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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

Written by
Ben Williams
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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

Desiree Burch: Desiree’s Coming Early!
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

Fern Brady: Power and Chaos
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

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Foxdog Studios: Tomorrow’s Office
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

John Kearns: Double Take and Fade Away
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

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Lou Sanders: Say Hello to Your New Step-Mummy
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

Michael Odewale: #BLACKBEARSMATTER
Photograph: Stephen Akinyemi

Michael Odewale: #BLACKBEARSMATTER

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

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Moon: We Cannot Get Out

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

Phoebe Robinson: Sorry, Harriet Truman
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)

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

Sophie Duker: Venus

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

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Stevie Martin: Hot Content
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

Stuart Laws is All In
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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