Comedy Highlights TweetShareSharePin0 SharesIf 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: OddsPleasance Courtyard4-30 August (not 16), 8.30pmCurrently 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 LifeThe Stand Comedy Club III6-29 August, 9.15pmThe 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 2010Pleasance Courtyard4-29 August (not 16), 9.20pmLet’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’NeillDownstairs at the Tron16-26 August, 10.20pmA 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 – LetMe Do The TalkingAssembly @ George Street5-29 August (not 16), 9.20pmAfter 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, WORDSPleasance Dome4-29 August (not 16), 9.35pmThe 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’ SHITUdderbelly’s Pasture5-29 August (not 17), 9.55pmAs 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?Underbelly5-29 August (not 16), 8.55pmLast 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 SOLOSGilded Balloon Teviot4-30 August (not 17), 6pmThe 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 ADDISONAssembly @ George Street16-30 August, 8.25pmEschewing 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 JAPANPleasance Courtyard4-29 August (not 16), 8.15pmCult, 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’DOHERTYPleasance Courtyard4-30 August (not 16), 10.20pmIreland’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 BONDAssembly @ George Street5-29 August (not 16, 23), 8.05pmA 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.Underbelly6-29 August, 7.35pmBrand 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 – DAYTRIPPERDownstairs at the Tron5-29 August (not 19), 7.40pmEarning 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 ACTPleasance Courtyard5-29 August (not 9,16), 8pmNine 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 YEARSUnderbelly5-29 August (not 17), 9pmOne 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: PURISTPleasance Courtyard5-29 August (not 16), 8.30pmNothing 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 RYEGOLDPleasance Dome4-30 August (not 16), 10pmRecently 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 DOGPleasance Courtyard4-29 August (not 16), 9.45pmA 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 PAINFULPleasance Courtyard4-29 August (not 11, 18, 25), 10.30pmPerforming 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 SHUFFLEAssembly @ George Street5-29 August (not 23), 8.30pmTaking 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 BUTTONPleasance Courtyard4-30 August (not 16, 23), 8.25pmFirst-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 HOURPleasance Dome4 -30 August 30 (not 16), 7pmPerforming 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 2010Assembly @ Assembly Hall5-30 August (not 23), 9pm; plus 20 & 21 August, midnightThe 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 III4-29 August (not 16), various timesPart 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 FUNNYUdderbelly’s Pasture5-30 August (not 15), 8.20pmDespite 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 outas an observational comic. JIM JEFFRIES: ALOCHOLOCAUSTUdderbelly’s Pasture4-30 August (not 16), 8.20pm, except August 27, 11.20pmNow 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 WORSHIPPleasance Courtyard12-29 August, 11.30amAn 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 MURDERPleasance Courtyard4-30 August (not 16), 8.10pmOne 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 Courtyard4-30 August (not 16), 7.30pmLast 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 WORRYPleasance Courtyard4-30 August (not 16), 7.40pmConcerned 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 Caves5-29 August (not 17, 22, 23), 7.40pmAbout 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 BRIDGESAssembly @ George Street5-29 August (not 23), 8.30pmAfter 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 ABOUTThe Stand Comedy Club5-30 August (not 16, 23), various timesVersatile 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 STEVENPleasance Courtyard4-29 August, 5pmExpectations 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 Hall5-30 August (not 16, 23), 10.30pmA 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 HAMBURGERAssembly @ George Street16-22 August, 11pmPossibly 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 HANDPleasance Dome4-30 August (not 16, 23), 8.30pmReinventing 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 BUSINESSPleasance Courtyard4-30 August (not 16), 7.20pmStreamlined 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 DREADFULSPleasance Courtyard4-30 August (not 17), 6pmPerforming 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 III4-29 August (not 16), various timesInspired 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 EARTHAssembly @ George Street5-30 August (not 16), 9.30pmAfter 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 TWEEDGilded Balloon Teviot6-29 August (not 16, 23), 7pmThis 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 CRAZYTOWNThe Stand Comedy Club4-30 August (not 16), various timesBack 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 NIGGA4-29 August (not 17), 8pmThe 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 WHOREUdderbelly’s Pasture21-30 August, 11.30pmA 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 COMINGThe Second ComingAssembly @ George Street, 5-30 August, 9.45pmReprising 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 IRE7-8 August, 2pmTwo 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 CASTLESPleasance Courtyard4-30 August (not 11, 18), 9.10pmThe 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 MADEGilded Balloon Teviot4-19 August (not 11), 8pmAppearing 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 FACEPleasance Courtyard4-30 August (not 18), 8.30pmOne 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 STICKPleasance Courtyard4-30 August (not 18), 7.50pmNow 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 STEWThe Stand Comedy Club4-30 August (not 18), various timesJoin 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 SUSANUnderbelly5-29 August (not 17), 8.10pmThe 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 MANGilded Balloon Teviot20-30 August (not 26), 8pmQuite 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 WEDDINGPleasance Courtyard4-29 August (not 17), 6.20pmLast 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. TweetShareSharePin0 Shares Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.