Funniest Joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Nick Helm won an award for the funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:

Nick Helm: “I needed a password with eight characters so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”

Note that two other jokes were about security:

Tim Vine: “Crime in multi-storey car parks. That is wrong on so many different levels.”

Andrew Lawrence: “I admire these phone hackers. I think they have a lot of patience. I can’t even be bothered to check my OWN voicemails.”

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 4:08 PM29 Comments


Larry Seltzer August 25, 2011 4:22 PM

Helm’s is an old blond joke: “During a recent password audit, it was found that a blonde was using the following password: “MickeyMinniePlutoHueyLouieDeweyDonaldGoofySacramento”
When asked why such a long password, she said she was told that it had to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital.”

Dom De Vitto August 25, 2011 4:30 PM

From 1996, during a discussion on how interesting computers are, I conjured:

Two microprocessors are walking down the street. The first microprocessor says to the second microprocessor: “Don’t you think microprocessors are boring?” and the second microprocessor says “beep.”

Yeah. Times haven’t changed much.

aikimark August 25, 2011 7:31 PM

There are 10 types of people in the world…those that understand binary and those that don’t

andrewsw August 25, 2011 9:24 PM

There are two hard problems in computer science: cache validation, variable substitution, and off-by-one errors.

Moderator August 25, 2011 11:01 PM

Richard, I’ve removed your comments for excessive obnoxiousness. Note: when multiple people are complaining about your behavior, “suck it up” is not a good answer.

Tommy, I’ve also removed your comments. “Political correctness is ruining the school system” is not an appropriate subject for this blog. In addition, we’ve spent more than enough time on why your song parodies are not allowed here; don’t raise the subject again.

As a side note, I’m reasonably sure the Clive who posted here was not actually Clive Robinson. But I’ve removed that comment along with a couple of others that were simply objections or follow-ups to comments that aren’t here anymore.

Bruce Clement August 25, 2011 11:26 PM

@Dom de Vito

From a marginally later era.

Two microcomputers were walking along the first said “When I grow up I want to be a mainframe” the other replied “Hush dear, mainframes aren’t PC”

Moderator August 25, 2011 11:39 PM

Richard, knowing as I do that not all good-byes on the internet are forever, I’m banning you for immediately repeating the behavior I warned you about.

jbl August 26, 2011 2:42 AM

Funny also is an incident in a new episode aired tonight of “Suits“, a lawyer drama shown on USA network. A bunch of associates were clustered around our hero Mike Ross’s computer viewing a video they did not want to be caught with (so they used his computer in his absence). When he expressed surprise that they could get around the password, one of the associates asked him “What’s hard about Ross999?” Besides the fact that many big corporate IT systems wouldn’t have allowed that password, it’s a lesson in how not to choose a password.

A.J. Venter August 26, 2011 3:06 AM

Both the blonde-joke above and the winning joke actually originated in World of Warcraft several years ago as one of the game’s famous “GM jokes” (when submitting support tickets, people have a tradition of afterwards asking the support technicians for a “Game Master joke” -the game masters in turn have a long tradition of coming up with very good jokes that may only be told to outsiders in this way). The outsiders do of course share the jokes and this is understood but the GM’s take a measure of pride in being the original sources and knowing them before anybody else does.

The WoW version spoke of a player whose password was GnomeDraeneiTaurenDwarfHumanOrcForsakenNightelfStormwind – 8 characters and a capital.

As the joke moved outside the WoW sphere it was adapted a bit, and the idea of story characters replaced game character types. I actually think that the in-game version is rather funnier since character has such a specific and well-known meaning in that context and doesn’t need to pull it from an unrelated idea as in the more mundane versions.

Woo August 26, 2011 4:01 AM

The 8 characters joke is ancient.. I first heard a variation of it in the end of the 90’s, when a coworker told us he changed his password from Snow White.. to Ali Baba, since Solaris 2.6 now supports passwords with more than 8 characters.

ChristianO August 26, 2011 4:31 AM

I though the most funniest joke in the world was buried and forgotton.. so he could never be brought back and used again.

Monty Python ftw!

Todd August 26, 2011 7:49 AM

There are 2 kinds of people in the world: 1) Those who number their arrays starting with one and 1) Those who number their arrays starting with zero.

Gomez August 26, 2011 7:59 AM

e^x and a constant function are walking down the street. They turn a corner and see a differential operator coming the other way. The constant function runs back ’round the corner with a yelp and follows him.

