Jokers called John dominate the comedy scene according to LOLIHULL Comedy Festival

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A survey of more than 900 comedians performing in the UK, undertaken by festival producer Solihull BID, suggests that there are more comedians called John being funny for money than any other name.

Lolihull Comedy Festival 8th to 13th April 2013

Lolihull Comedy Festival 8th to 13th April 2013

there are more Johns being funny for money than any other name

The research, undertaken for LOLIHULL, Solihull’s first comedy festival which opens this weekend (6th April 2013), identified the names most likely to pursue a career in comedy in this country.

The Top 5 (with number of comedians out of a total of 910 included in the survey) are:
1. John 35
2. James 28
3. Stephen/Steven 25
4. David 24
5. Simon 20

Famous funny Johns in this country include Jonathan Ross, former Monty Python John Cleese, Johnny Vegas and John Bishop.

It can’t even be explained by the popularity of certain baby names. The name John largely fell out of fashion over 50 years ago, yet still comes out on top in the survey with plenty of youthful Johns finding their career in comedy, including John Bishop, Jon Moloney and TV’s 8 out of 10 Cats regular Jon Richardson.

The list also includes stage names such as John Shuttleworth (born Graeme Fellows) going to show that you’re not even necessarily born with funny bones – you can change your name and instantly improve your comic potential.

The survey also suggests that comedy remains a male dominated profession with less than 20% of the comedians being female. Sarah is the most common name for female comedians in the survey with eight performers - including Sarah Millican and LOLIHULL performer Sara Pascoe – followed by seven comediennes named Louise and six each for Kate and Ruth.

Comedy Festival producer Shirley Sturzaker said of the findings: “Being funny is such a uniquely personal character trait, so we were really not expecting to see such a dominance of comedians with the same names. It is the fabulous variety of performers appearing at LOLHULL that has made it a draw for ticket-buyers this year. Maybe next year we might try and book a whole festival of comedians called John!”

However, proving that sometimes the funniest people are the truly unique ones, in the history of British comedy there has only been one successful comedian called Jasper: Jasper Carrott – patron of LOLIHULL Comedy Festival who is performing three sold-out nights of his Made in Brum show during the event.

Notes to editors:
1. LOLIHULL, Solihull’s first Comedy Festival, launches on Saturday 6th April and runs until Saturday 13th April. Comedians performing include The Boy with Tape on His Face, Joe Lycett, Gary Delaney, Sara Pascoe, Lucy Beaumont, David Morgan, Joey Page, Arthur Smith and Jasper Carrott.
2. Solihull Business Improvement District was formed in March 2010 after a successful ‘yes’ vote, resulting in a £2.5 million investment which is funding a series of projects to raise the profile of Solihull as a great place to work and visit. The town is bucking economic trends with a vibrant bustling high street and hosts four festivals to attract visitors: Jazz & Blues in May, Dance Live! in August,The Big Taste in October and LOLIHULL, Solihull's brand new laugh out loud Comedy Festival which opens tomorrow (6th April 2013).
3. The list of comedians was compiled from public sources and, whilst extensive, cannot be guaranteed to be 100% comprehensive. A copy of the list is attached.

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Deborah Smith
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