The funniest joke of the year has been crowned – but not everyone is happy08/22/2023
The funniest joke of Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been decided by a public vote – but still, not everyone is happy.
A groan-inducing pun was crowned the funniest joke of the year after comedian Lorna Rose Treen had audiences in stitches at the annual comedy festival.
It was then taken to a public vote, where it beat out a number of other gags to be crowned the winner of Dave Funniest Joke of the Festival.
The joke in question?
‘I started dating a zookeeper – but it turned out he was a cheetah.’
We all love a good pun (even if we pretend we hate it, hence the groaning), but the joke has divided opinion on whether it was a worthy winner, with more than a few comparing it to a Christmas cracker joke – even Lorna herself.
She appeared on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday to share her winning gag, saying she ‘couldn’t believe’ her ‘silly joke’ was chosen as the winner.
‘Every year a Christmas cracker-style joke wins. It was such a privilege … legends have won it.’
The reaction online was divided, with some comedy fans saying they ‘love it’ and others labeling it ‘brilliant.’
Others grumpily declared it wasn’t funny at all, with one even dramatically claiming that ‘comedy is dead,’ and another saying you wouldn’t be happy ‘if that joke turned up in a Christmas cracker.
And as one person put it: ‘Edinburgh Cringe.’
But the pun was irrefutably popular, having been ranked among the best jokes by 44% of those surveyed for the competition.
The runner-up came from comedian Liz Guterbock, who joked: ‘The most British thing I’ve ever heard? A lady who said “Well I’m sorry, but I don’t apologise.”‘
Amos Gill poked fun at the sorry state of the economy with his third-place quip: ‘Last year I had a great joke about inflation. But it’s hardly worth it now.’
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023’s top 10 funniest jokes
I started dating a zookeeper, but it turned out he was a cheetah. — Lorna Rose Treen
The most British thing I’ve ever heard? A lady who said ‘Well I’m sorry, but I don’t apologise.’ — Liz Guterbock
Last year I had a great joke about inflation. But it’s hardly worth it now. — Amos Gill
When women gossip we get called bitchy; but when men do it’s called a podcast. — Sikisa
I thought I’d start off with a joke about The Titanic — just to break the ice. — Masai Graham
How do coeliac Germans greet each other? Gluten tag. — Frank Lavender
My friend got locked in a coffee place overnight. Now he only ever goes into Starbucks, not the rivals. He’s Costa-phobic. — Roger Swift
I entered the ‘How not to surrender’ competition and I won hands down. — Bennett Arron
Nationwide must have looked pretty silly when they opened their first branch. — William Stone
My grandma describes herself as being in her ‘twilight years’ which I love because they’re great films. — Daniel Foxx
And comedian Sikisa joked: ‘When women gossip we get called bitchy; but when men do it’s called a podcast.’
Lorna made her Fringe Festival debut with multi-character show Skin Pigeon, and told BBC News the joke is delivered on-stage by a ‘film noir character with a mouth full of cigarettes.’
The winning joke is chosen by a panel of comedy critics who attend hundreds of shows before writing a list of the best jokes, which are then voted on anonymously by 2000 members of the public asked to choose their top three.
Last year’s winner came from comedian Masai Graham, who said he ‘tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn’t get pasta.’
Lorna is the first woman to win the title of funniest joke since Zoe Lyons at the very first Fringe joke award in 2008.
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