Edinburgh comedy preview 2009



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Here are the comedy shows we're most excited about at the Edinburgh Festival 2009

  • Edinburgh comedy preview 2009

    Stephen K Amos

  • Best of the big names

    Simon Amstell

    Show title ‘Do Nothing’
    Why the buzz? The former ‘Popworld’ and ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’ presenter gives little away on his press release about his new show. It simply states: ‘Like everyone else, Simon Amstell will die. Before that, he will be performing stand-up comedy.’ However, the previews we saw (and we’ve seen several, that’s how much we like him) featured some truly touching and amusing stories about his life, loneliness and the process of coming to terms with you are.
    How funny? A lot funnier than you might expect – depending on what you’re expecting, of course.
    Venue The Bongo Club.

    Reginald D Hunter

    Show title ‘The Only Apple in the Garden of Eden and Niggas’.
    Why the buzz? Forget the credit crunch, the Iran election crisis and the downfall of the British government as, with reliably unflinching candour, Reginald turns his eye to the issues that are really at the forefront of all our minds in 2009. Haemorrhoids, birth defects, the fashion industry, cake and, of course, true love.
    How funny? Reg is the coolest comedian on the circuit and if his previews are anything to go by, this could be his best show for a couple of years.
    Venue E4 Udderbelly.

    Julian Clary

    Show title ‘Lord of the Mince’.
    Why the buzz? The wonderfully camp Mr Clary has just turned 50 and has decided to celebrate this and his 25 years of mincing around for our pleasure with a new show looking back at his fabulous career.
    How funny? In his heyday he was the undisputed queen of the well-turned innuendo and bitchy aside – early reports suggest he’s back to his best.
    Venue E4 Udderbelly.

    Janeane Garofalo

    Why the buzz?This Emmy-nominated actress and comedian is best known over here for her roles in films like ‘Reality Bites’ and ‘The Truth about Dogs and Cats’ but she’s also one of America’s finest stand-ups. She’s bitterly selfdeprecating, unflinchingly honest and thoroughly loathed by the right-wing media on the other side of the pond for her forthright political opinions.
    How funny? Intelligent, insightful, controversial and hysterical.
    Venue Gilded Balloon Teviot.

    Sarah Millican
    Show title ‘Typical Woman’.
    Why the buzz? The winner of last year’s if.comedy Best Newcomer Award returns with a show which promises to examine that hoary old issue – the differences between men and women.
    How funny? After the huge success of the last year Millican has just got better and better and should easily avoid the tricky second album syndrome.
    Venue Pleasance Courtyard.

    Rhys Darby
    Show title ‘It’s Rhys Darby Night’.
    Why the buzz? You’ll know him as Murray in ‘Flight of the Conchords’ or as Jim Carrey’s boss in ‘Yes Man’ but you may not know what a fantastic standup and character comedian he is. He also gives that guy from the ‘Police Academy’ movies a run for his money with his amazing vocal sound effects.
    How funny? He’s the funniest thing to come out of New Zealand since Sam Gamgee’s accent in ‘Lord of the Rings’.
    Venue Udderbelly’s Pasture.

    Rhod Gilbert
    Show title ‘Rhod Gilbert and the Cat That Looked Like Nicholas Lyndhurst’.
    Why the buzz? If there’s any justice in the world this extraordinarily talented funnyman will win the Edinburgh Comedy Award this year for the title of his show alone. He was our Time Out Comedian of 2008, and 2009 looks to be an equally successful year for him. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket to this one.
    How funny? Without doubt he’s the next comedy superstar.
    Venue Pleasance One.

    Stephen K Amos
    Show title ‘The Feelgood Factor’.
    Why the buzz? After a couple of hugely successful and critically acclaimed autobiographical shows, consummate stand-up Amos is now out to deliver a night simply full of fun, warmth, bonhomie, love and a shedload of laughs.
    How funny? This man has funny bones and, like a fine wine, just gets better with age.
    Venue Pleasance Courtyard.

    Stewart Lee
    Show title ‘If You Prefer a Milder Comedian, Please Ask for One’.
    Why the buzz? The irascible and gloriously caustic Stewart Lee is in many ways the uncrowned king of Edinburgh comedy. After the major success this year of his TV series ‘Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle’, tickets will no doubt be even harder to come by than they normally are, so get in early.
    How funny? Intensely deadpan, he is a true master of the art of generating laughter. Repetition has never been so amusing!
    Venue The Stand Comedy Club.

    Daniel Kitson
    Why the buzz? Kitson is the greatest wordsmith on the comedy circuit and while he may be an elusive and somewhat reluctant comedy legend, avoiding interviews and unwanted publicity, the numerous awards he’s garnered and the legion of followers he has speak for themselves. He’s the comedians’ comedian.
    How funny? He’s almost too good.
    Venue The Stand Comedy Club.

    Up-and-coming talent

    Celia Pacquola

    Show title ‘Am I Strange?’.
    Why the buzz? This extremely funny and hugely likable Australian comedian has been making quite a name for herself Down Under winning both the Critics Award 2009 at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Best Comedy 2008 at the Melbourne Fringe. In this show Celia takes you inside her mind as she traverses the end of a relationship and explores issues of love, betrayal and revenge. This is one psyche you’ll be happy to take a tour around. Utterly delightful.
    How funny? Funnier than a stoned koala bear falling out of a tree.
    Venue Guilded Balloon Teviot.

