Ken Cheng

Ken Cheng

Finalist in the 2015 BBC Radio New Comedy Award
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You've got to be quidding! Is this really the joke of the Fringe?

Ken Cheng takes the title

Another corny 'dad joke' has been named funniest line from the most creative arts festival in the world.

Ken Cheng scooped the prize from TV channel Dave with the line: 'I'm not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.'

The public voted that the best line from the several hundred hours of innovative comedy produced at the Edinburgh Fringe, froma shortlist drawn up by critics.

Gags were listed anonymously to avoid any bias towards well-known comedians. Frankie Boyle came second in the poll for his line: 'Trump's nothing like Hitler. There's no way he could write a book.'

Cheng studied maths at Cambridge for a year before dropping out to play online poker professionally, then turned to comedy and made the final of the 2015 BBC Radio New Comedy Award. 

He said tonight: 'I am very proud to have won. As a tribute, I will name my firstborn son after this award and call him Joke Of The Fringe.'

Steve North, general manager of Dave, said: 'From Trump and veganism to the new pound coin, this year's news agenda has certainly also provided some great inspiration for comedians. It's fantastic to see that, even after ten years of the Joke Of The Fringe award, there is no shortage of brilliant one-liners delivered at the festival.'

The choice is likely to inflame accusations of unoriginality for a gag that has done the rounds on Twitter. Cheng himself tweeted it as long ago as March 21, 2014, when news of the design first broke, but he was still beaten to it by many people – see below.

In 2015, Darren Walsh scooped the award for the joke: 'I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It's Hans free' – a gag that had previously been used by fellow Fringe act Frank Sanazi.

Her are Dave's top gags of 2017:

The 15 jokes deemed the best of the Fringe

1. "I'm not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change." Ken Cheng

2. "Trump's nothing like Hitler. There's no way he could write a book." Frankie Boyle

3. "I've given up asking rhetorical questions. What's the point?" Alexei Sayle

4. "I'm looking for the girl next door type. I'm just gonna keep moving house till I find her." Lew Fitz

5. "I like to imagine the guy who invented the umbrella was going to call it the 'brella'. But he hesitated." Andy Field

6. "Combine Harvesters. And you'll have a really big restaurant." Mark Simmons

7. "I'm rubbish with names. It's not my fault, it's a condition. There's a name for it..." Jimeoin

8. "I have two boys, 5 and 6. We're no good at naming things in our house." Ed Byrne

9. "I wasn't particularly close to my dad before he died... which was lucky, because he trod on a land mine." Olaf Falafel

10. "Whenever someone says, 'I don't believe in coincidences.' I say, 'Oh my God, me neither!"' Alasdair Beckett-King

11. "A friend tricked me into going to Wimbledon by telling me it was a men's singles event." Angela Barnes

12. "As a vegan, I think people who sell meat are disgusting; but apparently people who sell fruit and veg are grocer." Adele Cliff

13. "For me dying is a lot like going camping. I don't want to do it." Phil Wang

14. "I wonder how many chameleons snuck onto the Ark." Adam Hess

15. "I went to a Pretenders gig. It was a tribute act." Tim Vine

Previous winners of the award include Vine, Stewart Francis and Zoe Lyons.


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Published: 21 Aug 2017


Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Ken Cheng: Chinese Comedian

Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Ken Cheng: Best Dad Ever


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