Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Writing - Humour and the Fringe

I've been to the Edinburgh Fringe once! In all fairness it has helped numerous celebrities on their way to stardom but I do feel there are a plethora of very desperate people trying to push their limited talents to some kind of success.

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Edinburgh Fringe

This year is the 65th anniversary of the fringe festival and during that time some great acts have blossomed from these beginnings. People such as Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Michael McIntyre, Graham Chapman, John Cleese and many more. Many of these notables return annually which enriches the quality of the acts that appear in the streets, the back rooms of pubs, little theatres and grander stages. However, rather like selling books, there are some on the fringes (pardon the pun) that only have desperation going for them. 

As is the wont of the current day society there has to be some kind of award and for a few years there is the 'Best Joke' award. These are the top ten best jokes as selected by a panel of judges.

The Winner

1. I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It's Hans free" - Darren Walsh

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Darren with his trophy

2. "Kim Kardashian is saddled with a huge arse ... but enough about Kanye West" - Stewart Francis

3. "Surely every car is a people carrier?" - Adam Hess

4. "What's the difference between a 'hippo' and a 'Zippo'? One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter" - Masai Graham

5. "If I could take just one thing to a desert island I probably wouldn't go" - Dave Green

6. "Jesus fed 5,000 people with two fishes and a loaf of bread. That's not a miracle. That's tapas" - Mark Nelson

7. "Red sky at night. Shepherd's delight. Blue sky at night. Day" - Tom Parry

8. "The first time I met my wife, I knew she was a keeper. She was wearing massive gloves" - Alun Cochrane

9. "Clowns divorce. Custardy battle" - Simon Munnery

10. "They're always telling me to live my dreams. But I don't want to be naked in an exam I haven't revised for..." - Grace The Child

Would you volunteer to be the judge of the best joke? I wouldn't for my own safety. The above list has two or three that I find amusing one of which is the winner but humour is such a personal attribute judging what's funny is a risk. This year there is only one that I don't see as funny at all and that is number 8. My favourites are 4, 6 and 7.
Like every story that has ever been written many of the jokes are a variation on a theme, like number 10, but in that case imitation is the most sincere form of flattery! Someone famous once said that there are basically only 7 story lines but neglected to add that there are a myriad of variations.

Irrespective of your personal sense of humour, your view of this type of festival or your own aspirations, I would advise everyone to go to the Fringe at least once if for no other reason than to support the people who are putting heart and soul into their art.

God Bless