2022 Edinburgh Fringe

Joshua Bethania wins 'So You Think You're Funny?' 2022

Thursday 25th August 2022, 10:44pm

So You Think You're Funny? 2022. Joshua Bethania. Copyright: Steve Ullathorne

Joshua Bethania has won So You Think You're Funny?, the Edinburgh Fringe-based new act stand-up competition.

His biography explains: "Joshua is a comedian from India who has been in London for a few years. His comedy is centred around observations of the English and life in general as an immigrant."

His set, which included jokes about colonialism and football, wins him a cash prize, a fully paid for solo show run as part of the Gilded Balloon's Fringe programme; a paid performance slot at Latitude Festival, a series of paid performance slots at Just For Laughs Festival in London; a paid Friday spot at Glee Birmingham plus accommodation; a full weekend of paid spots at the Boat Show in London; a professional photoshoot, and more.

Initially lost for words on being announced the winner, he then joked in relation to the title of the competition, "I guess the answer is: yes, I do think I'm funny", before adding "It's an incredible line-up, I don't know why I'm here."

Noting the competition was "hotly contested", guest judge Micky Flanagan announced the result after a significant amount of discussion had taken place between the judges.

Mark Black was named the runner-up, and third place was jointly awarded to Jack Skipper and Pravanya Pillay.

So You Think You're Funny? 2022. Image shows from L to R: Joshua Bethania, Jack Skipper, Micky Flanagan, Pravanya Pillay, Mark Black. Copyright: Steve Ullathorne

The other contestants were Prakash Jirjadhun, Rohan Sharma, Ben Pollard, Justina Seselskaite and Daniel Petrie

Hosted by Zoe Lyons, the final took place in the Gilded Balloon venue tonight (Thursday 25th August), as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.

The competition, which is in its 35th year, has a track record of discovering future stand-up stars, with Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Dylan Moran, Aisling Bea and Maisie Adam amongst the acts to have emerged via the competition.

This year there were over 650 applications, of which the best were invited to compete in seven heats.

This year's judges were Micky Flanagan, Bruce Dessau (Evening Standard), Karen Koren (Gilded Balloon), Paul Willers (Just For Laughs), Helen Hawkins (The Times) and Susan Provan (Melbourne Comedy Festival).

Karen Koren says: "I started this competition 35 years ago to search for the newest talent - one of the main reasons it's so successful. This is a very nurturing environment for the winners, whom we encourage and support. The calibre of past winners is impressive. We love discovering and investing in stand-up comics of the future."

Artistic director Katy Koren adds: "We're thrilled for Joshua Bethania and we really put our blood, sweat and tears into this competition so announcing the winner is a really special moment for us. Seeing all the new comedians coming through is the best part of my job!"

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