These 10 jokes have been voted the best of the Edinburgh Fringe, but only one female comedian made the list, of course…
The best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe has been revealed – and it’s… well, it’s a vegetable pun. Which makes perfect sense, to be honest: after all, a turnip, kale and cabbage sculpture of Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer was the hottest thing in the UK Twittersphere earlier in the summer.
The joke came courtesy of Swedish comedian Olaf Falafel, who has come very close to claiming the coveted honour of Dave’s Funniest Joke in the past. 2019, though, proved to be his year when the Fringe veteran opted to go veggie on his audience.
So, are you ready for this? This year’s winning joke was: “I keep randomly shouting out ‘broccoli’ and ‘cauliflower’ – I think I might have florets.”
Of course, Falafel had to see off some stiff competition to secure the award – as the other jokes in the Top 10 Funniest Jokes at Edinburgh Fringe 2019 will prove.
Check it out…
- “I keep randomly shouting out ‘broccoli’ and ‘cauliflower’ – I think I might have florets.” – Olaf Falafel
- ”Someone stole my antidepressants. Whoever they are, I hope they’re happy” – Richard Stott
- “What’s driving Brexit? From here it looks like it’s probably the Duke of Edinburgh” – Milton Jones
- “A cowboy asked me if I could help him round up 18 cows. I said, ‘Yes, of course. – That’s 20 cows’” – Jake Lambert
- “A thesaurus is great. There’s no other word for it” – Ross Smith
- “Sleep is my favourite thing in the world. It’s the reason I get up in the morning” – Ross Smith
- “I accidentally booked myself onto an escapology course; I’m really struggling to get out of it” – Adele Cliff
- “After learning six hours of basic semaphore, I was flagging – Richard Pulsford
- “To be or not to be a horse rider, that is Equestrian” – Mark Simmons
- “I’ve got an Eton-themed advent calendar, where all the doors are opened for me by my dad’s contacts” – Ivo Graham
Luke Hales, Dave’s channel director, said: “What a year it’s been for current affairs and British eccentricities! The comedic opportunities to be creative are endless and above all we’ve all needed a good laugh in 2019.
“We have really enjoyed the great anecdotes and one liners submitted this year and we couldn’t be happier to crown Olaf Falafel as the winner of this year’s Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe Award!”
Of course, it’s impossible not to notice that only one female comedian – Adele Cliff, who came in at number seven on this year’s top 10 – made the cut, especially as so many brilliant women took to the stage at Fringe 2019 (think Fern Brady, Stevie Martin, Sophie Duker, London Hughes, Grace Campbell and many more besides).
Hales previously told the BBC that there is a lot of competition for the top accolade – and it all comes down to a public vote.
“We get six jokes submitted from each of our 10 comedy critics, so we do have a vast amount of jokes to choose from - and they are voted on by the public.
“We do submit all jokes - but because the public vote for them, I think the cleaner ones tend to make it to the top.”
So what we’re hearing is that the public, as a whole, isn’t voting for jokes by women. Hmm.
Gina Lyons, a comedy producer in TV and Live Comedy, previously told Stylist that sexism is rife in this male-dominated industry based on egos and night shifts.
“Yes, the industry has changed a little, and for the better, but it’s really only changed on the surface, just as it did for racism and homophobia. Underneath this faux sense of equality, the sexism is still there, seeped in the majority. It’s in the casual remarks, the bookings, the on-stage introductions. It’s in the opinions of our audiences,” she said.
“Who can forget the moment that Bridget Christie went on Have I Got News For You and was introduced ‘as a woman who collected her Foster’s comedy award wearing a ‘No More Page 3’ T-shirt, but got a bigger round of applause when she took it off’? Yeah, that really happened.”
Lyons has said that the responsibility isn’t just on directors and writers to hire more women, though: it’s on the audiences, too. We need to make more of an effort to go out and see female comedians when and where we can.
“By supporting our fellow women, we can – slowly – change sexism at large,” she said. I’m building my own little girl at the moment [Lyons was 22 weeks pregnant at the time she spoke to Stylist], and I want her to have the option of being a comedian or writer when she is older. I want her to know that we all made life a little easier for her. I want her to know that it’s an industry she can be accepted into, and thrive in.
“I want her to have weightless shoulders when delivering her dick jokes on stage, to be introduced on to a TV show by her merits, not her tits. I guess I want what we all want: equality, in comedy and all of life.
“What’s so funny about that?”
Well, nothing. Fingers crossed that the roster for Edinburgh Fringe 2020’s funniest feels a little more balanced, eh? And that it includes plenty more vegetable puns: there’s nothing more wholesome than laughing over our five-a-day, to be honest.