I do like a witty, uproarious one-liner. Take this one from satirist Karl Sharro, commenting on hurricanes Harvey and Irma hitting the United States in August and September of 2017:
They should call hurricanes names like Mohammed or Fatima, would make it much harder for them to enter the US. – Karl Sharro, tweet from Sep 2017
Understandably there were many who were not amused as it was maybe too soon, and perhaps due to the sheer number of unfortunate people caught up in these disasters. Having said that, it is still a funny line. Another place where I find many a funny line is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Established in 1947, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival and it takes place annually in Edinburgh in bonnie Scotland in the month of August. Last year, 2016, the festival featured 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows in 294 venues, all taking place over a schedule packed 25 days.
Many of these performances include stand up comedy shows featuring comedians from all over the world. For several years now an official list is produced of the funniest jokes from that years festival. Last year the winning joke was:
My dad has suggested that I register for a donor card. He’s a man after my own heart. – Masai Graham
Good one Masai. This year, 2017, the funniest joke at the festival was:
I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change. – Ken Cheng
Again, good one Ken. Whilst this is rather funny and clever, it is the runner up joke that was for me far superior:
Trump’s nothing like Hitler. There’s no way he could write a book. – Frankie Boyle
This savage put down is taken from Frankie Boyle’s recent Edinburgh Festival show, Prometheus Volume One. The Guardian review of the show was itself rather interesting:
The cackling peddler of brutal jokes is not for the faint-hearted, but his new standup show is relentlessly funny. This is an hour of terrifically brutal material but it’s wickedly funny. Joke for joke, and assuming you have a dark sense of humour, this is one of the most relentlessly funny shows around. Sick, cynical, alarmist and bleakly amused, it makes for gruesomely funny comedy. – Brian Logan
Feel free to listen to the entire show yourself. The audio download, just under an hour long, is available for free at from Frankie’s official website. It is also available on YouTube:
I must warn you though, this show, like all shows by Frankie Boyle, is strictly for adults with hardened sensibilities. Despite that, it is still worth listening to in full, just to watch a master craftsman at work, just to hear Boyle move effortlessly from making a disgustingly crude remark to making a devilishly clever political comment.
To add to the Trump/Hitler line above, I have transcribed some of the best moments from this rather superb stand up comedy performance. I could quite easily have transcribed the entire show, but I have instead tried my best to narrow it down to my favourite jokes, which have been cleaned up somewhat. And, yes, regular readers of this blog (surely there must be one or two of you out there by now) will have read some of the quotes before in previous blog posts, but they are repeated again nonetheless as they are rather brilliant. Enjoy!
I am from Glasgow, a city where people think that hepatitis B is a vitamin.
There was a study of the worlds happiest cities. Glasgow was right up near the top. What we can learn from that is that researchers do not understand sarcasm.
Why do they call the Queen ‘Her Majesty’? Is she majestic? Really? I think of an eagle as being majestic, not a shuffling old woman who hasn’t cracked a smile since Diana died.
The Queen has two birthdays a year, one each for her human and lizard forms.
I want the Queen to live a long life because the longer she lives the more days we get off on holiday when she dies. At the moment she is a long weekend, God bless her. If she makes it to a hundred, we’re going to get a week off.
I understand there are two points of view. There are people who say the Royals are a good thing, they bring in tourists. Then there’s my point of view, which is maybe if we concentrated on having a country worth visiting we wouldn’t have to parade the products of incest around the West End of London to try and sell fridge magnets.
Prince William and Prince Harry have been fronting a campaign urging people to talk more about their mental health. It’s been very well received. Everybody thinks that this is a great idea. I wonder if Prince Harry ever spares a thought for the mental health of the families of the various shepherds that he gunned down from his 20 million pound death helicopter in Afghanistan. I wonder how he justifies that to himself. “I pictured Dodi’s face on every shepherd I killed. Every Arab we shot serves my mother in hell. I know that Afghans aren’t Arabs but I, Prince Harry, in this joke, believe that they are.” That’s Britain, exporting peace and democracy to the world, and what says peace and democracy more than being shot dead from a helicopter by a prince.
The Tories hate coming second, which is why they only fuck kids.
Theresa May is the first Nazi in history who can’t get the trains to run on time.
When Ian Brady died Theresa May didn’t move on the list of Britain’s ten worst people, whereas I went up one.
I don’t trust the Democratic Unionist Party. I don’t trust anyone who has got the word ‘democratic’ in their name. Isn’t that a given? What’s that doing in there? It’s like calling yourself a non-rapist hypnotist.
I don’t really watch telly, I tend to watch YouTube, which has been ruined by adverts. Apparently there’s something about me spending 5 hours watching pensioners falling over that suggests that I am in the market for a brand new Lexus.
Do you know a real problem for comedians? And it never really gets mentioned. Most people don’t have a sense of humor. Most people. I can remember when I first realized this. I was 13, I was at school, we were doing a class on stereotypes and the teacher was a really good guy, he was just talking about how stupid stereotypes are. And he was talking about a stereotype that day that’s so old-fashioned, that’s so Scottish, unless you’re my age and you’re from here, you won’t have heard this. Have you ever heard the stereotype that deaf people are really strong? That was a genuine thing when I was growing up. Deaf people, and particularly deaf and dumb people, for some reason were believed to be really strong. And the teacher said “Think how stupid that is. You ever seen a deaf contender for the heavyweight championship of the world?” And me, age 13, I put my hand up and I went “There was one sir, but he was disqualified for punching after the bell.” And nobody laughed, and I knew right then that life was going to feel pretty long.
