back to article Once-in-a-lifetime gag tops Fringe quip list

Dave TV has honoured Tim Vine with its Joke of the Fringe award - the annual celebration of the Best of Edinburgh quippery. "Pun punditt" Vine beat off some stiff opposition with: ''I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again.'' Eight comedy critics sat through "60 performances, totalling 3 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well deserved

    I first saw Tim Vine in his very first year at the Fringe (1992?), and have been a fan of his mad genius ever since!

  2. Sir Runcible Spoon


    ""I like to play chess with bald men in the park although it's hard to find 32 of them.""

    That one actually made me chuckle more than the others, perhaps they key was in the delivery?

  3. SuperTim


    The last time i saw Tim Vine i nearly ended up in hospital. He gives you an hour of rapid fire jokes. You don't get time to breath, its a constant state of pissing yourself. Very unhealthy.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    I guess my sense of humour isn't very "modern" then as I didn't find any of them amusing in the least (and, if it wasn't for the article, wouldn't have even thought they were *supposed* to be funny).

    Out of the lot I thought the chess one was at least a joke and mildly amusing.

    1. Dale 3


      Prefer it if they poke each other in the eye then?

  5. Eponymous Cowherd


    Shows how subjective comedy is.

    Thought the winner was pretty poor, the funniest being No 8, with 3 a close second.

    Thought this (from the "shamed" list on the BBC website) was better then the winner, too:-

    ***"Bec Hill "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."***

    I expect it also saved on air freshener..........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Replace "vegan" with "smoker"

      and it sounds like something Bill Hicks would have said.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Please explain number 10

    Wooden spoons?

    1. Eponymous Cowherd

      An explanation

      A lot of pubs give you a wooden spoon with a number on it when you order food to indicate your order number.

      When the barman / waiter calls out your number, you wave the spoon and the food gets delivered to your table.

      The point to the joke is you write a number on your own spoon and steal someone else's meal.

      The joke is probably a lot funnier if you are pissed as it fails to take into account:

      The number you pick may not be called for a long time and/or may not actually have an order associated with it at all.

      You may not like the food you end up with.

      The person whose meal you steal may beat the shit out of you (possibly in a crude attempt to recover the stolen food).

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: An explanation

        I'm amazed any of you can ever find any jokes funny with your extreme dependence on absolute logic.

        "Why did the chicken cross the road? How could anyone know what a chicken's motivation is? This joke just doesn't stand up on any level at all. I fail to understand how anyone could find it amusing. It makes no sense."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Too close to home..

          "This joke just doesn't stand up on any level at all. I fail to understand how anyone could find it amusing. It makes no sense."

          That made me wince a bit and remember Christmases past. My step-grandfather (I emphasis 'step' to make it clear not a blood relative!) was a former physics teacher and could not cope with jokes in Christmas crackers. He could genuinely not understand that they were nonsense and would actually try and work out a logical answer, wouldn't allow the answer to be read out until he'd pursued every option and then express disgust and frustration that the answer made no logical sense.

          Believe me, when you've sat through an entire Christmas lunch lasting an hour or two, with someone spending the entire time trying to apply logic to answering a cracker joke, you really don't want that memory dredged up... ;)

    2. handle

      Wooden spoons

      Many pubs that serve food give you a wooden spoon with a number on it when you order, and when the food is ready they call out the number and you present the spoon to get the food. So presumably if you go to a pub with your own wooden spoon you can get the order with that number that someone else had paid for - so long as you can eat it before the fight breaks out.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I will

      In pubs and other informal restaurants, your food order is placed at the counter.

      If the table you are sitting at isn't numbered (eg in the beer garden) then you are given some sort of marker that the kitchen staff will recognise when they bring the food out.

      Some places use a wooden spoon.

      That should leave you with enough for the punchline to pack a little tingle.

    4. Doc Spock

      Wooden Spoons

      When you order food in many pubs these days, you are given a wooden spoon with a number on it which you place on your table to identify yourself to the bar staff (instead of each table being individually numbered). Hence, if you take such a spoon in with you, you may be given food that someone else ordered, for free.

