back to article Winehouse jibe wins Fringe's funniest gag

A tasteless jibe at the expense of galactically-talented bouffant platform Amy Winehouse has secured the Edinburgh Fringe festival's funniest gag crown for comedienne Zoe Lyons. Zoe Lyons with her Dave funniest gag trophy Lyons (pictured) entertained the crowds during her Mangled Mantra of the Messed-up Modern Mind show with …


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  1. pctechxp

    Good show

    sounds a good joke.

    I also definitely advise everyome to check out Kevin Bishop's send up of her singing the James Bond theme.

  2. Paul Stephenson

    he he

    "I know self-harming is not funny but it's just a joke, so I'm not going to beat myself up about it."


  3. Chris Matchett
    IT Angle

    Friday isn't it


  4. ShaggyDoggy

    My version

    I can't believe Amy Winehouse self-harms. What would be the point.

    ... now your version please

  5. Iain

    Quantum porn

    Quantum porn jokes are funnier.

    Frankie Boyle would have wiped the floor with them

  6. Mike Crawshaw


    Don't tell The Moderatrix about this article. She'll crucify anyone who approves of this joke!

    <--me is disguised as a penguin to avoid retribution!

  7. Phil Standen
    Paris Hilton

    @ My Version

    I can't believe "Amy Winehouse self-harms" is news, pumping yourself full of Heroin is considered beneficial?

    Your go.

  8. Marvin the Martian
    Thumb Down

    Festival of unfun

    Wow, what a funny joke.

    Amy Whineweasel jokes were totally like fresh around 2006 like, dude. At the point where she started falling apart and cancelling shows and being an obvious wreck, it was a bit... passe? I know time slows down up north but this is a bit much.

    Judging from the top-ten it still beat out the others in freshness [OK, one references Obama but it's a pre-2000 Bush joke, when Bush converted] but still. If you want to throw up, google for photos of the Rivers creature --- "when plastic surgeons go bad" or something.

    [Hippopotamuses thing is not even close to true --- not even in africa, where you have a world war going on killing a few millions the last five years.]

  9. dervheid


    You CANNOT be talking about Whinehouse, really.

    Unless I missed the <sarcasm>.

    As for the self harm, I suppose that carrying that rats nest about on top of her head must qualify.

    She may have been talented to start out with, but any scrap of that seems to have been buried under the over indulgence in her own publicity.

  10. Dave B

    Old gags

    You'd think the award would be for best original gag - Both the top two are old (admittedly with a different subject in the no.1 spot). Third place was good though.

    Hippo. Pocket. Too easy.

  11. David Cornes


    Personally I thought the runner-up was funnier, it's snappier with a nicer rhythm to it. All three are pretty good though!

    Myself I've always thought the name Winehouse was too close to a joke to be real (Winos, WHinehouse... take your pick).

  12. Chris

    That tastes bad

    What's pink with cobwebs on it?

    Madeleine McCann's bicycle.

    (I'm going to burn in hell for that one).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waste of space

    "A tasteless jibe at the expense of galactically-talented bouffant platform Amy Winehouse"

    I'm sick of hearing how talented Amy Wingehouse is, and how sad and tragic it all is. She's a waste of space!! Talented, maybe, but the press and music business ought to spend their time on more worthwhile people than the drugged-up waste-of-time mess that AW is.

  14. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    I hate you all.

    Anyway, objectively that is not a funny joke, nor a fresh one, regardless of who it's about. Nor is the second one. That's a real nasty barrel-scraping bit of misogynist piffle.

    The hippo one isn't bad. At least it has the form of an actual joke. It's all in the delivery, anyway, innit.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Matt
    Thumb Up

    Ditto to David

    I agree with David - I too think the second joke is funnier - although the throwaway comment from the winner ".. I know self-harming is not funny but it's just a joke, so I'm not going to beat myself up about it." is genius.

