Stewart Francis one-liner is voted Fringe’s funniest
IT’S NO joke. Canadian comedian Stewart Francis has been hailed the king of the one-liner at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Famous for his deadpan performances on British television shows such as Mock The Week, Francis has topped a poll for telling the Fringe’s funniest joke.
And his witty wisecrack? “You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.”
The winning gag was poking fun at the couple’s children – Brooklyn Joseph, Romeo James, Cruz David, and Harper Seven.
A panel of ten critics sifted through 7,200 jokes from 3,600 minutes of material to shortlist 30 puns.
They were then put to a public vote with 3,000 comedy fans choosing their favourite.
Francis got 21 per cent of the votes for his one-liner and walked away with a trophy from TV channel Dave and a £1,000 cash prize. The 53-year-old Toronto-born funnyman, who only took up comedy at the age of 30, appears on the list twice, as does London comedian Tim Vine.
The winning Posh and Becks joke features in the comedian’s current show, Return of the Lumberjacks, at The Assembly Rooms. Francis, whose parents are British and who has a Scottish wife, was his usual jocular self when named the winner.
He said: “1969 West Mall Soccer Association’s Most Valuable Player, and now this. Thank you, Dave.”
Francis took up comedy when his girlfriend entered him for amateur open mic competition.
He has since written for the likes of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in the US and supported Ricky Gervais before his own solo tours.
Steve North, general manager of Dave, said: “Stewart Francis is a very worthy winner and with his droll quip has proved himself to be King of the one-liners.
“As Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe celebrates its fifth anniversary it’s great to see how the top ten get wittier and sharper every year.”
The Scotsman’s comedy reviewer Kate Copstick said: “It is not surprising Stewart Francis and Tim Vine are in there, as they are the best one-liners in the business.”
However, she said she was not a fan of compilation lists on who is the funniest, adding: “Their entire lives are spent crafting one-liners, but there are also story-telling comics and surreal comics who are not so quotable, as you would have to quote the entire routine.
“It is like having an Olympic event that is just one race but you have marathon runners up against Usain Bolt.
“The winner entirely depends on the length of the race, if it is long the marathon runner wins, if short then Bolt wins.”
TOP TEN FRINGE JOKES
1. Stewart Francis
“You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.”
2. Tim Vine
“Last night me and my girlfriend watched three DVDs back to back. Luckily I was the one facing the telly.”
3. Will Marsh
“I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister.”
4. Rob Beckett
“You know you’re working class when your TV is bigger than your book case.”
5. Chris Turner
“I’m good friends with 25 letters of the alphabet... I don’t know why.”
6. Tim Vine
“I took part in the sun tanning Olympics – I just got Bronze.”
7. George Ryegold
“Pornography is often frowned upon, but that’s only because I’m concentrating.”
8. Stewart Francis
“I saw a documentary on how ships are kept together. Riveting.”
9. Lou Sanders
“I waited an hour for my starter so I complained: ‘It’s not rocket salad’.”
10. Nish Kumar
“My mum’s so pessimistic, that if there was an Olympics for pessimism... she wouldn’t fancy her chances.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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