham, Pleasance Courtyard

19 "People who like trance music are very persistent. They don't techno for an answer." Joel Dommett, Pleasance Courtyard

20"I really wanted kids when I was in my early 20s but I could just never... lure them into my car. No, I'm kidding... I don't have a licence." Felicity Ward, Udderbelly Pasture

21"Elections are like police line-ups, only with elections you pick the person before they rob you and screw you. It's like a game of choose your mugger." Chopper, Udderbelly Pasture

22“My wife and I can’t have children. We don’t like them.” Will Franken, Just the Tonic

23"I am tired of hearing discrimination against Americans. Everybody hates Americans until they need to watch a good film, listen to some decent hip hop or go to war. What do you get when you add sunshine and personal space to a Brit? An American. Add health care and education and you get a Canadian." Dana Alexander, Udderbelly Pasture

24"My girlfriend worries about me cheating on a night out, but I always try to reassure her and say to her: 'Why would I go out and have a burger when I have steak at home?' The only problem is, when you are drunk, burgers are well nice." Rob Beckett , Pleasance Courtyard

25"I see these signs on the back of trucks which say, IF YOU CANNOT SEE MY MIRRORS. I CANNOT SEE YOU. Whenever I see those signs I immediately run up behind the truck and if I can't see his mirrors, I start unloading/stealing his stuff." Benny Boot, Udderbelly – Pasture

26"Ever hated yourself so much that your apartment wants you to move out?" Rick Shapiro, Assembly at George Square

27"Fifty Shades of Grey; the new Farrow and Ball Catalogue. Or so my wife assures me that's what it is." Simon Evans, Pleasance Courtyard

28"The sound of a baby screaming is like hearing all four Loose Women talk at once." David Longley, The Stand II

29"In your thirties your friends just disappear. I don't mean they die, they all move to Birmingham – which is worse."

Lucy Porter, The Stand

30"Walking down the Royal Mile is like scrolling through the mind of a failed actor." Chris Ramsey, Pleasance Courtyard

31"Keep digging you'll find one eventually." Simon Evans on the Edinburgh trams, Pleasance Courtyard

32"The tattooist said to me that she didn't believe in anaesthetic. I said: 'I assure you, it does exist." Diane Spencer, Gilded Balloon

33 "Google is like religion – you choose the answer that is right for you." Trevor Noah, Pleasance Courtyard

34 "There are so many drugs in my system that I could be on the Chinese Olympic swimming team." Andrew Lawrence, Pleasance Courtyard

35"I went to the hospital with my psoriasis. They gave me a DVD of The Singing Detective and said 'Good luck with your life.'" Sean Hughes, Gilded Balloon

36"Princess Kate is a PILF, if you will. I won't. I suspect you can get hanged for that." Mark Watson on the regal version of MILF, Assembly George Square

37 "Glass half empty or glass half full, there's still exactly the same amount of water in each one." Will Cooper in Jerome Jack's Journey of Life, Just the Tonic at the Tron

38"Like watching two football teams that never quite score." Alistair Barrie on weather watching. Udderbelly Bristo Square

39 “Today... I did seven press ups: not in a row.” Daniel Kitson, The Traverse

40"If 50 Cent was shot nine times, why doesn't he sound like a flute?" Luke Benson, Pleasance Courtyard

41"No one can stare out of a window like Sarah Lund." Cariad Lloyd in character as Scandinavian detective Moomin Mama, Pleasance Courtyard

42"What did the male shepherd say to the female shepherd? You herd!" Nick Helm, Pleasance Dome

43"I don't sun tan. My sunburn looks like a 1950s propaganda poster of the spread of communism." Mark Nelson, Underbelly

44"Sleep like a baby? My kids sleep like caffeinated meercats promised a trip to Disney in the morning." Liam Mullone, The Stand

45"The average life expectancy of people in EastEnders is 42 – that's lower than Kabul." Liam Mullone, The Stand

46"Period drama is essentially a drama that is on on Sunday nights." Marek Larwood, Pleasance Courtyard

