back to article Seven Dwarfs password gag declared Fringe's best

Comedian Nick Helm has secured the Funniest Joke of the Fringe 2011 title, after entertaining the Edinburgh crowds with this rib-tickler: "I needed a password with eight characters so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."* Nick Helm with his Dave TV award Nick Helm with his award. Photo: DAVE/PA A triumphant Helm ( …


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  1. Carl Zetie

    Eating for two?

    When my wife was pregnant she gave up caffeine and alcohol, so I had to drink for two. Honestly, there were some nights I wasn't sure I could finish the whole bottle. And was she grateful?

    1. Armando 123

      Standing ovation

      I hit Like, but this deserves a "Bravo!" and a golf clap.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I think you meant

        Standing Ovulation

        Yes, they laid an egg.

  2. William Towle

    Car parks? Pah!

    Prefer the Stewart Francis feed line where it's about f*rting in lifts (see Mock the Week, ooh, ages back probably).

    Of those, I think I like the Buress one.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's not actually funny

    1. Oninoshiko

      it got a chuckle

      but certainly not side-splitting... maybe I needed to see his execution.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Surely that's a bit harsh.

        The jokes aren't that good, but I wouldn't put anyone to death for telling them.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          Four months prison sentence. My joke was a fail.

      2. Andy Christ

        His execution WOULD be funny to see!

        Especially if it really were side-splitting.

        You get the cleaver, I'll get my coat.

  4. Chris Miller


    Those actually *were* the funniest jokes at Edinburgh.

    1. darklord

      What he said

      Sorry but that is not exactly funny or was it amusing when the canned laughter was added for the TV coverage.

      shelocks still looking for the laughs!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I preferred Alan Sharp's Prevention gag

    Paul Daniels': not a lot

  6. Roger Stenning

    Nick Hlm was funny?

    That one blew right past me. Guess I don't have that particular funnybone. I MUCH preferred Tim Vine's car park one. Damn near spat out me coffee laughing when i read that :-D

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huh

      Laugh? Not even almost, all ten are complete duds, the schizo wife one however raised more than a titter.

  8. Luke McCarthy

    I don't get it

    It's not funny at all... what am I missing?

    1. Code Monkey

      "what am I missing?"

      A sense of humour?

      1. Luke McCarthy

        I have one thanks

        But I'm not sure what the joke is - double meaning of the word "character"? Is that it?

      2. Yag
        Thumb Down


        Those "jokes" are enough for any sense of humor to commit suicide.

        1. thenim

          see now

          that was more funnier than the joke! I didn't find any of the remotely funny... I guess there's a reason why this is "fringe"...

  9. HP Cynic


    I groaned at these on the way to work today - they were just recounted to me as "Jokes from Radio 4" and I had no idea they were highly voted Fringe output.

    Tim Vine's worst joke is truly terrible especially for making the usual mistake of confusing Schizophrenia with MPD.

  10. Bassey

    Re: I don't get i

    Me neither. Thought the Tim Vine one was funny though I preferred his;

    I was at my boss's house having dinner when his wife asked me how many potatoes I would like. "Just the one, thanks". "You don't need to be polite" she replied. "Okay, just the one thanks you ugly cow".

  11. MJI Silver badge

    The worst were better than the best

    But none were properly funny

  12. Pete 43
    Thumb Up

    You had to be there...

    it's all in the delivery.

    Personally, I liked the drive thru gag.

    1. Hatless Pemberty


      "it's all in the delivery"

      You wait for a joke all day and then they manage to leave the funny behind the wheelie bin while you're not looking. Bastards!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    #5 was the funniest


  14. Haku


    I've seen funnier jokes on (the warning is in the name)

  15. 0765794e08

    Particularly good joke?

    How do you make a French horn? Stamp on his foot.

    I didn’t say it was a particularly good joke.

    Oh well, as the old Chinese proverb says: “Man who go to sleep with itchy bottom, wake up with smelly finger.”

    1. theBatman
      Thumb Up

      .stigid ro/dna srettel niatnoc tsum dna ,deriuqer si eltit ehT

      Thankyou for the amusing proverb, it provided much laughter.

  16. Aaron Em

    Steven Wright called

    He'd like his cutting-room floor litter back, please.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Stewart Francis...

    "I like blind dates. You can stare at their tits."

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The funniest joke...

    ... was an old one and not told correctly. Otherwise good, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      re: not told correctly

      Your version is clearly wrong as the password would only be stored encrypted, and that's not going to be in any rainbow tables, too long to be brute-forced ...

  19. Herbert Fruchtl


    I don't know about the spelling of dwar{ve,f}s, but Tolkein is definitely wrong!

    1. TheRealRoland
      Thumb Up

      Pardon my ignorance...

      But, is the 'ei' vs 'ie' something American-English? Weinsteen vs Weinstein, etc.

      But, to the article writer's credit, he probably saw this online somewhere...

