Jobcentre joke is the funniest at the Edinburgh Fringe

Media caption,
The funniest joke of the Fringe direct from comedian Adam Rowe

A one-liner about being sacked by a Jobcentre has been chosen as the funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Dave's Funniest Joke of the Fringe - now in its 11th year - has been won by Liverpool comedian Adam Rowe.

The joke came from his show Undeniable.

Supported by 41% of the public who voted for the award was: "Working at the Jobcentre has to be a tense job - knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the next day."

Adam Rowe said: "I thought my agent was lying. He rang me and told me I couldn't tell anyone for a week which has been almost impossible.

"I'm massively taken aback by it, I've never seen myself as being in the running for things like this.

"It's a massive honour and a genuinely huge surprise."

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Maths student Ken Cheng won last year's prize with the line: "I'm not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change."


Adam said this year's winner came about by accident during interaction with an audience.

"I was doing the usual compering thing," he said, "asking people what they do for a living.

"A guy said he worked in the Jobcentre and I said the joke that has now won the award.

"Because it got such a nice reaction on the night I thought I had to do something with it as a line. I didn't expect to be winning an award for what was essentially a brain fart."

Best of the rest

The other jokes making the top ten were:

  • "I had a job drilling holes for water - it was well boring" - Leo Kearse
  • "I took out a loan to pay for an exorcism. If I don't pay it back, I'm going to get repossessed" - Olaf Falafel
  • "In my last relationship, I hated being treated like a piece of meat. She was a vegan and refused to touch me" - Daniel Audritt
  • "What do colour blind people do when they are told to eat their greens?" - Flo and Joan
  • "I've got a new job collecting all the jumpers left in the park at the weekends, but it's not easy. They keep moving the goalposts" - Darren Walsh
  • "Trump said he'd build a wall but he hasn't even picked up a brick. He's just another middle-aged man failing on a DIY project" - Justin Moorhouse
  • "I lost a friend after we had an argument about the Tardis. I thought it was a little thing, but it seemed much bigger once we got into it" - Adele Cliff
  • "Why are they calling it Brexit and not The Great British Break Off?" - Alex Edelman
  • "I think love is like central heating. You turn it on before guests arrive and pretend it's like this all the time" - Laura Lexx

Dave channel director Luke Hales was asked what marked out Adam's joke as a winner.

"It's clever, I think that's what works for jokes, the punchline has to be unexpected - and I think that works particularly well," he told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme.

He conceded that the annual Funniest Joke award was geared towards to short "one-liners" or puns - but said there was still a lot of competition for the top accolade.

"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."