“What’s up?” asks e^x

“Didn’t you see that differential operator?” says the constant function, “if we come together I’ll be annihilated!!!”

e^x pooh-poohs this and smugly strides up to the differential operator to introduce himself.

“Hi,” he says, “I’m e^x”

“Hi. I’m d/dy”

TimH August 26, 2011 11:27 AM

Moderator: I have to say, despite the fact that presumably you wrote it in seriousness, that “Note: when multiple people are complaining about your behavior, “suck it up” is not a good answer” is the funniest line I’ve read for a year…

Paul R. Dittrich August 26, 2011 1:39 PM

Since we’re telling geeky jokes…..

Two atoms are walking down the street. One atom says to the other “I’ve lost an electron.”

The other atom says “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m positive!”

Gabriel August 27, 2011 7:34 AM

I’ve got him beat on password length. Mine is 11 characters, I use Ocean’s 11. And if I need it longer, there’s always the sequels.

Gabriel August 27, 2011 7:41 AM

Of course, there is something wrong with my computer. It keeps telling me Oceans11 only has 8 characters. I need to have it take a look at IMDB.

Clive Robinson August 27, 2011 5:46 PM

Hmm have I missed some goings on over the past few days…

@ Bruce : I don’t know what the other Clive said but no it was not me.

I know quite a few IT/Geek jokes, though most are not repeatable in a respectable blog post so.. I’ll have to tell an “old computer joke” (which ha a grayer beard than me 😉

Importantly you need to read it out aloud.

A geek walks into a party with a parrot on his shoulder, the parrot occasionaly stretches it’s wings and squawks “pieces of seven pieces of seven”. An atttractive young lady appears fascinated by the pair and finnaly glides over to the pair.

She looks first at the parrot and then at the geek and says “Why does your parrot keep saying pieces of seven, shouldn’t it be pieces of eight?”

To which the geek replies “well that’s because he’s a parroty error”

[ For those of young and tender years who are not old enough to remember the introduction of the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) Recomended Standard 232 revision C (RS-232-C) in 1969, used to carry the earlier (1963) American Standards Association (ASA which eventually ended up as NIST) of the American Standard for Information Interchange (ASCII) it was a “seven bit code” however the data “octet” (8bit) was already common so ASA recomended the use of the additional bit if used for “parity checking” to protect the data on noisy lines, hence when running long serial lines close to the RS-232-C limit of a thousand feet over lower quality cable signalling erros became known genericaly as “parity errors” and the joke is based on the similarity on vocalisation of the word parity and the word parrot, which shows just how far geeks were prepared to go to show they had a sense of humour (which you will need if you’ve read this far 😉 ]

Cath of Canberra August 28, 2011 11:39 PM

@Todd, I think it’s funnier the way I heard it:
There is one kind of people in the world: 1) Those who number their arrays starting with one and 1) Those who number their arrays starting with zero.

Michael W August 29, 2011 2:22 PM

This one is kind of a stretch for computer humor, but I like math jokes.

“An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a beer. The second one orders half a beer. The third one orders a quarter of a beer. The bartender says ‘you are all idiots’ and pours them 2 beers.”

Ben R August 29, 2011 5:23 PM

There are three kinds of people in this world; those that understand math and those that don’t

bolson August 31, 2011 9:30 AM

Three logicians walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “Would any of you like a drink?” The first logician says, “I don’t know.” The second logician says, “I don’t know.” The third logician says, “No.”

RH August 31, 2011 8:56 PM

I’m dissapointed in all of you. So many comments vying for #1 joke, and no one has tried “TSA” or “Homeland Security”… am I on the right website?

During they heyday of this kind of joke, I saw this on a shirt: ‘There are only 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand trinary, those who don’t, and those who are really tierd of this kind of joke’

Ross September 1, 2011 10:20 AM

@ array numbering …

A former co-worker of mine, priding himself on being logical, generally tried to have at least two supporting points for most of his arguments. Thing is, every single time he’d enumerate them by saying:

A) [first point …], and TWO [second point …]

I laughed out loud at this once, thinking he was making a subtle kind of joke, but it turns out that it was a totally unintentional quirk of how his brain organized things. Sadly I can’t ever remember him having a third point, but I was desperately curious to see if it came out as Roman numerals (iii) or something else entirely.

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