Comedians row over who created classic one-liner

A British comedian has claimed he was the first person to tell a joke which has been named as the best one-liner at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Funnyman Darren Walsh was given the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award for this zinger: “I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It’s Hans free.”

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But now rival comedian Pete Cunningham claims he came up with the gag, not Walsh.

BBC Scotland reported that the pair had a Twitter exchange earlier this year in which Cunningham’s alter ego Frank Sanazi tweeted the “Hans free” line.

“There’s the famous saying that there are only two or three jokes in the world and they are all sort of spun around but I have been using it for quite a while, an extended version of his gag,” Cunningham told the BBC.

He said he was “happy” that Walsh had won but added: “There’s a small feeling that I had actually done the gag before.”

Walsh’s Punderbolt show includes lines such as: “My cat is recovering from a massive stroke.”

TV station Dave, which sponsors the award, told the BBC it was “entirely confident” the award had gone to the right man.

Hundreds of comedians descend on Edinburgh every year for the Fringe, with fierce competition to fill venues.

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