In the comedy world, stealing another comic's material is a big ‘no no’. Only shameless fools would nick a joke from a fellow stand-up. Except at Joke Thieves, a new conceptual night where comics perform their own material in the first half, and then swap sets with a fellow stand-up in the second and attempt to mimic (and probably take the piss out of) their new rival. Personally, we’re hoping a polite, very-PC, white comedian has to swap sets with Reginald D Hunter. That we’d like to see.
See Joke Thieves in Edinburgh at Laughing Horse @ Espionage, Aug 1-25 (not 13), 10pm
Set List: Stand-Up Without a Net
Set List’s now become a staple of the Fringe late-night shows, and it’s even been adapted into a TV series, which is due for broadcast later this year. Stand-ups just love the thrill of performing at Set List. Here’s the idea: comics don’t perform their usual jokes, they have make up material on the spot, on topics they read as they’re on stage. But the subjects aren’t vague ‘Mock the Week’-type deals like ‘the Pope’ or ‘technology’, they’re very specific, and often very wrong, like ‘Guardian Angel Cockblock’ or ‘Spank Bank Bailout’. The audience can see the comic’s new set list too, so the fun is in watching their comedic minds attempt to find a path to ‘Asshole Economics’ or ‘Communist Masturbation’.
See Set List: Stand-Up Without a Net in Edinburgh at Pleasance Dome, Aug 1-10, 13-17 and 20-24, 11pm
Worst Show On the Fringe – Free
Considering the premise for this lunchtime gig, we can’t promise it’ll be good, but it’ll certainly be memorable, and it’s free! Each day, Nigel Lovell introduces a bunch of comics who’ve received one-star reviews at the Fringe, but have (we hope) proved the reviewers wrong. After all, Russell Howard, Julian Clary and Miranda Hart all got panned in their early days and have gone on to become household names. What do critics know anyway? We couldn’t possibly comment. Keep an eye on @WSOTF on Twitter for line-ups.
See Worst Show On the Fringe – Free in Edinburgh at Bristo Bar & Kitchen, Aug 3-24, 12.30pm
The Horne Section Live in a Cow
We’ve been praising Alex Horne’s jazz-comedy mash-up for years now – literally years, err, sorry if you’re bored of our gushing – but it really is so much fun that it deserves a mention yet again. This year, Horne and his human five-piece jukebox have moved to the massive upside-down purple cow for musically-accompanied shenanigans, extended puns and special guests. Nice.
See The Horne Section Live in a Cow in Edinburgh at Underbelly, Bristo Square, Jul 31-Aug 25, 10.30pm
If you’re heading to the Edinburgh Fringe, say goodbye to your usual bedtime. Seriously, forget about being snuggled up under your duvet by 11.30 – you’ll be classified as a ‘wimp’ and commanded to get the first train from Waverley back to London. Throughout the month, shows take place right through to the wee small hours, and after that, it’s time for a late-license drink (obviously).
At the late-night shows you’ll often find the most bizarre happenings, but weirdo ‘Fringe-only’ experiences don’t just happen post-midnight, they take place at any time of day or night. So, here are our top tips for late-night shows and odd nights out.