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Ready, Set, Groan: Here's The Best Joke From The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The new pound coin inspired the funniest joke of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, this year.
Matt Cardy
Getty Images
The new pound coin inspired the funniest joke of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, this year.

The very best joke of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as determined by a poll of the British public, was delivered by Ken Cheng. In a deadpan voice, of course.

"I'm not a fan of the new pound coin," Cheng said. "But then again, I hate all change."

Cheng said he was "very proud" of his victory. "As a tribute, I will name my firstborn son after this award and call him 'Joke of the Fringe,' " he said.

Second place in the "Dave's Funniest Joke of the Fringe" contest went to Frankie Boyle: "Trump's nothing like Hitler," he said. "There's no way he could write a book."

Third place was Alexei Sayle: "I've given up asking rhetorical questions. What's the point?"

Dave, if you were curious, is a TV channel. It says the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is considered the largest arts festival in the world. A panel of comedy critics and reviewers selected a shortlist of one-liners from the festival, then 2,000 British people voted on which was the funniest. The comedians' names were left out, to keep celebrity from overshadowing ...

Oh, who are we kidding. You don't want facts about the contest. You want more jokes.

Here are the champion jokes of the past five years, as delivered by the victors.

(That 2013 winner may requires some familiarity with British slang and candy bars to be comprehensible.)

And this year's runners-up, Nos. 4 through 15:

  • I'm looking for the girl next door type. I'm just gonna keep moving house till I find her. Lew Fitz
  • I like to imagine the guy who invented the umbrella was going to call it the 'brella.' But he hesitated. Andy Field
  • Combine Harvesters. And you'll have a really big restaurant. Mark Simmons [Harvester is a British restaurant chain.]
  • I'm rubbish with names. It's not my fault, it's a condition. There's a name for it ... Jimeoin
  • I have two boys, 5 and 6. We're no good at naming things in our house. Ed Byrne
  • I wasn't particularly close to my dad before he died ... which was lucky, because he trod on a land mine. Olaf Falafel
  • Whenever someone says, "I don't believe in coincidences," I say, "Oh my God, me neither!" Alasdair Beckett-King
  • A friend tricked me into going to Wimbledon by telling me it was a men's singles event. Angela Barnes
  • As a vegan, I think people who sell meat are disgusting; but apparently people who sell fruit and veg are grocer. Adele Cliff
  • For me dying is a lot like going camping. I don't want to do it. Phil Wang
  • I wonder how many chameleons snuck onto the Ark. Adam Hess
  • I went to a Pretenders gig. It was a tribute act. Tim Vine
  • So far, no fatalities have been reported as a result of any of these jokes.

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    Camila Flamiano Domonoske covers cars, energy and the future of mobility for NPR's Business Desk.