LINK The video is extremely NSFW.

Jimmy Carr in the video claimed that an English newspaper claimed that Josef Fritzl was the evilest Austrian in history, did that actually happen?

  • TIL Hitler gave up Austrian citizenship in 1925, before he did most of his evil-ing. reuters.com/article/… At least he wouldn’t be at risk of the 2017–18 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis.
    – Golden Cuy
    Aug 24, 2021 at 12:50
  • 3
    Not sure if claim in stand-up comedy has to be taken literally. skeptics.meta.stackexchange.com/a/2507/29579 Aug 24, 2021 at 17:06
  • If Jimmy Carr is considered a celebrity then it is a notable claim according to the meta post you quoted
    – Neil Meyer
    Aug 24, 2021 at 17:13
  • 4
    Did you miss the part about comedy? Aug 24, 2021 at 17:29
  • 2
    @NeilMeyer If you can find another case of someone making this claim, this debate will go away. If you can't then you probably have your answer. Aug 24, 2021 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


It's hard to prove a negative, but I'll go ahead and share what I found.

The Daily Express online makes a lot of fuss over this guy, and it looks like the word "evil" is used on average about once per article. However, "evilest Austrian in history," or any similar phrasing (or even use of any general superlative), I looked for extensively and did not find. The closest I found was this article about a controversial father's day ad for a burger company that included his picture. The subheadline was "A HIPSTER burger company has provoked fury after using photographs of some of world's most evil men to "celebrate" father's day," at least contained a superlative. Hitler did not appear in the picture.

We can get a slightly closer sentiment if we look at this article from the Belfast Telegraph, which opens with "Josef Fritzl has been depicted as one of the most evil monsters Europe has ever known." This begs a comparison to Hitler, but not as compellingly as if Austria was singled out rather than Europe.

Either of these could reasonably be misremembered or interpreted, with a healthy dose of comedic license, as "evilest Austrian in history." I believe this is the most likely source for the quote in the video.


Seemingly not quite that, but the Express ran dozens of articles on Fritzl, all full of epithets ranging from "monster", "pervert", "sadist", "brute", "beast", to "A MAN of the most consummate evil". Possibly this last expression may have been the basis of the "claim" (which was made in a stand-up comedy show, by the way). Also, the newspaper wrote Fritzl's crimes were "of unimaginable horror" and in the same sentence declared Fritzl may have been "a master of deception without parallel".

One can't easily prove intent, but the "tabloid" papers like Daily Express and Daily Mail having been not so critical of Hitler during the 1930s might have been what the joke was in part trying to hint at in terms of comparison. Carr drops the punchline explicitly mentioning Hitler, but he doesn't say anything about the newspaper's historical coverage of Hitler, so I'm not sure if he intended to draw attention to that fact or not. Looking at the Wikipedia page on Carr, he doesn't seem to go for subtle jokes, so I'm guessing it's more likely it was just simple satire around expressions like those in the previous paragraph.

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