altIf laughter is the best medicine, write yourself up a repeat prescription with some of the funniest acts around the city this month. Jay Richardson will see you now.

Alex Horne: Odds
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 16), 8.30pm

Currently striving to become the oldest man in the world, the We Need Answers tech geek talks all manner of numbers in his latest high concept show. At the Pleasance Dome, he’ll also be orchestrating musicians and comedians in The Horne Section.

Alun Cochrane: Jokes. Life. And Jokes About Life
The Stand Comedy Club III
6-29 August, 9.15pm

The droll, Scots-born Yorkshire-man and former Perrier Best Newcomer nominee shares his latest musings and frustrations. He can’t abide the kinky.

Andrew Lawrence: The Too Ugly For Television Tour 2010
Pleasance Courtyard
4-29 August (not 16), 9.20pm

Let’s hope an impressionable commissioning editor takes the show title as a dare and gives the “rapist-eyed” double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee his own TV vehicle shortly.

Andrew O’Neill
Downstairs at the Tron
16-26 August, 10.20pm

A cult act with a growing following, this vegan, anarchist, musician and Jack the Ripper tour guide is also an accomplished, thoughtful and consistently dark comic.  His steampunk band The Men that Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing perform at the same venue on August 16 and 17.

Arj Barker – Let
Me Do The Talking
Assembly @ George Street
5-29 August (not 16), 9.20pm

After a decade away, the Flight of the Conchords co-star returns to the Fringe with a compelling mix of new and  classic material. Expect aggressively blinkered conspiracy theories and hard-hitting slamming of pirates.

BO BURNHAM: WORDS, WORDS, WORDS
Pleasance Dome
4-29 August (not 16), 9.35pm

The teenage wunderkind of American musical comedy makes his Fringe debut with a series of songs, beat poetry and porn rendered in Shakespearean verse. Currently writing an “anti-High School Musical” with Superbad and Funny People director Judd Apatow; catch this precociously talented act while you can.

BRENDON BURNS: Y’KNOW – LOVE ‘N’ GOD ‘N’ METAPHYSICS ‘N’ SHIT
Udderbelly’s Pasture
5-29 August (not 17), 9.55pm

As provocative as ever, the Australian former if.comedy award winner takes aim at the prevailing spirit of atheism in stand-up, while confessing to his own sexual failures. He’ll also be launching his memoir, Fear & Hat Loss in Las Vegas.

CARL DONNELLY: HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE CARL DONNELLY?
Underbelly
5-29 August (not 16), 8.55pm

Last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award best newcomer nominee muses on his freshly acquired semi-fame, no longer totally anonymous, but still more likely to be mistaken for Sean Penn’s character in Carlito’s Way.

CELIA PACQUOLA – FLYING SOLOS
Gilded Balloon Teviot
4-30 August (not 17), 6pm

The candid young Aussie follows last year’s disarmingly honest hour about her partner’s infidelity with a show about taking risks. Owning up to further humiliations, she’s also set herself a challenge of learning the piano solo from the Pointer Sisters’ I’m So Excited.

CHRIS ADDISON
Assembly @ George Street
16-30 August, 8.25pm

Eschewing the big, award-nominated themes of yesteryear, The Thick Of It star is easing himself back into stand-up with more personal but eloquent material that’s as witty as ever.

DAVE HILL: BIG IN JAPAN
Pleasance Courtyard
4-29 August (not 16), 8.15pm

Cult, shambolic US act Hill makes his Fringe debut with the true story of Valley Lodge, his rock band who are so big in Japan, they’re idolised “pretty much like Princess Diana or something”. He’ll also be hosting his own variety night chatshow, The Dave Hill Explosion, on select nights at the Pleasance Courtyard from 11pm.

DAVID O’DOHERTY: SOMEWHERE OVER THE DAVID O’DOHERTY
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 16), 10.20pm

Ireland’s foremost purveyor of gentle whimsy on a child’s keyboard explains the pitfalls of travelling with such an instrument on a train’s Quiet Coach, and showcases new songs, including Ladies, When Are You Going to Realise (I’m Awesome)?