      Not the best joke on the list. My favourite was no. 7, although it has been around for ages in the form of: "What do you call a dog with no legs? Anything you want because it can't chase you" (or something to that effect).

      1. Vulch


        Best food tag I've seen recently was a 4" blue plastic disc. When your order is ready the staff page the disc which flashes and beeps. No more sitting there oblivious deep in conversation while a waiteroid over the other side of the room shouts your number.

  7. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Guess it shows up two points...

    1. That the fringe is now becoming mainstream.

    2. That the standard of comedy at the fringe is piss poor.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    beating stiff competition

    Is this really necessary? you cold have just said he creamed the competition.

  9. nickrw
    Dead Vulture

    I dunno...

    "A chuffed Vine (pictured) said ... "

    I'd say he looks more quizzical than chuffed in that picture. Terrible journalism!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Not chuffed

      The article doesn't say that he looks chuffed in the photo (which is a pretty old promotional photo). Terrible reading rather than terrible journalism.

      1. nickrw

        Re: Not chuffed

        @AC 15:57 Terrible sarcasm detection by you! (Or maybe you know that and I'm falling for your dead-pan sarcasm? Insert infinite loop here.)

    2. Havin_it


      His show was called "The Joke-a-motive", so presumably he was chuffed already.

      Ithankyew, 'm here all week, try the veal.

      I went to it. Can't say how it measures up to the competition as it's all I've been to this year, but we were creasing up for an hour solid. Only problem is it was so quick-fire that I remember very little of the individual one-liners :(

  10. ahahaha you won't catch me that easy again


    I have to agree with the Runcible Spoon, and the following AC - i thought that Emo Phillips one was best...

    as for the wooden spoon joke, i think it refers to the wooden spoon-like flags some "order food at the bar", wotherspoons type "restaurants" have, to signify a food order has been placed...but i don't really know, and certainly won't lose sleep over it...

    "alleged" joke alert

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chicken joke was the best.

    By far!

  12. Mark 133

    I'm glad I'm not the only one...

    I read the ten best and worst in Metro (itself a fairly tragicomic publication) on the way to work this morning, and the former barely raised a smile, while I chuckled frequently at the latter.

    And that Tim Vine joke sounds like it was borrowed from Bob Monkhouse (not that that's a bad thing).

    Oh and @AC, re. Wooden Spoons - in many pubs in London (and presumably elsewhere), when you order food, you get given a wooden spoon - somes in an empty wine bottle - with your order number on, so if you turned up with your own spoon, you could nick someone else's meal.

    And no, it wasn't funny if you did know what the conceit was either...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not one of his best really

    I love Tim Vine, seen him a number of times and he's brilliant. But this joke isn't one of his best really. I actually preferred the suicide chicken one from the poor list!

  14. Ron Eve


    I"ll try again and see if this post gets through...

    "...the hoi polloi" is grammatically incorrect as 'hoi polloi' means 'the masses' or 'the many', so your sentence reads "the the masses'.

    /my coat is most definitely ready...

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Errrr...

      Oh God I DON'T CARE and I doubt many others do either. Hands up who cares about this?

      Some usages of words and phrases are strictly speaking incorrect, but it would interrupt the normal flow of a sentence if they were used correctly. Language allows for little hiccups over time. 'Hoi polloi' with an extraneous 'the' on the beginning is clearly one of those.

      Find me an example of someone using 'hoi polloi' correctly and post it up. Seriously. There will be one or two but I'm betting most writers just add 'the' even in the knowledge it's not strictly correct, because it's likely most readers would go "hey they missed the 'the'" and would write in complaining. You can't win, see? I'm not saying you're *wrong*, I'm saying you're *pedantic*. And yes, I'm a pedant for a living and I believe in a degree of vigilance about proper English but I have my limits and sometimes, please God, I need it to stop.

      Thanking you.

      1. Alan Esworthy
        Thumb Up


        Quite right, Sarah. Some tongue-in-cheek pedantry is amusing; his is painful.

        His post suggests that you axed an earlier and similar one. Good judgment. I suggest that you simply maintain that practice. For the general welfare, of course.

        Thank you.

