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Edinburgh Fringe’s funniest joke: Lorna Rose Treen wins for zookeeper pun

Lorna Rose Treen has been voted the winner of Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe award 2023.
Lorna Rose Treen has been voted the winner of Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe award 2023. Copyright Robert Perry/PinPep/PA
Copyright Robert Perry/PinPep/PA
By David Mouriquand
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The London-based comedian becomes the second woman to win the award in its 14 years.


The 10 funniest jokes from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival have been ranked and revealed.

Compiled by entertainment channel Dave, who recruit an expert panel of comedy critics who attend hundreds of Fringe shows before submitting their favourite jokes - a shortlist then voted on by 2,000 Brits - the coveted Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe award is handed out every year towards the end of the festival. 

The top award this year went to London-based comedian Lorna Rose Treen with a one-liner about a zookeeper, taken from her debut Fringe show 'Skin Pigeon' at Pleasance Courtyard.

She is the second female comedian to win the award in the 14 years it has been running, with Zoe Lyons winning the title in 2008.

Treen said she was “blooming chuffed” to win Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe award.

“It is already such a wonderful joy to be debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, and this is a lovely thing on top. A huge thank you for awarding my stupid joke with this title!”

Here’s the top 10 list:

  1. I started dating a zookeeper, but it turned out he was a cheetah. — Lorna Rose Treen
  2. The most British thing I’ve ever heard? A lady who said ‘Well I’m sorry, but I don’t apologise.’ — Liz Guterbock
  3. Last year I had a great joke about inflation. But it’s hardly worth it now. — Amos Gill
  4. When women gossip we get called bitchy; but when men do it’s called a podcast. — Sikisa
  5. I thought I’d start off with a joke about The Titanic — just to break the ice. — Masai Graham.
  6. How do coeliac Germans greet each other? Gluten tag. — Frank Lavender
  7. My friend got locked in a coffee place overnight. Now he only ever goes into Starbucks, not the rivals. He’s Costa-phobic. — Roger Swift
  8. I entered the ‘How not to surrender’ competition and I won hands down. — Bennett Arron
  9. Nationwide must have looked pretty silly when they opened their first branch. — William Stone
  10. My grandma describes herself as being in her ‘twilight years’ which I love because they’re great films. — Daniel Foxx

Now in its 14th year, previous winners of the Joke of the Fringe Award include Olaf Falafel, Masai Graham, Tim Vine, Rob Auton, Stewart Francis, Zoe Lyons and Nick Helm.

Taking place across three weeks each August in Scotland’s capital city, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the biggest arts festival in the world.

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