47"Drugs are not allowed at the Olympics. Unless you're in charge of thinking up the Opening Ceremony, in which case they're mandatory." Alistair Barrie, Udderbelly Bristo Square

48 “I know that the English always say that Irish pubs are so friendly. Let me tell you something: we don’t even know you’re there.” Sean Hughes, Pleasance Courtyard

49 “I was the first to reach the summit. Apparently this means I am not a team player.” Josie Long on her first climbing exploit, Pleasance Courtyard

50 “Being a lawyer just made up for being a lesbian.” Susan Calman on her career change from lawyer to comedian, Udderbelly Bristo Square (middle left)

51 “I’ve been on Mock the Week – a non-speaking role.” Mark Watson, Assembly George Square

52"God Save the Queen: someone who doesn't exist saving someone who shouldn't – like Super Ted saving Gary Glitter." Lloyd Langford, Assembly Rooms

53"I didn't get both ears pierced because I don't like to prescribe to gender roles and because it hurt." Sara Pascoe, Assembly George Square

54"Nobody starts something hoping it will fail – maybe a suicide bombing." Katherine Ryan, Gilded Balloon

55"Cher Lloyd: looks like Cheryl Cole if she had been at the bottom of the sea for a week." Katherine Ryan, Gilded Balloon

56"You cannot 'complete' the gym: it's like Tetris, but the music is not as good." Naz Osmanoglu, Udderbelly

57"Although I've been called a slut many, many times: my mum's definition of a slut is different to everyone else's." Jessie Cave, Underbelly

58"A woman in America has had the largest ever boob job to increase her breasts to 38KKK. That is one dedicated racist." Mark Nelson, Underbelly

59 "Apparently the average price of a slave worldwide is less than the average price of an iPod. Fair enough, but you try teaching your slave 12,000 songs." Mark Nelson, Underbelly

60"If Windolene cleans windows would a trampolene clean the homeless?" Gordon Southern, Gilded Balloon

61"Bethnal Green is half-Islamic and half-student, so basically everyone's walking around in their pyjamas all day long." David Mills, Alternative Fringe@The Hive

62"My sister just had a baby – she's called it Tiff, because it's a girl. If it was a boy if would have been Jpeg." Helen Arney, Underbelly

63"Scotland announce the slogan for their ambitious Winter Olympics bid: GLASGOW 2022: WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER." Dog-Eared Collective, Underbelly

64"I live in London, my kids live in Southampton. I'm surprised more people don't do it like this. Sending them to their room is a real threat when it involves hitch-hiking down the M3." Luke Toulson, Underbelly

65"I wouldn't recommend tai chi for self defence, unless you're getting mugged by a mime artist. Which happens a surprising amount in Edinburgh during August. They're skint." Danny Buckler, Just The Tonic, The Caves

66"I knew the UK would do well at the Olympics, because thanks to last year's riots, most of our young folk have sportswear." Steve N Allen, Laughing Horse@Captain Taylor's Coffee House

67"Each year the Humility Award recognises that individual who does not recognise recognition. Indeed, the very act of receiving the Humility Award is something that the recipient of the Humility Award could never do. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to announce that nobody can ever receive this award. So we'll just put it away." Will Franken in character, Just The Tonic, The Caves

68"I got involved with an animal charity recently and adopted a whale and a monkey, which is all very well, but sooner or later, I'm gonna have to be the one who has to explain to them why they don't look like each other." Mark Restuccia, Gilded Balloon

69 “I used to be in a very tidy rock band. OC/DC.” Rob Deering, Pleasance Courtyard

70"As a short man, I'm annoyed by the stereotype that all short people are funny. So I'll be disproving that over the next 5 minutes..." Gareth Morinan, Udderbelly Bristo Square

71"When I die I want my remains to go to my iPod, my iPhone and my laptop. I want to be left to my own devices."Gareth Richards, Pleasance Courtyard

72"'Aged rum is a sophisticated spirit that should be sipped neat and savoured. Not drowned in Coke like Whitney Houston." The Thinking Drinkers Guide to Alcohol, Assembly Rooms

73"I can't believe that with all their money, The Spice Girls turned up to that concert in taxis!" Mick Miller, Pleasance Dome

