Class Clowns Essential Info

For the past 30 years, the Gilded Balloon’s comedy newcomer competition, So You Think You’re Funny? has seen hundreds of talented hopefuls go on to achieve overwhelming success in the comedy industry. Jimmy CarrLee MackRussell HowardKevin BridgesDaniel SlossSarah MillicanDylan MoranAisling BeaPeter KayGreg DaviesGreg McHugh (Gary: Tank Commander) and Jack Whitehall are just some of the household names to have come out of the competition over the years.

Now, the producers of So You Think You’re Funny? think it’s about time we extended the opportunity to the under 18s! Class Clowns is the UK’s only comedy newcomer competition for youngsters and this year will be its 5th year of searching for new kids on the block.

Why enter?

Class Clowns is the younger sibling of So You Think You’re Funny? – the UK’s longest running and most established new comedy competition. The Gilded Balloon are committed to nurturing young comic talent and will endeavour to support all winners and finalists with mentoring and guidance. As well as this the winner will receive…

  • A place in a heat of So You Think You’re Funny? Competition (once the applicant is old enough)
  • A VIP pass to see any Gilded Balloon show during the Edinburgh Fringe 2017.
  • A chance to take part in workshops with established comics to get advice, improve on stage presence and develop material. 
  • Complimentary copies of on stage photos taken during the Final.
  • Mentorship and support from the Class Clowns team.

2017 Key Dates:

End of January : Applications open – fill in application form to enter. 

May – July: Workshops with established comics to develop material (dependant on number of applicants)

August: Workshops and the Final held at the Gilded Balloon during Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017

How to Enter

Fill in the application form to apply to be part of this year’s competition. Make sure to give as much information on your experience as possible with up to date contact information so its easy for us to contact you.


  • The applicant must be attending high school or senior school or the equivalent.
  • The applicant must be under 18 years of age. 
  • The applicant must have consent from a parent or guardian to take part in the competition.

Judging Process:


Each year, the Gilded Balloon host workshops with established comics to develop and support applicants of the Class Clowns competition. These workshops are arranged dependant on the number of applications that have been received. Applicants will be contacted with details of workshops and encouraged to attend. 

Grand Final:

The Class Clowns Final will be held at the Gilded Balloon during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  Last year the Final was hosted by Thomas Green and the celebrity judge was the fabulous Zoe Lyons alongside Karen and Katy Koren, Artistic and Creative Directors of the Gilded Balloon. 

Judges Tips / Tricks:

  • Make the audience laugh within the first 30 seconds of being on stage.
  • Write, edit and rehearse you material in advance, get advice from your mates to see if they think its funny.
  • Practice makes perfect. Practice before your set in front of the judges, get comfortable holding a mic, be comfortable in what you are wearing and how to stand on stage.
  • Make sure the audience can see your face and mouth, don’t hide behind the mic.
  • Watch the person before you and see where the light is on stage, when its your turn, make sure you are in it.
  • Enjoy it! What’s the worst that could happen?

Previous Winners/Finalists Testimonials:

“From the bottom of my heart, nothing has been as exciting as that moment when they said, “The winner is Lee Mack.” In terms of excitement, that was the pinnacle of my career.” Lee Mack 

Got a question?

If you aren’t sure whether you or someone in the competition is eligible or not, please do not contact us anonymously once the line-up for the heats have been announced.

However, we’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or suggestions. Although we hope that all applicants are honest in their applications, we can’t do as much research on applicants backgrounds as we’d like. Get in touch here.

There is a maximum of 14 slots per showcase, once they are full they are full. Apply early in order to secure your place!