WITH LIVE COMEDY on TV every night and almost all town centres having their own comedy club it’s easy to find yourself some stand-up at short notice. The question is, do they make it like they used to? Are today’s offerings are patch on comedy legends of old? Get Me In looks at some of the nation's favourite jokes to find out which are funnier. Take a look to find out where you stand on the issue or just for a laugh.
King of the one-liner, Tim Vine is famous for his quick quips. He was awarded the funniest joke at 2010’s Edinburgh fringe festival for this short but perfectly formed gem:
''I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again.''
The fez wearing comedy legend has plenty of gags to choose from. This one came fifth in a survey of the 50 funniest jokes, conducted in 2010 by OnePoll.com:
“I said to the gym instructor: ‘Can you teach me to do the splits?’ He said: ‘How flexible are you?’ I said: ‘I can’t make Tuesdays’.”
If that didn’t do the trick, a couple of ‘just like that’s’ said quietly to yourself should put a smile on your face.
Michael McIntyre seems to have been adopted as a national comedy treasure. His quirky musings have us in stitches, but it’s his distinctive voice which makes the material so hilarious:
“My wife and I just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. It gets harder every year to know what to say in the card so this year I just wrote: ‘I still love you, see last year’s card for full details’”
Last year Peter Kay, one of Britain’s best loved comedians, returned to the stand-up circuit after a stint as his female alter-ego Geraldine McQueen. Kay is known for his cheeky delivery of somewhat cheesy jokes, like this one:
"How does Bob Marley like his doughnuts? Wi' jam in!"
Fast becoming a comedy hero, cheeky chappy and star of ‘Mouse Hunt’ and ‘Something about Mary’, has audiences eating out of his hand with his own brand of physical comedy.
“[About doctors] They always say the same thing. They say ‘Your appointment is at four,’ and it’s never at four! You go down there at four and you have to wait in that waiting room with all the coughers for another hour. You know when that doctor comes out at five, and he’ll say, ‘I’ll see you now.’ ‘No, you’ won’t! I’ve got a few more posters to read yet! Sit down!’'
Although you’re more likely to see him hosting a celebrity quiz show than performing on stage these days, Jimmy Carr should definitely get some credit for being a great stand up in his own right. His brand of comedy consists of jokes you know you shouldn’t laugh at, mainly because he tells you shouldn’t during the routine. His sets are full of close to the mark quips, like this one:
“My Dad’s dying wish was to have his family around him. I can’t help thinking he would have been better off with more oxygen.”
With comedians who spend their time on stage recalling amusing stories and observations, it can be hard to find one who just tells proper jokes. 85-year-old Dodd has no such problem. Famous for his one liners and his ‘tickling stick’, he once made it into the Guinness Book of Records for telling 1,500 jokes in 3 and a half hours
“Did you hear about the shrimp that went to the prawn’s cocktail party? He pulled a mussel”
Irish comedian Frank Carson is famous for his traditional style gag telling as well as his catch phrases; ‘That’s a cracker’ and ‘It’s the way I tell ‘em’. These are the sort of jokes you can easily repeat down the pub but if Frank’s catchphrase is right, you might not get the same kind of reception.
“I rang up British Telecom; I said ‘I want to report a nuisance caller.’ He said ‘Not you again.’
This lady could be Britain’s favourite female stand-up comic. Her Geordie wit and sometimes-too-honest approach mean that audiences fall in love with her. She’s more about the amusing anecdote than telling jokes. One of her funniest stories came out of an interview rather than a stand-up routine, when she explained her excitement at finding underwear featuring the cartoon character She-Ra.
“I got really excited and told my sister and I forgot she’s not the right age group for She-Ra and she said, ‘the footballer?’ So there was this horrible moment where she genuinely thought I’d bought knickers with Alan Shearer’s face on.
The award for best joke at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe went to festival favourite Nick Helm. If you’re not familiar with his work, catch him as he tours the UK this summer for more one-line witticisms like this.
''I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.''
If that put you in the mood for some laughs why not check out some live comedy this year? You can pick up last minute comedy tickets at www.getmein.com.