  17. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Waste of space

    Well, I bet you if Billie Holiday was around now, she'd get just the same sort of treatment from the press and it would make just as much difference to her talent, as opposed to the difference to the public's perception of that talent, i.e. notajot.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That is all

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    i find sickipedia to be a decent joke site :)

  20. Neil Hoskins

    Spotted on Youtube:

    'My girlfriend said, "If you don't want to talk to me just say so; it's paradoxes that really hurt."'

    My head's still spinning three days later. I think the lad's name was Jack Heal. We'll be seeing more of him.

  21. david

    Oxford Dictionary


    Other words ending in -us show a very varied pattern. Like octopi, the plural hippopotami is now generally taken to be either funny or absurdly pedantic, and the usual plural is hippopotamuses.


  22. dervheid

    Sarah, you must've known...

    that ANY reference to the 'talent' that Mrs Fielder-Civil once possessed would result in a barrage of flaming cow-pats.

    Unfortunately, the only 'talent' she currently exhibits is that of being a drink/drug/publicity ravaged shadow of her former self. Her apparent inability to perform (ie the recent Bond Theme fiasco) serves only to fuel the flames.

    As for the 'famous friend' angle, I went to school with Robin Guthrie (and Bill Heggie) of the Cocteau Twins (bit before your time, I suspect). Still see Bill around occasionally, but Guthrie was, and (living in the states) still is I suspect, a self indulgent wanker. I do hope he's managed to replace the old army greatcoat he used to wear to school, and to college, as it stank of cat's piss.

  23. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Sarah, you must've known...

    Um, thanks dervheid, but what in the hot buttered hell does Robin Guthrie have to do with anything?

    Never mind. I still like the Cocteau Twins, regardless of whether or not they are tools.

  24. dervheid

    On a more topical note...

    A certain Mr Gadd, ex 70's pop star, has been required to sign 'the Register' upon his triumphant return to Blighty.

    Cue a joke-fest, surely.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Dave B and Sarah B(ee)

    I'm possibly older than the two of you put together as I recognise the hippo joke as old also.

  26. Chris

    @dervheid and @Sarah Bee

    dervheid: If you went to school with the original bassist from the Cocteau Twins, then you'd know his name was Will, not Bill.

    Sarah: If you like the Cocteaus, then check out a band called Lowlife if you haven't already. Will Heggie's band after he split from the Cocteaus.

  27. Matt

    andrew laurence

    saw Andrew Laurence at Latitude this year - he was effing *hilarious*. if you like your humour dark and very, very wrong - do go see him!

  28. John H Woods Silver badge


    Hippopotamus has Greek (not Latin) etymology. A perennial point on discussion fora, I know.

  29. Fab De Marco

    @David Re: Oxford Dictionary

    Stop it You are being ridiculi

  30. dervheid



    Short for William?

    Like Bill, and (as we called him when we were kids) Billy?

    Believe it or not, I never actually new that 'Will' was his 'professional' name, as it were. He's always just been Billy or Bill to me. Even when we served our apprenticeships together at what used to be the ICI. Did see him gig with a band prior to the Cocteaus, "All this and More". (what were they thinking!)

    Ah, the hazy late 70's/early 80's.

  31. Aaron

    hippos &c.

    Should it be 'hippopotamoi', then, Mr Woods? I confess my Greek noun cases aren't what they could be.

    As for the rest, who the hell is Amy Winehouse?

  32. Jesse

    RE: Sarah, you must've known...

    Well, I'm thirty and the Cocteau Twins are unknown to me.

    But everyone knows about the camel-toe twins. They are all over the net!

  33. David Barr
    Thumb Down

    The bad news is...

    When she finally tops herself, she'll end up more popular than she is now. Best thing I can hope for is she gives up the charlie and gives up the singing.

  34. mick gregory

    Sarah Bee

    Sad to see the comparison with Billie Holiday and Amie Winehouse..

    Maybe you should ditch the MP3s and listen to the Vinyl (preferably on a decent Turntable).

    The difference is clear - Billie Holiday had talent.

    Amie Winehouse appears to have very little.


    Mick Gregory.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amy bleeding Winehouse

    Winehouse is a road traffic accident. She's appalling and you know you shouldn't give her attention, but somehow it's not possible to avoid rubbernecking the carnage.