      1. Steven Roper

        Re: Pardon my ignorance

        The rule is, I before E except after C or before G. Here's some examples:

        I before E: piece, retrieve, belief

        except after C: deceive, conceit, receipt

        or before G: neighbour, foreign, inveigle

        That's the way I was taught by my English teacher (about 35 years ago mind!) and yes, there are exceptions - reins, villein, and so on - but as a rule of thumb I've found it quite effective for remembering the correct spelling of these words.

        1. A. Lewis

          As Mr Fry would no doubt repeat.

          He declared on QI that there are actually more exceptions to that grammatical rule than there are words that obey it.

          But then, we know about Stephen Fry:

          1. ArmanX

            I was pretty sure it was "Dwarfses"

            Or, for very large numbers, "Dwarfseses."

            Then again, my brother swears it's spelled "dwfs ", because a dwarf is shorter than most, and most has four letters in it, so it's gotta be "dwf."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: something American-English?

        A fair bit of the blame probably lies with the pen pushers of Ellis Island, not coping with German spelling/pronunciation.

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


      ... you tend to get into the hobbit of spelling it Tolkeins way

    3. Decius

      Plural of dwarf

      is Dwarfes.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny but not original

    The Nick Helm joke is funny but not original - I came across it on the net at more than 4 years ago.

    It was originally reported as a true story (in the Urban Myth vein) from a tech support guy in LA who received a complaint from a secretary in LA "that her password didn't work". He could see repeated failed logins. He went to observe what she was doing and noticed she was typing this long string; he asked her why she chose such a long password, she replied "well it has to be 8 characters - and the shortest one I could think of was snowwhite+the7dwarfs"

    The fact that so many people voted for this one highlights the widespread suffering from the password insanity, though - people vote for things they can relate to.

    1. Brian Miller

      XKCD,password strength

      Longer passwords = better passwords.

      1. hugo tyson

        Longer passwords of unrelated words I picked "The Magnificent Seven vs. Predator"

        Remember you saw it here first when the movie comes out.

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        The trouble with memorable long passwords... when you need ten or twenty different ones.

        Using the same password on different systems means that you have to trust each of them not to try it out on the other systems that you use - and they may be not all equally trustworthy.

        So, you write them down. And in my case, don't participate in places where you need to create a new account and password, usually - and may not even come that way again. Instead, please welcome guests, and also portable externally authenticated IDs, if you need to protect yourself from spammers.

        As for the jokes, humour is very subjective, something that isn't funny to you at all will have your neighbour rolling on the floor or vice versa, but I agree that "I like to fart in lifts - that's wrong on so many levels" is my favourite of the list and it isn't on the list. (Of course, in car park lifts that's the least of what they do.) And Paul Daniels is unfairly penalised. He's making an effort and it isn't bad, at least compared to some of the others - again I say, subjective.

        And my favourite joke found in spam is, as far as I remember, "Attract men with large breasts".

        "Do you want lager breasts" is second favourite.

        I expect some people think those are the wrong way round.

        (As the bishop said to the actress.)

      3. Random Poster

        Correct horse > incorrect math

        Unfortunately, Randall has flawed math in that comic. An ATI Radeon HD 5770 running ighashgpu can check over 3.3 billion NTLM hashes/sec. That's 3.3 million times faster than the rate he assumes in the comic. Instead of 44 bits of entropy being 550 years, 44 bits takes less than an hour and a half on a $99 video card.

        (550yrs) x (365 days/yrs) x (24 hrs/day) = 4,818,000hrs at 1,000pwd/sec (Randall's calc)

        (4,818,000hrs) / (3,300,000) = 1.46hrs at 3.3B pwd/sec (GPU-cracking reality)

        And that is for an attacker that resorts to a brute force attack. If you know the password is based off of words, the entropy drops sharply due to shared word roots and letter combinations.

        I'm not even going to calculate the effect of renting time on a multi-GPU monster from Amazon, or throwing a botnet at the task.

        If you want to really secure something, you can't just use a password anymore. You use multi-factor authentication.

    2. John 90

      Password - this is true

      I worked in a place where policy was to change passwords every month. The guys on the helpdesk (next to me) howled one day when a member of staff rang to complain. She'd been working in the firm for six months already, and she'd run out of words.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        was she in sales and marketing?

        Now where's my coat?

  21. Bill Fresher

    Old and not a one liner

    A drunk's wife told him that she'd leave him if he came home smashed again.

    One evening he bumps into a good friend he hasn't seen in a long time.

    He has much too much to drink and ends up getting sick on himself.

    "What am I going to do?" he asks his friend, "If I go home like this she'll leave me".

    "Don't worry" his friend tells him, "take this £20 note, put it in your pocket and when your wife asks, tell her some drunk got sick on you and gave you £20 for the dry cleaning".

    When he gets home his wife's waiting at the door. "No, no, no! That's it, I'm leaving" she shouts.

    "Wait, wait, I didn't drink anything. Some drunk got sick on me, look he gave me £20 for the dry cleaning" the man explains.

    "You're holding £40" his wife observes, "what's the other £20 for?"

    "That's from the man who shat in my pants".

