Miserable? Wolverhampton? You must be joking

By Marion Brennan | Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

Heard the one about Wolverhampton being the most miserable place in the UK? It's gone beyond a joke for some people - who set out to prove the theory wrong.

The Joke Exchange flash mob with placards, at Queen Square, Wolverhampton

Hundreds of jokes were collected from Wulfrunians over the past few months for a public art project to show just how funny Wolverhampton people really are.

Each day a couple have been paraded through the town on placards and on Saturday the 30 best were the focus of a flash mob in Queen Square as part of the city's two-week Funny Things Festival.

The Joke Exchange in Wolverhampton

The jokes will remain on display in a pop-up shop in the Wulfrun Centre, at the back of Poundland, until the weekend. The Joke Exchange project was the idea of Redhawk Logistica who were commissioned by Creative Black Country as part of the comedy festival.

The jokes were collected from passers-by on the streets and through social media and the Express and Star. Anyone who contributed a joke was told one in return.

Rob Hewitt, one of the organisers, said: "It's been a huge success. People have been delighted to recognise their jokes on the boards.

"We've had a mixture of old jokes and made-up ones, some that had been heard on the telly the night before and some that have been in the family for years. One woman told me she'd been telling the same joke for 20 years and still found it funny.

"Some of the jokes were rude - quite often told by older people - and some were too long to put on a board. We wanted to set up the joke on one side of the placard and give the punchline on the other. The idea is that the jokes get passed on."


The Joke Exchange flash mob with placards, at Queen Square, Wolverhampton

Also entertaining the crowds was The Orchestra of Chaos, a keyboard and drums comedy combo performed by Mr Velvet and Barry Bling, aka Darlaston-based Mark Pressdee, who have appeared at Glastonbury and the Birmingham Comedy Festival, and were described by one critic as a cross between Phoenix Nights and Pulp Fiction.

They have been giving pop-up performances at random venues and are offering to perform at other events between now and the end of the festival. They will be joining the Joke Exchange team and TV comedian Barbara Nice for a festival finale at the Slade Rooms on Sunday(5th).

For more information on the festival, go to

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.


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