Stand-up's pasta pun one liner named best joke of the Fringe

It is a pithy one-liner that left audiences ravioling on the floor.

A stand-up who specialises in quickfire puns has joined a select band of comedians who have won the high-profile Joke of the Fringe award more than once.

Masai Graham, who has been playing to crowds at the Laughing Horse at Dropkick Murphys this month, secured the award thanks to one of more than 100 jokes he reels out over the space of his half hour show.

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The joke in question, ‘I tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn’t get pasta’, secured more than half the votes (52 per cent) in a survey of more than 2,000 people.

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It means that Mr Graham joins another veteran punner, Tim Vine, in winning the award, sponsored by the comedy channel, Dave, multiple times.

The comedian, from West Bromwich, won in 2016 thanks to his gag about organ donation: ‘My dad suggested I register for a donor card, he’s a man after my own heart.”

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Mr Graham, whose current show is entitled ‘Aaaaaaaaaargh! It's 101 Clean Jokes in 30 minutes’, said: “It's great to see the Edinburgh Fringe festival back up and running again, it's my spiritual home.

“I was so delighted to find out I'd won the Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe award for a second time - I thought, ‘this is getting pasta joke’.”

Comedian Masai Graham has won the Dave Joke of the Fringe award for the second time. Picture: Lesley Martin
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Other lauded one liners and jokes shortlisted by a panel of leading comedy critics before the public vote include veterans of the Fringe.

Mark Simmons, who also made the shortlist back in 2017, took more than a third (37 per cent) of the votes thanks to his one liner, ‘Did you know, if you get pregnant in the Amazon, it’s next day delivery?’

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The comedian and children’s author, Olaf Falafel, had two lines shortlisted, and came a close third with another culinary-themed joke: ‘My attempts to combine nitrous oxide and Oxo cubes made me a laughing stock.’

In eighth place was his deadpan remark: ‘I spent the whole morning building a time machine, so that’s four hours of my life that I’m definitely getting back.’

Mr Vine, a two-time winner of the award, was shortlisted for ‘I used to live hand to mouth. Do you know what changed my life? Cutlery’.

The award, now in their 13th year, saw the panel of critics attend hundreds of shows across the Fringe over recent weeks, listening out for those jokes which tickled them the most. Each critic then submitted their six favourite jokes.

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In order to ensure that there is no bias towards well-known stand-ups during the public vote, the jokes are listed with no reference to the comedian who wrote and performed them.

Cherie Cunningham, Dave’s channel director, said “What a pleasure to be back in Edinburgh. This is Dave’s first Joke of the Fringe in three years and the quality of submissions has been incredibly strong.

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“It’s a fantastic top 10 full of newcomers and comedy veterans, and it’s a delight to crown Masai Graham as winner once more.”

The top ten funniest jokes of the Fringe 2022

1. I tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn’t get Pasta

Masai Graham

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2. Did you know, if you get pregnant in the Amazon, it’s next day deliveryMark Simmons

3. My attempts to combine nitrous oxide and Oxo cubes made me a laughing stock

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Olaf Falafel

4. By my age, my parents had a house and a family, and to be fair to me, so do I, but it is the same house and it is the same family

Hannah Fairweather

5. I hate funerals – I’m not a mourning person

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Will Mars

6. I spent the whole morning building a time machine, so that’s four hours of my life that I’m definitely getting back

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Olaf Falafel

7. I sent a food parcel to my first wife. FedEx

Richard Pulsford

8. I used to live hand to mouth. Do you know what changed my life? Cutlery

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Tim Vine

9. Don’t knock threesomes. Having a threesome is like hiring an intern to do all the jobs you hate

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Sophie Duker

10. I can’t even be bothered to be apathetic these days

Will Duggan

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