It’s the largest arts festival in the world. And with over 1,400 comedy shows to choose from, flicking through the phonebook-like Edinburgh Fringe (August 2-August 26 2019) programme can be more than a little daunting. So we’re here to help. From stand-up legends to award-winning newcomers, these are the comedy shows we’re most excited about at this year’s festival. Got some downtime between gigs? Then check out our pick of the best pubs, restaurants and afternoon tea in Edinburgh.
RECOMMENDED: Best theatre at Edinburgh Fringe 2019
Best comedy shows at Edinburgh Fringe 2019
US-born, London-based Desiree Burch is a fast-talking and candid comic. Her personal stories and often filthy jokes are refreshingly honest and wonderfully funny. She’s been popping up on ‘The Mash Report’ and ‘Frankie Boyle’s New World Order’, and is the host of Netflix’s ‘Flinch’.
Heroes @ The Hive, 7.40pm
Uncompromising stand-up Fern Brady is quickly becoming a cult favourite. The Scottish comic’s blistering solo shows cover big topics told via her own personal experiences, with plenty of caustic gags.
Monkey Barrel, 6pm
These two IT consultants build robotic contraptions, play rock ‘n’ roll on self-made instruments and allow the audience to play along with computer-programmed games via their smartphones. And if that wasn’t enough, they’re funny too!
Heroes @ The Hive, 5pm
Kearns is the only comic to have won both the Best Show and Best Newcomer gongs at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards – the most prestigious prize in live comedy. He’s a true Time Out favourite. Expect nostalgic tales, meandering observations, imaginative metaphors and superbly crafted jokes.
Monkey Barrel, 4.45pm
The reigning ‘Taskmaster’ champion has seen her profile skyrocket over the last couple of years. In her latest show, Sanders focuses on love and relationships and why we all just want to be adored. Expect candid takes and offbeat jokes.
Monkey Barrel, 3.15pm
The debut solo show from this hotly tipped newcomer. Odewale already won the Best New Show title at this year’s Leicester Comedy Festival and is a BBC New Comedy Award finalist. In ‘#BLACKBEARSMATTER’, the young stand-up attempts to figure out what he really believes in.
Pleasance Courtyard, 5.30pm
Jack Chisnall and Joshua Dolphin are Moon – a fresh, inventive sketch duo who brought an impressive debut show to last year’s festival. The boiler-suited double act specialise in sinister sketches and their new show, ‘We Cannot Get Out’, is no different – the plot involves their venue trying to kill them.
Pleasance Courtyard, 9.30pm
Ohio-born comic Phoebe Robinson is half of hugely popular podcasting duo 2 Dope Queens, which spawned an HBO series. She’s also a best-selling author – she penned the excellent ‘You Can’t Touch My Hair & Other Things I Still Have To Explain’ – and now Robinson’s making her UK stand-up debut.
Assembly George Square Studios, 6.45pm (12-25 Aug only)
This innovative artist-comedian has one of the most elaborate show titles this year, and expect an equally intricate show. Morley’s unique brand of comedy blends stand-up, theatre, horror and live art, and is packed full of smart ideas and exquisitely written jokes.
Heroes @ The Hive, 3.20pm
This intelligent rising star makes her Fringe debut with ‘Venus’, a show about society’s continued fascination with ‘exotic’ bodies. Duker recently made her ‘Mock the Week’ debut, and is quickly climbing the comedy ranks.
Pleasance Courtyard, 7pm
Instagram, Twitter, podcasts… Stevie Martin’s constantly slinging out funny AF ’tent. And that extends to her live shows, too. Martin’s 2018 show had more gags in its first 10 minutes than most stand-up have in an hour. This year, the actor-comedian promises a mix of sketches, stand-up and all-round hot content.
Underbelly Bristo Square, 6.35pm
This gilet-donning stand-up became a viral sensation earlier this year when he live-tweeted an argument over some dirty plates in a café. Laws is a risk-taking comic, as his latest show demonstrates: it focuses on a life-changing trip to Las Vegas, and is rammed with silly jokes.
Monkey Barrel, 12.20pm