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Innovative IT-based comedy duo Foxdog Studios
Photograph: Matthew Leach / Foxdog Studios

What to see at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019: 12 best comedy shows

Here for the lols? From buzzy newcomers to stand-up giants, these are the best comedy shows at Edinburgh Fringe 2019

By Ben Williams

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

Stand-up comedian Desiree Burch
Photograph: Poppy Hillstead

Desiree Burch: Desiree’s Coming Early!

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

Scottish comic Fern Brady
Photograph: Matt Crockett

Fern Brady: Power and Chaos

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

Innovative IT-based comedy duo Foxdog Studios
Photograph: Matthew Leach / Foxdog Studios

Foxdog Studios: Tomorrow’s Office

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

Stand-up comic John Kearns
Photograph: Rah Petherbridge Photography

John Kearns: Double Take and Fade Away

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

Stand-up comic Lou Sanders
Photograph: Megan Gisborne

Lou Sanders: Say Hello to Your New Step-Mummy

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

Stand-up comic Michael Odewale
Photograph: Stephen Akinyemi


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

Moon comedy double act

Moon: We Cannot Get Out

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

American comic Phoebe Robinson
Photograph: Mindy Tucker

Phoebe Robinson: Sorry, Harriet Truman

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)

Stand-up comic Sean Morley
Photograph: Ben Swithen

Sean Morley: Soon I Will Be Dead and My Bones Will Be Free to Wreak Havoc Upon the Earth Once More

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

Stand-up comedian Sophie Duker

Sophie Duker: Venus

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

Writer and stand-up comic Stevie Martin
Photograph: Tash Pszenicki

Stevie Martin: Hot Content

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

Stand-up comic Stuart Laws
Photograph: Edward Moore

Stuart Laws is All In

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


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