So You Think You're Funny

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So You Think You're Funny?
So you think logo.jpg
So You Think You're Funny logo
Awarded forStand-up comedy competition
Country United Kingdom

So You Think You're Funny? (SYTYF) is an annual stand-up comedy competition for new acts. The competition began in 1988 in the United Kingdom.


The finals are held every August at The Gilded Balloon during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Past winners include Dylan Moran, Lee Mack, Peter Kay and David O'Doherty.


Bill Bailey in 2008 Bill Bailey - SYTYF.JPG
Bill Bailey in 2008

So You Think You’re Funny was the idea of Karen Koren, Artistic Director of The Gilded Balloon, in order to discover new comic talent. During the years it has developed into the most influential competition of its kind in the UK, helping start the careers of many of the country’s leading comedians including Dylan Moran, Lee Mack, Graham Norton, David O’Doherty and Tommy Tiernan. Other competitors have included Ardal O'Hanlon, Johnny Vegas, Ed Byrne, Jason Byrne, Alex Zane, Reginald D Hunter, Craig Hill, Alan Carr, Rhod Gilbert, Andrew Lawrence and Russell Howard.

Sponsorship from Channel 4 began in 1993 and ran until 2004, since when Channel 5 and The Paramount Comedy Channel have been sponsors. Now sponsored by Foster’s, the first prize is £5000 and a place in the Best of British Show at the Montreal "Just For Laughs" Festival.

Past judges have included Steve Coogan, Owen O’Neill, Avid Merrion (Leigh Francis), Bob Mortimer and former So You Think You're Funny winners Dylan Moran and Rhona Cameron.

Comperes for the evening have included Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey, Graham Norton and Jo Brand. [1]

The competition spun a teenagers version entitled "Class Clowns", derived from an Australian format of the same name, which was staged at the Gilded Balloon for the first time in 2015. Judged by Jo Brand, Kevin Day and Karen Koren, the first Fringe winner was Joe Gardner. [2]

Rules and eligibility

The rules and eligibility are as follows:

"1. The performer cannot have performed stand up REGULARLY either paid or unpaid before 1st June of the year prior to the competition. *

2. The performer should not have appeared in So You Think You're Funny? before.

3. The performer’s material must be completely original.

4. The performer must have at least 8 minutes of original material.

5. The organisers reserve the right to select all entrants and decisions taken by the organisers and judges are final.

6. All entrants must be aged 18 and over.

Process of elimination

The competition starts in the spring of each year with showcases in Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, York, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Inverness, Dublin, Brighton and Nottingham as well as ten comedy clubs in London. In 2013, there were over 500 applicants for only 55 places in the Edinburgh heats.[ citation needed ]

Each showcase is not a direct competition, with judges instead selecting the best acts they have seen over the entire run to take part in one of seven heats at the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August. Winners of each of these heats go forward to the final.[ citation needed ]

Winners and finalists



MC Zoe Lyons Comedy Guest Judge: Jenny Eclair



MC Zoe Lyons Comedy Guest Judge: Rhod Gilbert


Results: [3]

MC: Aisling Bea

Comedy Guest Judge: David O'Doherty



MC Zoe Lyons Comedy Guest Judge: Alan Davies



MC: Zoe Lyons Comedy Guest Judge: Mark Watson


Results: [4]

MC: Zoe Lyons [4]

Comedy Guest Judge: Jason Manford [5]

Sponsor: Foster's [4]


Results: [4]

MC: Zoe Lyons [4]

Comedy Guest Judge: Sarah Millican [6]

Sponsor: Foster's [4]


Results: [7]

MC: Jason Cook [7]

Comedy Guest Judge: Ruby Wax [7]

Sponsor: Foster's [7]


Results: [4]

MC: Jarred Christmas [4]

Comedy Guest Judge: Lee Mack [4]

Sponsor: The Sims 3 [8]


Results: [4]

MC: Rufus Hound [4]

Comedy Guest Judge: Tim Minchin [4]


Results: [4]

MC: Lee Mack [4]

Comedy Guest Judge: Tim Vine [4]


Results: [4]

Comedy Guest Judge: Johnny Vegas


Results: [4] [9]


Results: [4] [10]


Results: [4]

MC: Bill Bailey [4]


Results: [4]


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Results: [4]


Results: [4]


Results: [4]


Results: [4]


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  1. "So You Think You're Funny?". Gilded Balloon. Retrieved 1 September 2011.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. "Gilded Balloon on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 21 November 2015.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. "So You Think You're Funny Final". Chortle.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 "Finalists & Runners up". So You Think You're Funny?. Archived from the original on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2017 via Wayback machine.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) Lock-green.svg
  6. BBC
  7. 1 2 3 4 "Finalists & Runners up", So You Think You're Funny?. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  8. "The Sims 3 Searches For New Stars Of Comedy With So You Think You Are Funny", EA News, 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  9. "So You Think You're Funny? 2007 final". Chortle - The UK comedy guide. Retrieved 30 September 2012.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. "So You Think You're Funny (2006)". Chortle - the UK comedy guide. Retrieved 30 September 2012.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. "Awards | Jason Manford", Retrieved 2012-09-30.