  36. GF


    I simply did not get Zoe Lyons' joke about Amy Whinehouse, since I have no idea who is Amy. Must be an inside British joke that I American is too narrow-minded to understand.

    Based on all of the blog entries, Amy must be a waste of carbon...

  37. adnim


    I'm not so sure, her voice is hardly pleasant although she can hold a tune. She can also convey emotion, fair enough, but hardly worth the tag of talented. I have flushed more talented turds.

    imho, and the opinion of others I write better songs and write better music than Winehouse, and I'm in IT. My sound engineering skills are far from awesome though.

    Some people just don't have a clue, accepting I maybe one of them and I is just deluded. Yeah right I like I really believe that.

  38. kain preacher

    Did I read that right

    Did some one compare Amy with Billie Holiday ??? you got to be kidding me

    But in the end the press did tear her apart look up how her career ended

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    amy who?

    actually, i know vaguely who amy winehouse is, having seen photos of her in tabloid-esque locations but i'm proud to say, i have no idea what any of her tunes are called... or what any of them sound like.

    god - it's great growing old and out of touch! when i were a lad it were all sidney viscous on smack and elvis paisley dying on the bog around here!

  40. mick gregory


    I accept that "talented" was probably the wrong name to describe Billie Holiday, perhaps the nickname Lester Young gave her of "Lady Day" will suffice.

    It's nice to see that someone with your self confessed limited sound engineering talent can still recognize her name, fifty years after her death.

    Begs the question - how many people in IT will remember your name 50 years' on?

    Hot Tip - Spend more time analyzing her music rather than analyzing your talented turds.


    Mick Gregory.

  41. Dave The Cardboard Box

    Yeah The Fringe or, how to book a comedian and ignore culture.

    Glad I left Edinburgh. It was bad enough when when Mark Lamarr used to trawl the bars with his amazing pick up line "Hello, I'm Mark Lamarr".

  42. David Gillies

    It's all Greek to me

    Hippopotamus means 'horse of the river', so the plural should probably be something like hippoipotamos, 'horses of the river'.

    And the plural of octopus is octopodes; rhinoceros, rhinocerotes.

    I am reaching for my anorak.

  43. adnim


    I made no mention of Billie Holiday so I am at a loss as to the point you are trying to make. Perhaps you confused my post with the one immediately below?

    As for me being remembered, That is not my purpose in being here, at least I don't think it is. Whatever the case, I haven't finished yet ;-)

    As for analysing her music, I'm afraid it contradicts with at least one purpose I am here for... enjoying life. And despite sucking (currently) as a sound engineer I am sure I could out mix the Winehouse non-entity, even on the rare occasion she has clarity of mind.

    Like I said she has no talent, at least none that should be lauded.

    Although the truth sometimes does offend, please don't take it personally.


    Adnim ;-)

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    the talent of Amy Winerack

    ... is also lost on me. To my knowledge, her greatest renditions are merely remakes of other people's songs, she doesn't play an instrument, she doesn't appear to write music or lyrics, she don't even dance... making her a glorified pub/karaoke singer... nice voice, crap attitude, but what do you expect when the only reason you are not doing a 5-stretch for possession is because your heroin addiction came to light AFTER you became famous. The truth may offend, it also hurts... but I remember you Adnim, and we'll always have Paris.

  45. Philip Nicholls Silver badge


    Surely those Yanks who read MAD magazine have heard of AW. She is the butt of some jokes in the September 2008 issue.

  46. Darryl

    The best joke from Joan Rivers (?) interviewed her after OJ Simpson was arrested for breaking into that hotel room and threatening the occupants over some of his memorabilia. Her comment was, "I don't know what all the fuss is about. It's not like he killed somebody."

  47. b166er


    Two cannibals eating a clown. One say to the other, "does this taste funny to you?"

  48. Pete Jones

    re: It's all Greek to me

    "Hippopotamus means 'horse of the river', so the plural should probably be something like hippoipotamos, 'horses of the river'."

    Hippopotamus is a second declension Latin noun, so the plural in that language is hippopotami. The fact that it came into Latin from the Greek doesn't change the Latin grammar!