DES BISHOP – MY DAD WAS NEARLY JAMES BOND
Assembly @ George Street
5-29 August (not 16, 23), 8.05pm

A thoughtful, emotionally naked but very funny show from the Irish-American about his relationship with his father, a model and actor who narrowly missed out on playing 007 in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

EDWARD ACZEL: EVER TRIED. EVER FAILED. NO MATTER. TRY AGAIN. FAIL AGAIN. FAIL BETTER.
Underbelly
6-29 August, 7.35pm

Brand new, though probably not appreciably different show from the shuffling anti-comic with no jokes and little stagecraft, just plenty of time to outline his thoughts on ambition, politics and why he’d prefer to be a rock star. Funny, if you enjoy witnessing a crowd’s tolerance pushed beyond all reasonable limits.

ELIS JAMES – DAYTRIPPER
Downstairs at the Tron
5-29 August (not 19), 7.40pm

Earning comparisons to countryman Rhod Gilbert for his everyday tales hi-jacked by the surreal, bilingual Welsh comic Elis James impressed with his first Fringe offering last year. The charismatic storyteller returns with a desperate attempt to make the sleepy market towns of Great Britain sound interesting.

EMO PHILLIPS: PLEASE WITNESS MY ACT
Pleasance Courtyard
5-29 August (not 9,16), 8pm

Nine years on from his previous appearance at the Fringe, one of America’s true greats is back with a show that’s been garnering rave reviews. For sheer wit and kooky innovation over 30 years and more, there’s no one to touch this one-liner maestro.

FRISKY AND MANNISH: THE COLLEGE YEARS
Underbelly
5-29 August (not 17), 9pm

One of the most popular, breakout hits of last year’s festival, the twisted cabaret duo are back with more brilliant mash-ups, inventive juxtapositions of genres and bitchy asides to get your feet tapping and set your heart racing. They’ll also be reprising their School of Pop show for one night only at the Underbelly on August 12.

GARY DELANEY: PURIST
Pleasance Courtyard
5-29 August (not 16), 8.30pm

Nothing but one-liners with a dark edge from this circuit stalwart making his long overdue Fringe debut, showcasing some of the more brutal gags in his repertoire.

GEORGE RYEGOLD: THE ORDEAL OF DR RYEGOLD
Pleasance Dome
4-30 August (not 16), 10pm

Recently suspended from the medical register, the not so good doctor returns with more gruesome tales leavened by his wonderful turn of phrase, the most horrific ailments rendered delightful in his deliciously disgusting descriptions.  Now with added sense of grievance.

GREG DAVIES: FIRING CHEESEBALLS AT A DOG
Pleasance Courtyard
4-29 August (not 16), 9.45pm

A solo show from the hulking We Are Klang and Inbetweeners star, Davies paints surreal images of himself wandering around Bangkok as a giant, plumbing his own fat, middle-aged despair and delighting in the strange behaviour of his father.

HANS TEEUWEN: SMOOTH AND PAINFUL
Pleasance Courtyard
4-29 August (not 11, 18, 25), 10.30pm

Performing a whole run at the Fringe will be a physical and mental challenge for the supremely talented Dutch master, so committed is he to obdurate weirdness, endless reinvention and physical silliness.

HANNAH GADSBY – THE CLIFF YOUNG SHUFFLE
Assembly @ George Street
5-29 August (not 23), 8.30pm

Taking its name from a 64-year-old potato farmer whose slow-and-steady approach allowed him to win a race between Melbourne and Sydney, this new show from compelling Kiwi storyteller Gadsby lightheartedly recounts how, for no fathomable reason, the overweight comic walked coast-to-coast across England.

IDIOT OF ANTS: THE RED BUTTON
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 16, 23), 8.25pm

First-rate performances bring the best out of this prankish quartet’s imaginative scripts. Last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominees present sketchy insights into a Shakespearean play, uncover the origins of the song Two World Wars And One World Cup and unveil a skit in German.

