Ronnie Corbett
Ronnie Corbett

10 of the funniest Scots who make us laugh

When it comes to having a laugh, Scotland punches way above its weight in the humour stakes.

Our comics are loved not only at home, and in the rest of the UK, but all over the world.

We present 10 of the funniest Scots and their best gags.

1. Billy Connolly (1942 – present)

‘Never trust a man, who left alone with a tea cosy… doesn’t try it on.’

The Big Yin started life as a welder in the shipyards on the river Clyde. He also spent time in a folk band before making the leap to comedy in the early 1970s. Connolly is also known for his TV presenting and acting, but will always be best loved for his standup routines.

2. Kevin Bridges (1986 – present)

‘I always hated the first day back at school after the summer holidays. All of the rich kids would have a suntan and a new school bag. I would have a black eye and a new second name.’

Bridges started his career as a stand-up in Glasgow at the tender age of 17. Such is his popularity that he has become one of the most in-demand comedians on the chat show circuit, and his live shows are best sellers, in terms of ticket sales and DVDs.

3. Chic Murray (1919 – 1985)

‘I made a stupid mistake last week. Come to think of it, did you ever hear of someone making a clever mistake?’

Charles Thomas McKinnon was born in Greenock and worked at Inverclyde shipyard until he formed a double act with Maidie Dickson. Their routines of jokes and songs saw them appear on TV and on stage. Murray later worked as a solo act and appeared in films such Casino Royale and Gregory’s Girl.

4. Ronni Ancona (1968 – present)

‘A lot of people say that dolphins are smarter than people, but if they were, wouldn’t they be saying that?’

Ancona was born in Troon and became a teacher before starting a career as a stand-up comedian. She progressed to television and is probably best known for appearing in The Big Impression with her ex-boyfriend Alistair McGowan.

5. Stanley Baxter (1926 – present)

‘Parliamo Glasgow? Sanoffy caul day, (it’s an awfully cold day) or the classic Scummindooninbuckets (it’s raining very hard).’

Baxter began in TV before taking to the stage; he was renowned for pantomime. His self-titled TV show featured his uncanny impression of the Queen (or the Duchess of Brenda as she was referred to in the show).

6. Ronnie Corbett (1930 – 2016)

Ronnie Corbett

‘The toilets at the local police station have been stolen. Police say they have nothing to go on.’

Born in Edinburgh, Corbett’s fi rst job was with the Ministry of Agriculture. He did his national service in the RAF, where it is said that he was the shortest commissioned officer in the British Forces at 5ft 1in. Starting out on stage, Corbett progressed to television work and is best known for his popular BBC collaboration with Ronnie Barker, The Two Ronnies.

7. Susan Calman (1974 – present)

‘My wife is always saying to me that we should be more spontaneous. I say: “Fine! When?”’

Calman gave up a successful career as a corporate lawyer to become a comedian in 2006. Sell-out Edinburgh Fringe Festival shows followed and the Glaswegian comedienne is now a regular on the small screen, appearing on QI, Have I Got News For You and 8 out of 10 Cats. She was also a contenstant on Strictly Come Dancing.

8. Fred Macaulay (1956-present)

‘There are a lot of people who wonder what does a true Scotsman wear under his kilt, and I can tell you that a true Scotsman will never tell you what he wears under his kilt. He will show you at the drop of a hat.’

MacAulay was born in Perth and worked as an accountant before taking up comedy. He presented a daily show on BBC Radio Scotland until March 2015 and continues to do stand-up along with appearances on various TV panel shows.

9. Rikki Fulton (1924-2004)

‘I’ve been offered a job by the government’s Department of New Words. It’s a great opporchancity.’

Fulton was born in the Dennistoun area of Glasgow and spent time in the Royal Navy before embarking on an acting career, which led him into comedy. Most famous for his BBC Scotland sketch show, Scotch and Wry, and his portrayal of dour clergyman Reverend I. M. Jolly, Fulton is also remembered for being one half of the double act Francie and Josie, alongside Jack Milroy.

10. Frankie Boyle (1972 – present)

‘If Harry Potter’s so magical, why can’t he cure his own eyesight and get laid?’

Francis Martin Patrick Boyle hails from the Pollokshaws area of Glasgow and got his big break when performing at The Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh. He is a regular on TV and was a panelist on Mock the Week. He has also appeared on Have I Got News For You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and 8 out of 10 Cats.