Give us a joke

Mobile phone firm's gag contest

Most aspiring comics take years of honing their craft to be able to perform on the Comedy Store stage.

But now ten people will be given to chance to leapfrog the queues of would-be stand-ups competing for a place on the hallowed stage – and all they will need is 10 seconds of material. And it needn’t even be their own.

Mobile phone shop Phones4u is inviting anyone to record a gag, either on the videophone or at a series of heats across the country, in a new competition.

And under the terms of the contest, ‘all entries will become the property of Phones 4u to use for any further publicity and advertising’.

At least one of the gags already featured on the competition’s website is from punning stand-up Tim Vine’s repertoire, but not credited to him.

Ten finalists chosen on the strength of their one gag will then have to come up with a full routine for a final at the Comedy Store Manchester on November 29, where judges wkill include comics Archie Kelly and John Bishop, and venue owner Don Ward.

Bishop, pictured, who is the face of the competition, said: ‘It can be really hard for up-and-coming talent to get a gig in the local pub, never mind a comedy club.  We hope this gives ten people from around the country a chance to kick-start a career in comedy.’

And Phones4u marketing manager Jon Fish said: ‘Everybody loves to receive jokes via SMS and email, but the new videophone technology enables people to actually capture pure comedy moments rather than trying to recreate them when the joke is often lost.

‘The beauty of using video phones for a competition like this is that everyone across the country has an equal chance of impressing the public and getting their first big break.’

The first heat is in Manchester’s Market Street shopping area today, and video entries are now being accepted by email to

The ten finalists will first receive comedy coaching from Bishop and a mobile phone. The ultimate winner gets to perform again at the Comedy Store Manchester on a normal comedy club night.


Published: 21 Oct 2005

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.