JANEY GODLEY – THE GODLEY HOUR
Pleasance Dome
4 -30 August 30 (not 16), 7pm

Performing all over the world, this redoubtable raconteur is as happy chatting to George Clooney and Woody Allen as she is the endless succession of junkies, waifs and strays she encounters on her travels.

JASON BYRNE 2010
Assembly @ Assembly Hall
5-30 August (not 23), 9pm; plus 20 & 21 August, midnight

The Fringe’s record selling comic has a new prop this year, giant foam hands with microphones that’ll make latecomers an even bigger part of the crazed Irishman’s show.

JAMES COOK: THE END (PART 1)
The Stand Comedy Club III
4-29 August (not 16), various times

Part one of the affable Geordie comic’s latest emotional rollercoaster, with the conclusion scheduled for next year’s festival, Cook assesses his life up to now. Prompted by a heart attack scare, he outlines his list of things preoccupying him, specifically the people he’d like to kill.

JIMEOIN – SOMETHING SMELLS FUNNY
Udderbelly’s Pasture
5-30 August (not 15), 8.20pm

Despite a tendency in some quarters to look down upon the stand-ups who recount the stupid little things we all do, it takes an especially keen eye, such as that belonging to Australia-based Northern Irishman Jimeoin, to stand out
as an observational comic.

JIM JEFFRIES: ALOCHOLOCAUST
Udderbelly’s Pasture
4-30 August (not 16), 8.20pm, except August 27, 11.20pm

Now living and thriving in the US, the graphically outspoken Australian, former social worker and opera singer returns to these shores with more drinking tales and politically incorrect insights.

JOHN HEGLEY – MORNING WORSHIP
Pleasance Courtyard
12-29 August, 11.30am

An early morning outing for the always delightful, dog and spectacle-obsessed John Hegley. This show presents poems from his Anglo-French work The Adventures of Monsieur Robinet, channelling the Bard of Bedfordshire’s fraught relationship with his French father and encouraging audience participation.

JOHN-LUKE ROBERTS DISTRACTS YOU FROM A MURDER
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 16), 8.10pm

One of the country’s most promising young writers, Roberts puns his way through a series of expertly crafted one-liners, insulting the audience as he goes, all the while distracting you from the sickening deed he’s committing.

JONNY SWEET – LET’S JUST HAVE SOME FUN (AND LEARN SOMETHING FOR ONCE)
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 16), 7.30pm

Last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award winner for best newcomer follows his turn as the young David Cameron in More 4’s When Boris Met Dave, with what he promises will be a “rip-roaring lecture” on the recently decommissioned naval frigate HMS Nottingham.

JON RICHARDSON: DON’T HAPPY, BE WORRY
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 16), 7.40pm

Concerned about constantly being labelled a misanthropic, grumpy young man, Jon Richardson has resolved to try harder to be happy. Fail or succeed, this is as likely to be a top notch hour as any in Edinburgh. He’ll also be appearing in GIT with Lloyd Langford and Dan Atkinson at the Gilded Balloon Teviot.

JOSIE LONG: BE HONOURABLE!
Just The Tonic at the Caves
5-29 August (not 17, 22, 23), 7.40pm

About to start writing her first book, an eccentric tome on living a happy life in England, comedy’s poster girl for enthused, exuberant whimsy is back at the Fringe, pledging advice on being saintly and eating breakfast. She also hosts Monsters of Whimsy at the same venue on August 17 and 24.

KEVIN BRIDGES
Assembly @ George Street
5-29 August (not 23), 8.30pm

After selling out Glasgow’s 10,000-seater SECC and appearing on Channel 4’s late-night satirical swipe Stand-Up For The Week, Scotland’s young stand-up sensation returns with a burgeoning reputation to uphold.

KEVIN ELDON IS TITTING ABOUT
The Stand Comedy Club
5-30 August (not 16, 23), various times

Versatile actor Eldon, whose TV credits span some of the finest comedy of the last two decades, including Fist of Fun, Brass Eye, I’m Alan Partridge and Nighty Night, makes one of the most eagerly awaited solo debuts of the festival.