  49. mick gregory


    Please don't judge me by your own standards - the truth never offends.

    It's just people that are economical with it, that I find offensive.

    Please don't take this personally.

    Bye Adnim.


    Mick Gregory.

  50. NT

    Not really a joke at all

    I agree with Sarah. The Amy joke just isn't. There's a clear difference between humour (and isn't the Fringe supposedly the place for *clever* humour, and Dave the 'home of witty banter'?) and simple malice. If Zoe Lyons is the best comedy the Fringe has to offer, and if that's a representative sample of her material, then things aren't looking good for the laugh-making industry.

    As far as the rest are concerned, again, #2 was nothing more than catty sniping. The hippo one, yes, I liked that. Tim Vine's Velcro comment was worth a chuckle; Joan Rivers is just hugely irritating (subjective, I know); and Jeff Kreisler: c'mon - George Bush is an even easier target than Amy. Talk about a no-brainer.

    Incidentally, I don't particularly rate Winehouse as a singer, either, so this isn't from loyalty to a favourite artist. Actually she strikes me as a total wreck - but in any case that's a sad thing, not comedy material.

  51. Law
    Dead Vulture

    doesn't matter anyway

    She'll most likely be dead within the year, then most of us will stop bashing her, and her adoring fans (including Miss Bee from what I can see) can buy her greatest hits, you know, the one with the "previously unheard tracks" she was working on while going through her darkest periods - so we will be told by the music exec's anyway.

    If you feel like there is a void even after the new cd's though, you will likely be able to purchase her dad's new book, interview dvd, family biography, and probably even an exercise video within a month or three of her funeral.

    Not an Amy hater per-say - but definitely not a fan.... even less of a fan of media and music companies hyping/demonising people for sales though.

  52. Trix
    Paris Hilton

    Hippopotamuses, hippopotami or -moi or whatever

    While some people here are having a lot of fun reminiscing about their Latin and Greek lessons, hippopotamus has now been absorbed into *English* and so now takes English inflections, including plurals. There you go.

  53. GrammarNazi


    Look it is quite simple. Hippopotamus is an English word. So are Octopus, khaki, xylophone, quack, mutton and sheep. They have various origins but they have been adopted as English words and English grammar (what there is of it) applies.

    If you want to use Latin and Greek plurals go and speak Latin and Greek. If you use Latin plurals in an English sentence you are a pretentious wanker.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    latin in English...

    Can anyone guess what these latin words mean?

    pauper; creator; in; delicate; error; me; victor

    What a bunch of pretentious wankers we *ALL* are, GrammarNazi.

  55. Julian I-Do-Stuff

    Hippos v Guns

    Actually, in Australia vending machines kill more people than crocodiles. Is it because they can hold their breath longer?

  56. NT

    @ GrammarNazi

    "If you want to use Latin and Greek plurals go and speak Latin and Greek. If you use Latin plurals in an English sentence you are a pretentious wanker."

    In some cases, but by no means in all. It's always difficult to apply sweeping decrees like that to the entire language. The '-ae' plurals are a good example: standard English usage has 'formulae' as the correct plural of 'formula'. Astronomers aren't being pretentious when they refer to 'nebulae'. That's the correct English plural form of 'nebula'.

    Sure, there are many words whose 'original' plural forms are now discarded. We don't hold sports events in stadia, we hold them in stadiums. Despite the insistence of some purists, 'data' refers to a single piece of information or a whole bundle. But plurals are funny things anyway: one goose, many geese; one mongoose, many mongooses.

    And as for the hippopotamus, well, to my knowledge 'hippopotami' and 'hippopotamuses' are both recognised as correct in English, although 'hippopotamuses' is considered preferable by most usage authorities.

    It's generally better not to get too hot under the collar about this sort of question, because sometimes there isn't a totally clear-cut answer.

  57. Daniel


    is pretty interesting in being one of the few for many years that actually *can* sing and also write a song, although she sounds nothing at all like Billie. Shades of Dinah Washington sometimes maybe. Sharon Jones would leave her for dead though.

    shame she's hell bent on effing her life up, but hey, that's her business. The joke would have been a lot funnier without the "she's so irritating " bit, it is about as subtle as a bricklayer the way it stands.

