Rob Auton beats Tim Vine & Co to win funniest Edinburgh joke
Former paintbrush salesman turned comedian wins annual award for best gag at Fringe Festival
NEWCOMER Rob Auton has beaten established stand-up comedians Tim Vine and Marcus Brigstocke to win the Edinburgh Fringe Festival's funniest joke of the year award with a gag about oriental chocolate.
He secured almost a quarter of all votes with: "I heard a rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa."
Auton, a former paintbrush salesman from York, is described by The Independent as not just a comedian, but "a poet and an illustrator and a talent to watch". He took up stand-up comedy in 2008 "on an impulse".
He told the BBC that he was honoured to receive the award and "pleased that a joke that tackles the serious issue of the invention of a new chocolate bar can be laughed at by the people of Britain".
Vine, who won the award in 2010, came fourth while Brigstocke, an Edinburgh veteran, came seventh.
The annual award, now in its sixth year, is run as a public poll by the television company Dave. The judges sat through an average of 60 separate comedy performances and over 3,600 minutes of material in order to compile the shortlist of best jokes.
They also listened out for the really weak ones. Among them were: "I thought ex-pats were people who used to be called Pat" (Simon Lilley) and "I once did a gig in a zoo. I got babooned off" (Tim Vine).
Top 10 jokes of Fringe 2013:
1. Rob Auton - "I heard a rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa."
2. Alex Horne - "I used to work in a shoe-recycling shop. It was sole-destroying."
3. Alfie Moore - "I'm in a same-sex marriage... the sex is always the same."
4. Tim Vine - "My friend told me he was going to a fancy dress party as an Italian island. I said to him 'Don't be Sicily'."
5. Gary Delaney - "I can give you the cause of anaphylactic shock in a nutshell."
6. Phil Wang - "The Pope is a lot like Doctor Who. He never dies, just keeps being replaced by white men."
7. Marcus Brigstocke - "You know you are fat when you hug a child and it gets lost."
8. Liam Williams - "The universe implodes. No matter."
9. Bobby Mair - "I was adopted at birth and have never met my mum. That makes it very difficult to enjoy any lapdance."
10. Chris Coltrane - "The good thing about lending someone your time machine is that you basically get it back immediately." ·