LAURA SOLON: THE OWL OF STEVEN
Pleasance Courtyard
4-29 August, 5pm

Expectations are running high for Laura Solon’s latest narrative, after last year’s brilliant Rabbit Faced Story Soup confirmed the Perrier winner’s capacity for writing grotesque characters into a snappy script of one-liners.

MARK WATSON – DO I KNOW YOU?
Assembly @ Assembly Hall
5-30 August (not 16, 23), 10.30pm

A Fringe favourite, thanks in large part to his marathon 24-hour shows, Mark Watson nevertheless suffers an ambivalent relationship with television panel shows and members of the public who confuse him with other, more famous comedians. The neurotic stand-up will be musing on this and his recent foray into fatherhood.

NEIL HAMBURGER
Assembly @ George Street
16-22 August, 11pm

Possibly the most divisive comedian at the festival, Gregg Turkington’s washed-up showbiz lag will inevitably provoke walkouts. But those that remain will be rewarded by one of the most superbly realised characters around. Hamburger’s utter contempt for celebrity and basic human decency is a delight.

NINA CONTI: TALK TO THE HAND
Pleasance Dome
4-30 August (not 16, 23), 8.30pm

Reinventing the traditional art of ventriloquism, the hugely likeable Conti and her simian sidekick, the irascible Monk, are joined by brand new characters for a show full of imaginative set-pieces. Highlights include Conti phoning  a random hotel in character and  a sequence in which she turns audience members into puppets.

PAPPY’S: ALL BUSINESS
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 16), 7.20pm

Streamlined to a trio, Pappy’s are tackling the global economic meltdown with characteristic panic and the usual uproariously silly sketches. They produced one of last year’s best shows, so laughs are practically guaranteed.

THE PENNY DREADFULS
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 17), 6pm

Performing sketches again for the first time since 2007, Dreadfuls Thom Tuck, David Reed and Humphrey Ker have set their skits late at night, promising a surreal glimpse of secret underground wrestling and joyriding capers.

PAUL SINHA: ‘EXTREME ANTI-WHITE VITRIOL’
The Stand Comedy Club III
4-29 August (not 16), various times

Inspired by a radio contretemps with the deputy leader of the BNP, the criminally underrated comic and qualified GP examines Britain’s complex network of bigotry and prejudice, before attempting to make a definitive diagnosis of the nation.

PETE JOHANSSON – PETE’S ON EARTH
Assembly @ George Street
5-30 August (not 16), 9.30pm

After last year’s Eddie nomination for best newcomer, the disarmingly frank Canadian returns with an hour recounting his many travels across the globe, trying and failing to fit in. Don’t expect a grand narrative, just punchy stand-up routines loosely held together.

PHIL KAY: IN TWEED
Gilded Balloon Teviot
6-29 August (not 16, 23), 7pm

This freewheeling maverick embodies the Fringe spirit more than most. Alongside this early evening gig, the gifted improviser will also be appearing in the radio show RadioFree, hosting the kid’s show Gimme Your Left Shoe and collaborating with surrealist folk singer Cammy Sinclair in Late Night Nonsense.

PHIL NICHOL: WELCOME TO CRAZYTOWN
The Stand Comedy Club
4-30 August (not 16), various times

Back as his alter-ego, beat poet Bobby Spade, the demented Canadian and former Edinburgh Comedy Award winner recreates Spade’s magnum opus from 1974. Conceived just after the death of his third wife Tamara during a period of grieving and excessive substance abuse, Welcome to Crazytown captures Nichol in his extremes of light and shade.

REGINALD D HUNTER: TROPHY NIGGA
4-29 August (not 17), 8pm

The triple Perrier Award nominee is back for a full run at the Fringe, his profile markedly raised after a succession of recent TV appearances. Nevertheless, this is the provocative American in his element, promising in his own words some “very pressurised comments”.