The only way you can really tell if you’ve done your job properly as a comedian is: are you silenced by the security services? That’s the test. Are you silenced by the security services? So if you ever open up your morning newspaper and see that I’ve been found hanged on the back of a hotel room door with an orange in my mouth, at least you’ll know the security services didn’t get to me.
I think people get the wrong idea about me and they think I’m depressed or something. I’m not depressed. I don’t wish that I was dead. I wish…that YOU were all dead.
America is getting scary, isn’t it? Like properly scary. Donald Trump to me looks like someone playing a president in a porno. Would you bother with the hair if you looked like him? If you had the face like a novelty jug that was made in a secure unit pottery class? Surely the hair is like putting 26-inch rims on a wheelie bin. Do you remember when you thought that George Bush was the bottom? Remember that? That’s the bottom, a guy that is so stupid he can’t really speak. Turns out there’s a whole thing underneath that, it goes all the way down to a guy who looks like a melted action figure of He-Man. He doesn’t really have policies, they’re more the sort of things a drunk would shout on a bus when he gets shaken awake by a pothole. “Build a wall!”
I got my next-door neighbor to build a wall and pay for it and all it cost me was the price of a thong to sunbathe in.
That American election, that might turn out to be the biggest decision since the Second World War. I don’t know about you but any time I hear that there’s a big decision to be taken, I often think to myself “I hope no Americans are involved in taking that decision. I hope no one from a country that made eight Fast And The Furious movies gets any say in this. I hope nobody who finds James Corden funny…”
Americans were fucked whoever they voted for. Hillary Clinton was a murderous psychopath. The whole election was a bit like watching the Elephant Man trying to decide which side to part his hair.
I had two problems with Hillary Clinton’s attitude. The first one was her brand of feminism. She didn’t agree with female genital mutilation, unless it had been performed by an American drone. And I can’t get behind that because I struggle to find the clitoris at the best of times, without having to paw through the rubble of Kandahar.
That’s relationships. “Oh, you seem nice.” “Yeah, that’s because I’m trying to seem nice. Wait till you move in and find out I’ve got the mood swings of a Vietnam vet.” I think we’re in relationships because we don’t want to die alone, which is why I’ve always planned on taking quite a few people with me.
Trump’s so stupid he’ll change what the word ‘presidential’ means. I think in a couple of years time people will be going “My uncle fell over and banged his head on a kerb. He’s been rendered completely presidential.”
Trump, on the first day of the FBI investigation, genuinely said “Every time I pick up a phone I feel like someone is listening.”
Trump went to Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip. Melania saw how women were being treated in Saudi Arabia and tried to claim asylum.
I don’t trust our Brexit negotiating team. I think out Brexit negotiating team would end up paying full price on a DFS sofa.
I think the funniest thing about Brexit is that UKIP have had to reposition themselves, because they got what they wanted, they got out of the EU. Nobody gives a fuck about their other positions. It’s like hearing ISIS’s position on wheelie bins. So they have had to reinvent themselves as the party of Islamophobia, and they are doing that by expressing solidarity for groups that they think Islam discriminates against. So now they talk about women’s rights and gay rights and all this kind of stuff. Imagine that? Imagine you are in UKIP, you’re basically a BNP member who can afford van insurance, and you’ve suddenly got to pretend that you care about gay rights. “You know what the problem is in Britain Steve? It’s that I can’t suck your cock because of Sharia law. I’m going to suck it mate, it’s not a gay thing, it’s purely an act of political protest.”
Do you know what UKIP are saying is their reason they want to ban the burka now? They’re saying they are worried those women aren’t getting enough vitamin D. “Yeah, because you need really strong bones for fucking off back where you came from.”
I think Britain is racist because it doesn’t understand it’s own history. Two thirds of British people think the Empire was a good thing. Not only was it an evil thing, it wasn’t even a rational thing. The Victorians were all on cocaine. All of them. Queen Victoria was on cocaine, and not the shit you take. You’ve never done a line and gone “Let’s invade India.”
Americans do need to worry about refugees, because a refugee in America might get involved in a mass shooting, just to try to fit in.
I honestly think there will be peace in the Middle East once the oil runs out, although knowing their luck someone will invent a replacement that involves mixing sand with falafel.
I think the way Britain works is that we minimize what we do to other countries and we maximize terrorist threats to us, because people are easier to control when they’re a bit frightened…We minimize what we do to other people. We say we have these precision-guided bombing missions, we have laser-guided precision bombs. You can’t be precise if what you’re delivering is high explosives…There’s no point finding the clitoris if what you’re finding it with is an uppercut.
My uncle always said “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” He did heroin.
My uncle died recently surrounded by his friends and family. We knew he was claustrophobic and we all hated him.
I don’t like celebrity atheists. I think religions have done some good things. The Quakers fought against the Vietnam war. Liberation theology in central America, they all got killed just for standing up for poor people. And what is their reward? To be looked down on by Ricky Gervais. I don’t need Ricky Gervais to tell me that God doesn’t exist when I watched Derek get recommissioned. Twice.
I was walking down the street the other day and I saw a homeless guy. I went to give him some money and I realized that I only had a 20 pound note. And I thought do I really want this money being spent on drugs? And I decided that I didn’t, so I gave it to the homeless guy.