    Personally, I found #9 ("I like Jesus, but he loves me so it's awkward") a lot funnier, most of them were crap.

    (music nerd alert)

  58. Andy Hards

    Sounds to me like you lot have no clue

    If you have only seen pics of her in the tabloids and heard one or two of her (yes HER) tunes on the radio then you will no doubt have no clue to her talent. She is an amazing talent but has let it all go to her head and thinks that being a smack/crack head will not affect her or like so many greats (Coltrane, Davis, Baker) thinks that having a smack habit makes her cool.

    She writes most of her own stuff, sings other peoples stuff well and is far more talented than that waste of space from Babyshambles. If you don't think she is talented then name me someone of her generation who is.

  59. adnim

    Hi Andy

    She is not talented. How old are you? Do you know what talent is?

    @ mick, bye.

    Thanks to both of you for confirming my suspicions regarding the fate of the human race. Fortunately I will likely die before my suspicions are confirmed, probably through arrogance. Is it possible to die through arrogance? I guess it depends on where one drinks.

    Wishing you both well, sincerely I may add. I thank you both for making me feel smart, even if deluded ;-)

    Don't take yourselves to seriously we are products, conditioned to defend ourselves and that we believe to be right.

    hugs if you care to accept


  60. yeah, right.


    Personally, I've sort of considered the plural of "hippopotamus" to be "oh shit, get the hell away from that water".

    Yes, the green one. With "failed a comedy class" written on the sleeve.

  61. GrammarNazi


    I'm not too bothered as the concept of a fixed 'English grammar' is a pretty marginal one in the first place, IMHO.

    Most of the 'proper' grammar in English is the result of a nasty 18th century hack when the grammarians tried to retrofit Latin grammar onto a non-Latin language. An ugly kludge was the result.

    English has also been prone to 'fads', such as the adoption of French spelling and spelling reforms and dictionaries and vowel shifts, etc, etc. Which all leaves the language in a glorious, vibrant and flexible mess. Tell me the correct spelling of the Bard of Avon's name, for example.

    Overall this is a good thing I feel and perhaps I should have qualified my original 'wanker' statement a bit better. People who correct others for using 'octopuses', 'stadiums', 'formulas', etc are the wankers.

    In a technical/scientific document I can see the justification for using Latinate endings but I don't see how it can be considered as proscribed in 'common' English. One thing about dictionaries, they follow the language, the do not lead it.

  62. Anonymous Coward

    Hippopotamuses don't kill people..

    *people* kill people

  63. NT

    @ GrammarNazi

    "Tell me the correct spelling of the Bard of Avon's name, for example."

    There simply isn't one, because during Shakespeare's time - and up until quite recently - there weren't really any standardised spellings in English. In Shakespeare's case there is a conventional spelling (see left); but not a 'correct' one, nor even a single one that he used for himself.

    "Overall this is a good thing I feel and perhaps I should have qualified my original 'wanker' statement a bit better. People who correct others for using 'octopuses', 'stadiums', 'formulas', etc are the wankers."

    Or maybe nobody's the 'wanker', as such, but just people with differing views on something that doesn't always have a straightforward right or wrong answer.

  64. Law
    Thumb Up

    RE: Hippopotamuses don't kill people..

    Love the twists on that slogan. Was watching 3rd Rock from the Sun the other day, and Dick came out with:

    "Gun's don't kill people, physics kills people"


  65. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    TV Debut? not sure..

    Saw Amy Winehouse on Jools...maybe a debut, Jools is good for that.

    She was a nervous wreck. First time i'd heard of her, so i gave it a listen, and decided if she could stop playing with the hem of her hideous outfit, and actually lift her head, she might be able to bang out a song. In current state though, not fit for purpose. Since then, I lost interest. She had a chance, once... blew it.

  66. David Sidebotham
    Jobs Halo


    They may well kill people but I never heard of one wanting to take over the world.

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