50 of the worst jokes and one-liners from the Edinburgh Fringe

Even the best comedians can have an off day.

Comedian Tim Vine is no stranger to the Fringe, appearing in our list more than once. Picture: Jane Barlow
Comedian Tim Vine is no stranger to the Fringe, appearing in our list more than once. Picture: Jane Barlow

While the Edinburgh Fringe is known for its high quality comedy, some of the festival’s jokes are so bad they’re good.

Here are 50 of the most terrible jokes and one-liners from Fringe-goers have groaned at in recent years.

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*Warning: contains some adult material*

Comedian and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth. Picture: Jane Barlow

From the cringeworthy…

• “In France J-Lo is called ‘I have water.’” Adam Hess (2016)

• “If you don’t know what introspection is, you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.” Ian Smith (2015)

“I like to play chess with bald men in the park, although it’s hard to find 32 of them.” Emo Philips (2010)

Comedienne Sarah Millican. Picture: Contributed

“I never lie on my CV… because it creases it.” Jenny Collier (2015)

“I thought ex-pats were people who used to be called Pat.” Simon Lilley (2013)

“I was born into the music industry. My dad worked in Our Price.” Doc Brown (2010)

“Drive Thru McDonalds was more expensive than I thought. Once you’ve hired the car...” Tim Key (2011)

Irish comic David O'Doherty. Picture: Jane Barlow

“My mate sat on my pumpkin. He butternut squash it.” Leo Kearse (2014)

“I usually meet my girlfriend at 12:59, because I like that one to one time.” Tom Ward (2015)

“You know city centre beat officers? Well, are they police who rap?” Sean Hughes (2010)

Comedian and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth. Picture: Jane Barlow

“Let me tell you a little about myself. It’s a reflexive pronoun that means ‘me’.” Ally Houston (2015)

“I’ve got nothing against lesbians. I mean, that’s the point, isn’t it?” Gyles Brandreth (2010)

“I’d like to start with the chimney jokes – I’ve got a stack of them. The first one is on the house.” Tim Vine (2014)

“How many Spaniards does it take to change a lightbulb? Juan.” Dan Antopolski (2010)

“This vodka is drunk by the rapper Sean Combs. P Diddy? Only when he drank a whole bottle.” Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham (2014)

“Earlier this year I saw The Theory of Everything. Loved it. Should’ve been called Look Who’s Hawking – that’s my only criticism.” James Acaster (2015)

Comedienne Sarah Millican. Picture: Contributed

“What’s the funniest fruit in the bowl? Cherry Seinfeld.” Lizzy Mace (2014)

“Swastika in Geordie means something that used to be a sticker.” Ben Van Der Velde (2013)

“I went to see this show and the guy said, ‘Hey, kid, do you like magic?’ And I said, ‘Yeah!’ So he asked if I wanted to see a trick, and I said, ‘Yeah!’ So he said, ‘Think of a number, times it by two, and if it’s odd…’ Oh no, he’s a MATHmagician!” Card Ninja (2011)

“I bought a cross-trainer to keep fit. I suppose that it’s not enough to just buy it.” Sarah Millican (2010)

“Having a foot fetish is surprisingly common, but will get you kicked out of Foot Locker.” Rick Mercer (2014)

“I’m lazy. My childhood ambition was to be an injured footballer.” Mike Shephard (2015)

“I did a gig in a fertility clinic. I got a standing ovulation.” Tim Vine (2014)

“Why did the chicken commit suicide? To get to the other side.” Sara Pascoe (2010)

“What do you call three members of ABBA in a French slaughterhouse? ABBA trois.” Darren Walsh (2016)

“Pigeons are just like doves. Except no one invites them to weddings.” Tommy Rowson (2014)

“I want to talk about something that’s close to my heart. My lungs.” Alex Horne (2013)

“Ever looked at anyone and said, ‘I love you, but I don’t want children who look like dolphins’?” Stephen Carlin (2014)

“I said to a fella, ‘Is there a B&Q in Henley?’ He said, ‘No, there’s an H, an E, an N, an L, and a Y…” Paul Daniels (2011)

“I once did a gig in a zoo. I got babooned off.” Tim Vine (2013)

“We’re good at three things in the North – stoicism, coal mining and drizzle.” Chris Boyd (2014)

“What do you call a pink flower that comes back from the dead? A re-in-carnation.” Nikhil Tiwali (2013)

“My body’s not designed to go up Arthur’s Seat. Perhaps his ankle.” Eddie Pepitone (2014)

“I moved to London to properly pursue comedy. That means I work in a restaurant.” Conor Drum (2014)

“I’m a head gardener. Whatever I say grows.” Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez (2013)

“My mother is always taking photographs of me. She said, ‘If you disappear tomorrow, I want you to look good on the news’.” Gareth Richards (2010)

“I’m married with kids. I don’t need to look good, I just need to look better than the prospect of single parentdom.” Romesh Ranganathan (2013)

“Floella Benjamin is in the House of Lords. How did she get in? Through the round window?” Andi Osho (2010)

“Due to the economy, profiteroles will now be called deficiteroles.” Tom Webb (2011)

“I tried to Google endangered species. They were hard to find.” Suns of Fred (2014)

“Uncle Ben has died. No more Mr Rice Guy.” Tim Vine (2011)

“I had a friend call Iain. Two ‘i’s… to go with the face.” John Kearns (2014)

“Ninety per cent of baking injuries are stress-related. There are people up and down the country having mental bake-downs.” Pat Cahill (2013)

… to the downright offensive

“Some of my best friends are vegan. They were going to come today, but they didn’t have the energy to climb up the stairs.” Bec Hill (2010)

“The Lockerbie bomber put Lockerbie on the map. Well, he nearly took it off it too.” Vladimir McTavish (2011)

“I don’t have to worry about Operation Yewtree. Every woman I’ve ever been with denies knowing me.” Lewis Schaffer (2014)

“There is nothing worse than seeing your own kids go hungry on Christmas Day. There’s no way you can enjoy your own Christmas dinner.” Ivor Dembina (2014)

“Whenever I get to Edinburgh, I’m reminded of the definition of a gentleman. It’s someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, but doesn’t.” Gyles Brandreth (2015)

“I made a Battenberg where the two colours ran alongside each other. I called it apartheid sponge.” John Luke Roberts (2010)

“When Steve Jobs died, they put him in a bag of rice to see if he’d come back to life.” David O’Doherty (2016)

Irish comic David O'Doherty. Picture: Jane Barlow