74"Michael Phelps did well at the Olympics. Now he's gone back to his day job – he's a milkman in Venice." Mick Miller, Pleasance Dome

75"I do think a lot about other people. Usually I'm thinking – I wonder what they think about me." Lou Sanders, Pleasance Courtyard

76"I'm trying to read Kama Sutra on the train but it has put the other passengers in an awkward position." Al Pitcher, Gilded Balloon

77"Many woman find big tall men more attractive than shorty wimpy ones (like myself). It makes sense in evolutionary terms, after all a big man is better able to protect you. However, these days you're actually more likely to be attacked by your own partner than a stranger, so if anything you're safer off with a man you can physically overpower. Who's looking like a good catch now?" Gareth Morinan, Udderbelly Bristo Square

78"Paying for 'priority boarding' on a Ryanair flight is about as futile as being part of David Cameron's cabinet. Yes, you may well get ahead quicker in life but you'll still have to sit next to an utter twat". Jeff Leach, Gilded Balloon

79"I put my phone on Airplane setting and it told me not to call it Shirley." Catie Wilkins, Udderbelly

80"I invented the self-fulfilling prophesy. It probably won't take off, but still..." Garet Millerick, Underbelly

81"What happens in the Bermuda Triangle stays in the Bermuda Triangle." James Acaster, Pleasance Courtyard

82"My husband's penis is like a semi colon. I can't remember what it's for and I never use it anyway." Mary Bourke, The Stand

83"Lately my husband has started pissing with the door open. No modesty, no decorum. Pissing with the door open. Do you have any idea how disgusting that is when you're trying to drive." Mary Bourke, The Stand

84"I'm here at the Edinburgh festival, because Scotland is where the most depressed – and depressing – people come from." Rachel Stubbings as her agony aunt character, Udderbelly, Bristo Square

85"I like my men how I like my tea. Strong, loose and from Yorkshire." Tiffany Stevenson, Udderbelly

86"The traffic light warning system on supermarket foods means nothing to me – I'm a cyclist." Juliet Meyers, The Stand II

87"We did well in the Olympics. We were snatching gold off other countries like we had an empire again." Juliet Meyers, The Stand II

88"So I had this threesome at this swinging party. I fell asleep on a bed under a pile of coats and two people came in and had sex. That counts, right?" Sajeela Kershi, Laughing Horse@Espionage

89"Turns out us Muslims have a lot in common with vampires. We can't eat between the hours of sunrise and sunset (during ramadan) we wear burqas to keep the sun from burning us and we flinch when we see crucifixes..." Sajeela Kershi, Laughing Horse@Espionage

90"Welcome to the Rosa Parks VIP area... where nobody feels special." Holly Burn in character, Just the Tonic at The Caves

91"My wife is always saying to me that we should be more spontaneous. I say: 'Fine! When?'" Susan Calman, Udderbelly, Bristo Square

92"Apparently Take Me Out is shot in front of a live audience but then again so was Col Gaddafi and that was way more entertaining television." Mary Bourke, The Stand

93"My mother is so pessimistic. If there were an Olympics of pessimism, she wouldn't fancy her chances." Nish Kumar, Underbelly

94"What should you say if Bono gives you flowers? I love U2." Rob Deering, Pleasance Courtyard

95"How did Captain Kirk ruin all his old vinyl records? He played them at warp speed." Rob Deering, Pleasance Courtyard

96"I've had a good marketing idea. My show next year is going to be called 'John Bishop'." Mark Watson, Assembly George Square

97"I'll never forget the day when I got a rear-view mirror installed for the car. I never looked back after that!" Jimmy Cricket, Pleasance Dome

98"A Tory and a Lib Dem stand on top of a cliff – which one should you push off first? The Tory. Business before pleasure." Simon Evans as the PM in Coalition, Pleasance Dome

99"If you want to give someone a back-handed compliment, just tell them they have really nice knuckles." Paul F Taylor, Just the Tonic at The Tron

100"I find that ants over-praise me. Sycophants? Yes I am." Tim Vine, Pleasance Courtyard

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments