Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017 best jokes: Pound coin gag wins main prize

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A gag about the new pound coin has scooped the prize for the best joke of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Comedian Ken Cheng won the accolade with the line: “I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.”

It was taken from his show Ken Cheng: Chinese Comedian, which ran at Scotland’s famous arts festival which takes place every August.

Past winners include stand-up comics Tim Vine, Stewart Francis and Zoe Lyons.

Mr Cheng studied maths at Cambridge University for a year before dropping out to become a professional online poker player.

His big break in showbiz came when he reached the final of the 2015 BBC Radio New Comedy Award.

Dave’s Top 15 Funniest Jokes of the Edinburgh Fringe 2017:

1. “I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.” Ken Cheng – 33%


2. “Trump’s nothing like Hitler. There’s no way he could write a book.” Frankie Boyle – 30%


3. “I’ve given up asking rhetorical questions. What’s the point?” Alexei Sayle – 29%


4. “I’m looking for the girl next door type. I’m just gonna keep moving house till I find her.” Lew Fitz – 28%


5. “I like to imagine the guy who invented the umbrella was going to call it the ‘brella’. But he hesitated.” Andy Field – 27%


6. “Combine Harvesters. And you’ll have a really big restaurant.” Mark Simmons – 27%


7. “I’m rubbish with names. It’s not my fault, it’s a condition. There’s a name for it…” Jimeoin – 26%


8. “I have two boys, 5 and 6. We’re no good at naming things in our house.” Ed Byrne – 24%


9. “I wasn’t particularly close to my dad before he died… which was lucky, because he trod on a land mine.” Olaf Falafel – 24%


10. “Whenever someone says, ‘I don’t believe in coincidences.’ I say, ‘Oh my God, me neither!”‘ Alasdair Beckett-King – 23%


11. “A friend tricked me into going to Wimbledon by telling me it was a men’s singles event.” Angela Barnes – 20%


12. “As a vegan, I think people who sell meat are disgusting; but apparently people who sell fruit and veg are grocer.” Adele Cliff – 20%


13. “For me dying is a lot like going camping. I don’t want to do it.” Phil Wang – 20%


14. “I wonder how many chameleons snuck onto the Ark.” Adam Hess – 18%


15. “I went to a Pretenders gig. It was a tribute act.” Tim Vine – 18%

Receiving the award, Mr Cheng said: “I am very proud to have won.

“As a tribute, I will name my firstborn son after this award and call him ‘Joke of the Fringe’.”

Mr Cheng is also noted for his YouTube comedy character, Mark Liu.

The public vote saw 33 per cent pick Mr Cheng’s joke as top, followed by established comedian Frankie Boyle.

Mr Boyle, who was a permanent feature of comedy show Mock the Week, came second for the line: “Trump’s nothing like Hitler. There’s no way he could write a book.”

Comedian Alexei Sayle came third with the line: “I’ve given up asking rhetorical questions. What’s the point?”

The funniest joke award, which was voted on by 2,000 people, lists jokes anonymously to avoid any bias towards well-known comedians.

Last year’s winning joke was Masai Graham’s gag on organ donors: “My dad suggested that I register for a donor card. He’s a man after my own heart.”

It was followed by Stuart Mitchell’s line: “Why is it old people say ‘there’s no place like home’, yet when you put them in one…”

Steve North, general manager of Dave, said: “From Trump and veganism to the new pound coin, this year’s news agenda has certainly also provided some great inspiration for comedians to get grips with.

“It’s fantastic to see that, even after ten years of the Joke of the Fringe award, there is no shortage of brilliant one-liners delivered at the Festival to get us all laughing.”

This year marks the 10th time the Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe award has been given.


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