Posh and Becks gag tops joke poll
DAVID and Victoria Beckham are no strangers to comedians' barbs but one jibe aimed at the celebrity pair earned comedian Stewart Francis the honour of the best joke at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Francis, a comedian known for his deadpan one-liners, picked up the fifth annual Dave Award for the Funniest Joke of the Fringe for the wisecrack: "You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks."
The joke featured in Return of the Lumberjacks, a show where he performs with fellow Canadian comics Craig Campbell and Glenn Wool, at The Assembly Rooms. The trio made their Edinburgh debut together 15 years ago.
Another Francis line - "I saw a documentary on how ships are kept together. Riveting" - also made the list of top 10 funniest jokes of the festival.
On receiving the award and a cash prize of £2,000, which Francis is to donate to charity, the comic said: "1969 West Mall Soccer Association's Most Valuable Player, and now this. Thank you, Dave."
The digital channel's general manager, Steve North, dubbed him the "king of the one-liners".
Tim Vine, another comedian who specialises in one liners, regularly features in the award's top 10 list. He won in 2010, and this year came second with the joke: "Last night me and my girlfriend watched three DVDs back to back. Luckily I was the one facing the telly."
The comedian, who also featured in second on the list last year, had another quip that came in sixth place: "I took part in the sun tanning Olympics: I just got Bronze."
Dan Antopolski, who picked up the award in 2009, said winning was a "little bit useful. I was already established but it provided some free publicity, which is not to be turned down. It's not particularly meaningful".
He said one side effect was that it "killed the joke. It prepares the audience for the punch line, which means they're less likely to laugh".
He added that many jokes failed to translate from a live act on to a list of top 10 jokes.
"Out of context they struggle to work. It's a different dynamic."
The one-liners in this year's list were chosen by 10 comedy critics at this year's Fringe, and the resulting 30 choices were put to a public vote.
Francis's joke received a fifth of the votes.
Others to make the top 10 included Lou Sanders, who said: "I waited an hour for my starter so I complained: 'It's not rocket salad'."
Nish Kumar's contribution ran: "My mum's so pessimistic, that if there was an Olympics for pessimism she wouldn't fancy her chances."