      2. Anon the mouse

        Marry me


      3. handle



      4. Gene Poole

        Thanks Sarah

        That made me laugh far more than any of the puerile jokes quoted in the article.

      5. Mike Street

        Not a recent innovation in the language

        I came across the expression for the first time in Iolanthe by Gilbert & Sullivan.

        ’Twould fill with joy, And madness stark The oί πoλλoί! (A Greek remark.)

        Since it was written in 1882 it seems the usage with a definite article has been around for some time.

      6. John F***ing Stepp

        What I like to do . . .

        Is correct someone's English (I don't do that here because I don't speak your type of English.) then find out that I have a typo in my correction.

        This is usually a Face + Palm moment.

        (although in the past I have found that posting something with every other word misspelled while correcting syntax can be slightly funny.)

        If you have enough alcoholic beverage (hey, you still have that point system? that is so cool, if I were a starship I could has hyperspace.)

  15. raving angry loony


    I'm a really bad joke teller, so none of the ones you printed were funny. Could you have someone read them to me who has a better sense of comedic timing?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Errrr...

    relax Sarah! have a pint and breeeeeeeeathe....!

  17. stanj52


    So am I right in thinking that moderate and moderator have totally different meanings?


  18. Oldfogey

    Popular holiday

    That holiday of a lifetime sounds like the one I got for my mother-in-law; personally I thought it was a pretty good swap.

    Boom Boom!

  19. Oldfogey

    Re; Re: Re: Errrrr......


    No, not quite the word I'd use. I think it would be more precise, more accurate, more relevant, to use the term "nitpicker".

  20. b166er

    Not there?

    Stewart Francis:

    When I was born, God asked me: "Would you like a really long penis or a really long memory?" I forget my response.


  21. Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the explanations

    They don't do that spoon thing round here. Sounds like a metropolitan thing.

    Anyhoo, here's my favourite food related joke...

    Q: Why don't they eat potatoes in Wiltshire?

    A: Because they've got no devizes for chippenham.

  22. Tarquin the Unforgiven
    Thumb Up


    Well done that man. It really gets my goat when folks use phrases like, "PAT test" for instance. Portable Appliance Test Test. Fools!

    1. Timmie

      Well done Tarquin

      It's the same as people who use the word 'forums" when they should be using "fora". Fools!

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Well done Tarquin

        Hurray! Let's have that argument again!

  23. Jacob Lipman

    @oldfogey 00:20

    <tongue location="cheek">

    What ever do you mean, sir? I do believe that "nit" refers to the eggs or young of the louse, so a nitpicker would be a person engaged in removing such things, presumably from a human head. Whatever does the removal of parasitic insects have to do with pedantic criticism? I do not follow your logic and require a detailed explanation of the relationship between these concepts.


  24. Morganator

    Re: Well done Timmie

    I quite agree. We must get these things right!

  25. Juan Inamillion

    @Well done Tarquin

    I guess it depends somewhat on your geographical location, our colonial cousins across the pond seem to have a slightly different take on the matter ('two countries separated by a common language' etc.)

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary…

    forum n. (pl. forums)

    1) a meeting or medium for an exchange of views.

    2) (pl. fora) (in an ancient Roman city) a public square or marketplace used for judicial and other business. Origin ME: from Latin, lit. what is out of doors.


    According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the plural of "forum" is "forums," although "fora" is an acceptable option.

    However, the plural in Latin of forum is not fori. Fori is the singular genitive. The nominative (and accusative) plural of forum is indeed fora.

    For nouns, Latin dictionaries usually give the nominative and genitive singulars, so that students will know what declension the noun is in.

    Fori identifies forum as being a noun of the second declension. This affects the way the other cases are formed. But nearly all neuter nouns, of all declensions, take the "a" as the ending in the nominative/accusative plural.

    Is that clear enough?

    1. Tarquin the Unforgiven
      Thumb Up

      Tarquin the Unforgiven

      Brilliant! At last, somebody with a bit of sense. Although I'm not too keen on the reference to an american dictionary.

    2. Timmie
      Thumb Up

      Thanks, Juan

      - now I geddit!

  26. Ian Oasenthrote

    Tarquin the Unforgiven

    Morganator, how shall we get things right?

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