RICH FULCHER – AN EVENING WITH ELEANOR, THE TOUR WHORE
Udderbelly’s Pasture
21-30 August, 11.30pm

A late night hour with the world’s greatest groupie, this lively show from Mighty Boosh sidekick Fulcher delivers a high-energy romp of innuendo, surrealism, puns, props and riotous audience participation, as he strives to explain how to sleep your way to rock stardom.

RICHARD HERRING – CHRIST ON A BIKE: THE SECOND COMING
The Second Coming
Assembly @ George Street, 5-30 August, 9.45pm

Reprising his 2001 Fringe show with additional material, Richard Herring ponders once again whether he’s the next messiah in a characteristically mischievous exposé of religion. He also pairs up with Andrew Collins for ten live recordings of their Collings and Herrin Podcast at the GRV.

ROBIN INCE AND MICHAEL LEGGE – POINTLESS ANGER, RIGHTEOUS IRE
7-8 August, 2pm

Two of the more splenetic voices in comedy, the agitated Ince has cajoled the furious Legge into returning to Edinburgh for an afternoon rant. Ince also indulges his love of the universe in the all new Carl Sagan Is Still My God and mines further existential angst when he Asks Why?, both at the Canon’s Gait.

RUSSELL KANE: SMOKESCREENS AND CASTLES
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 11, 18), 9.10pm

The triple Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee is a seasoned class observer and here relates the consequences of his racist, overbearing father buying their council house. From this central preoccupation, expect challenging ideas on identity and family.

SEAN HUGHES – DUCKS AND OTHER MISTAKES I’VE MADE
Gilded Balloon Teviot
4-19 August (not 11), 8pm

Appearing for 15 nights only, the youngest ever Perrier Award winner continues his slide into misanthropic old age, still trying to recapture the brilliance of his youth but affording enough glimpses to suggest why he was such a potent comedic force.

SEANN WALSH – I’D HAPPILY PUNCH MYSELF IN THE FACE
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 18), 8.30pm

One of the most assured new comics on the circuit, his double-header with Paul McCaffrey last year offered only a brief impression of his ability. Embarking upon his first solo offering, great things are predicted for this wry, gifted observer.

SHAPPI KHORSANDI: THE MOON ON A STICK
Pleasance Courtyard
4-30 August (not 18), 7.50pm

Now a single mother, the effervescent Anglo-Iranian contemplates whether it’s still possible to have it all. Reflecting on the last 12 months, expect self-deprecating wit and sharp observations on contemporary relationships from the Radio 4 regular.

STEWART LEE: VEGETABLE STEW
The Stand Comedy Club
4-30 August (not 18), various times

Join one of the UK’s most respected comics as he develops material for a second television series of his Comedy Vehicle.   He’s also headlining the variety show Stewart Lee’s Silver Stewbilee at the Festival Theatre on August 18, launching his book How I Escaped My Certain Fate: The Life And Deaths of a Stand-Up Comedian.

SUSAN CALMAN – CONSTANTLY SEEKING SUSAN
Underbelly
5-29 August (not 17), 8.10pm

The diminutive Scot has decided it’s time to take stock of her life. Smart, opinionated and with an enviable rapport with a crowd, Calman will be cheerfully unveiling her own obituary, self-penned while inebriated. She’ll also be having a proper blether with guests in Susan Calman Chats Up … at The Caves.

TOMMY TIERNAN: CROOKED MAN
Gilded Balloon Teviot
20-30 August (not 26), 8pm

Quite simply one of the best stand-ups in the world, the rascally Irishman remains an irrepressible force of nature, even in the face of censorship. Tackling sex, religion and his own sizeable family, the impassioned former Perrier winner is on blistering form just now.

TOM WRIGGLESWORTH’S NIGHTMARE DREAM WEDDING
Pleasance Courtyard
4-29 August (not 17), 6.20pm

Last year’s Open Return Letter To Richard Branson confirmed the lanky Yorkshireman as a skilled storyteller and led to a change in train pricing legislation. Uncomfortable with the Mr Nice Guy image he acquired, the Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee here recounts the story of his ill-fated Las Vegas wedding and the terrible consequences of his petty criminality.

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