    1. Aaron Em

      Another version I've heard

      has the drunk as a judge, and the claim being that the drunk threw up all over him on the train. "What'd you do with that drunk who threw up on you?" she asks a while later. "Oh, I gave him thirty days." "Better give him sixty, he shit your pants too."

      Honestly, no matter how it's told, it's always struck me as being one of those jokes that's only funny when you're drunk.

  22. oldredlion

    Hmmm, jokes

    Have they broadened the definition of "jokes"?

    They are not funny (apart from #2, and that isn't that good).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You definitely sure you didn't pick up the 'worse joke' list by mistake ?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      or even..

      the WORST joke list?

  24. Lloyd

    This list happens every year

    And every year it raises as much mirth as weeping genital sores, but on the plus you know which comedians to avoid.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You may laugh

    In tech support, people typing out underscore is quite common. Worse yet is the customer who, on your instructions, begins his username captiala.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    that was...

    as funny as cancer.

    AC due to number of thumbs down

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I just gave you one so you'd feel at home...

      By the way, if the right person gets cancer, it IS funny. Anyone else, and its tragic

      1. Steven Roper

        Cancer isn't funny - ever

        After watching my grandfather die of prostate cancer which metastasized through his body, I wouldn't wish that death on anyone, no matter how evil or deserving they might be. *Nobody* deserves to die like that, and to find humour in it is ignorantly sadistic at best.

        1. Patrick R

          What else then ?

          Just cancer ? So is it alright for you to laugh at everything else that is not touching your own personal sensitibity ? Concentration camps ? Disabled people ? Racist jokes ? Dead people? Bin Laden ? People do.

          I think you can have a laugh with everything as long as you do not blatantly ignore the sensibility of your precise audience (that is to say ... don't laugh at it, but laugh with it, and not in the face of people you know would be hurt). My sister died from cancer 3 months ago and it wasn't nice to see either. I might laugh at a cancer joke in a few years. Just not now. (And only if it's a good one).

  27. Dropper


    Dwarfs is the correct spelling, there's even notes to that effect in some of Tolkien's work - stating how annoyed he got when he received new editions of his books back from the printers and found they'd corrected his spelling. He chose the spelling for his own reasons and acknowledged the spelling was incorrect. Same thing with Elfs (Elves), Efin (Elven) and so on.

    Hope that's anal enough for you.

  28. Gobhicks


    Comedy is a serious business. Funny that...

  29. Steve Campbell

    Dwarves, dwarves, always dwarves.....

    Always was Dwarves, long, long time before Tolkien. Just the same with roof and rooves - except for Tolkien having anything to do with it.

    I understood that it was Disney's use of the term dwarfs which kick-started that little neologism, tho' it may have been around earlier in the US.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      always dwarves

      except when huge dwarfs tiny.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Others are OK, but #1 is pretty dead.

    I liked one Ken Bruce read out (would that man really have a job if he didn't sound exactly like Wogan?), where a Geordie/Irish lad (whichever you prefer) takes his new girlfriend home to meet his father. He says "This is Amanda". He says "She's a WHAT?". Although I've still got a soft spot for Jethro's "Are you shearin' 'aat sheep?" / "No, git yer oown!" routine.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Jethro / Geoff Rowe

      Yes very funny especially Train don't stop Camborne Wednesdays, and the stolen bus while drunk joke.

  31. Jonski

    Not a patch on Dylan Moran

    Who I went to see a couple of nights ago. I ran out of air I was laughing so hard.

    The jokes about would be funnier if... they were funny.

  32. Chris Sake

    dwarfling: noun - a small dwarf

    The old bright-hooded, snowy-bearded dwarfs we had in those days before…Walt Disney vulgarised the earthmen.

    - C. S. Lewis

  33. CockKnocker

    My one is better

    So a woman stopped me in the street the other day, "Excuse me sir do you mind telling me what grooming products you use". You should have seen the look on her face when I told her, "Facebook, Haribo sweets and puppies".

    *Badumdum Tschhhh*

  34. SMFSubtlety

    A few jokes I heard recently

    What do Nokia and Apple now have in common?

    No more jobs

    Steve Jobs' text was meant to say: "I reign as CEO of Apple". Damn you auto-correct!

    When I saw my girlfriend playing football for the first time I knew she was a keeper

  35. Morteus

    Humour is subjective...

    ... and the ones that make you laff most are often the ones you heard in the pub. Which because of taste, decency, PC or libel action will hardly ever make it into the act of 'most' comics.

    ... or was it just funny 'cos I was drunk?

  36. BlueRaja
    Thumb Down

    Stolen joke

    Matt Kirshen: "I was playing chess with my friend and he said, 'Let's make this interesting'. So we stopped playing chess."

    Wow. Joke was stolen DIRECTLY from one of my favorite comic strips:

  37. The Black Hand

    How about?

    A mate of mine recently admitted to being addicted to brake fluid. When I quizzed him on it he reckoned he could stop any time...

  38. The Black Hand

    Da dum..

    I was at a cash point yesterday when a little old lady asked if I could

    check her balance, so I pushed her over.

    and back to dwarfs:

    Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.

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