    Jack Whitehall

    Show title ‘Nearly Rebellious’.
    Why the buzz? Already making a name for himself on Channel 4’s ‘The TNT Show’ and as the heir to King Brand’s throne on ‘Big Brother’s Big Mouth’, Whitehall is a white-hot property. He’s a great gag writer and his posh, acerbic persona has won him many admirers (and a few comedy awards) but this show, about his coming of age and wanting to make his father proud of him, is his first fulllength outing and there’s a huge weight of expectation riding on this 20 year old’s shoulders.
    How funny? If it’s not hysterical from start to finish then something has gone seriously wrong.
    Venue Pleasance Upstairs.

    George Ryegold

    Show title ‘Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead’.
    Why the buzz? This is the debut comedy show from pioneering physician Ryegold and it promises to be a grotesque and somewhat disturbing dissection of the human condition in all its wonderous depravity and dark beauty. Like an abominable love child of Harry Hill and Frankie Boyle, he goes places that other comedians fear to tread. The only comedian we’ve seen stun ‘The Gong Show’ audience at the Comedy Store into shocked silence – followed by rapturous applause.
    How funny? Twisted and deliciously dark.
    Venue Medina and Negotiants.

    Idiots of Ants
    Show title ‘This is War’.
    Why the buzz? This brilliant sketch group have been around for a couple of years and it’s still a total mystery to us why the good people in TV-land haven’t just handed them a shed-load of cash and told them to go and create something wonderful. Last year’s show was better than their first show and this year’s show promises to be even better – the mother of all sketch shows in fact. Sharp, slick and very clever comedy.
    How funny? Hold-it-a-sec-while-Istitch- my-sides-back-up funny.
    Venue Pleasance Over the Road.

    Brian Gittins
    Show title ‘Roadside Café Owner’.
    Why the buzz? Possibly one of the most bizarre acts on the circuit at the moment, the stammering, coughing, inept and bespectacled Gittins is the manager of a roadside café in the village of Pyecombe, Sussex, has decided to try his hand a comedy. This spectacular creation from actor David Earl can be achingly funny but he is by no means everyone’s cup of tea. For those get it, it’ll be an hour they’ll never forget; for those don’t, it’ll be a bewildering and possibly slightly disturbing 60 minutes.
    How funny? File under ‘cult comedy’.
    Venue Pleasance Below.

    Wilson Dixon

    Show title ‘Wilson Dixon’s American Dream’.
    Why the buzz? Wilson Dixon is an outlaw country music legend from Cripple Creek, Colorado. His deadpan delivery of some of the funniest songs you’ll ever hear made him an instant smash at last year’s festival. This year he’s back and asking such profound questions as: Why are there so many guns in America? Why is nearly everyone obese and wearing nylon? And are these things related? He doesn’t answer these conundrums, but he does other ones.
    How funny? Dagnabbit, this guitar pickin’ scamp will make you as happy as a clam suckin’ sand.
    Venue Stand 3.

    Tim Key

    Show title ‘Slutcracker’.
    Why the buzz? A shambolic drunken poet enters the stage, reels off a series of surreal and inspired poems interspersed with some exquisite short films. Key, perhaps best known for appearances on BBC 4’s ‘Screenwipe’ and Radio 4’s ‘Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better’, is a genius, plain and simple.
    How funny? Turns chaos into beauty and madness into wonder.
    Venue Pleasance Beside.

    Pippa Evans
    Show title ‘Your Evening’s Entertainment’.
    Why the buzz? She is without doubt the finest female character comedian around at the moment’ and after last year’s incredibly assured debut (which rightly garnered her an if.comedy nomination for Best Newcomer) she’s back with some of our favourite and most beloved oddballs – as well as some new weirdos to laugh at.
    How funny? Too talented for her own good.
    Venue Pleasance Beside.

    Sanderson Jones

    Show title ‘Another Heartbreaking but Ultimately Life- Affirming Show About Death’.
    Why the buzz? Described as ‘the world’s first pervasive, multiplatform comedy show’, it’s a piece inspired by the death of Fringe firsttimer Jones’s mother when he was ten. It combines stand-up, promenade comedy, audio sketches, social games and a one-off finale to create a joyful celebration of our own mortality.
    How funny? The concept is exciting, the work put into it is immense. Let’s just hope he can make it funny enough to satisfy the cynical Edinburgh critics.
    Venue GRV Studio.

    Pappy’s Fun Club
    Show title ‘Pappy’s Fun Club’s World Record Attempt: 200 Sketches in One Hour’.
    Why the buzz? More barely contained madness from this consistently brilliant sketch group. If you like your comedy fresh, chaotic and delivered at a lightning fast pace then these nutty boys are the ones for you. The experience of watching Pappy’s is a bit like snorting a line of pure silliness. Damn, that’s the good stuff!
    How funny? They’ll make you go all giggly.
    Venue Pleasance One.

    Jason Cook

    Show title ‘Fear’.
    Why the buzz? Two years ago Jason should have won an award for his heart-wrenching and hysterical show ‘Confessions’. Last year he should have won a major prize for the stunning, tearjerking and life-affirming show ‘Joy’. This year he presents more of his honest, amusing and frank insights, this time on the subject of fear.
    How funny? You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. We love him, you will too.
    Venue Stand 3

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