This occurred to me as I was reading about the top fifteen jokes from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, as voted for by the viewers of the Dave tv channel, and thought most of them were rubbish.
Especially the winner from Masai Graham: ‘My dad has suggested that I register for a donor card. He’s a man after my own heart.’
At 3 and 4 we have: ‘I’ve been happily married for four years – out of a total of 10’ from Mark Watson and; ‘Apparently 1 in 3 Britons are conceived in an IKEA bed which is mad because those places are really well lit’ from Mark Smith, both of which I’m sure I’ve heard before.
Appalling puns also featured: ‘Why is Henry’s wife covered in tooth marks? Because he’s Tudor’ (Adele Cliff), ‘I spotted a marmite van on the motorway. It was heading yeastbound’ (Roger Swift) and ‘Elton John hates ordering Chinese food. Soya seems to be the hardest word’ (Phil Nicol).
Don’t get me wrong though – my funny bone can still be tickled. I quite liked: ‘I often confuse Americans and Canadians. By using long words’ (Gary Delaney) and ‘I’ll tell you what’s unnatural in the eyes of God. Contact lenses’ (Zoe Lyons).
And particularly: ‘I went to a pub quiz in Liverpool, had a few drinks so wasn’t much use. Just for a laugh I wrote The Beatles or Steven Gerrard for every answer… came second’ from Will Duggan.
But it seems to me that the best jokes fell outside the top fifteen. Here’s the pick of my favourites:
‘Racism is like cricket – it was invented here, but perfected in Australia.’ – Nish Kumar
‘My goal in life is always to turn a negative into a positive. Which is why I lost my job at the HIV clinic.’ – Andrew Lawrence
‘Just because I don’t know the literal meaning of things, don’t treat me like an idiom.’ – Phil Nichol
But the best of the bunch, at least for me, was this one from Simon Evans:
‘Hello, Schrödinger’s cattery, can I help you?’
‘Yes, hello. We dropped Pebbles off with you, we just wanted to ask if he’s still okay?’
‘Yes and no….’
So have I lost my sense of humour or has the rest of the world (the ones who tune into Dave) found a different one?