Bo Burnham – What
YouTube wunderkind-turned-stand-up Bo Burnham returns, and we’re ridiculously excited. The 22-year-old US comic’s Edinburgh debut in 2010 left critics gobsmacked by his raps and songs that overflow with intricate jokes. With London dates looking unlikely, the Edinburgh Fringe could be your only chance to catch him in the near future.
The Wrestling II
Only in Edinburgh… One ring, a few spatters of blood and way too much spandex, as professional comedians take on professional wrestlers. The first show, in 2011, walked away with the Foster’s Panel Prize. Co-creator Max Olesker (of sketch duo Max & Ivan, and once Britain’s youngest pro wrestler) limped away with a broken ankle. Now it’s time for round two.
Tig Notaro – Boyish-Girl Interrupted
This Louis CK-backed US stand-up hit the comedy headlines after announcing on stage, on the day of her diagnosis, that she had breast cancer. The set was recorded, released via CK’s website, and has since sold more than 100,000 copies. But if you’re thinking her stand-up is a depress-fest, never fear: Tig is as uplifting as they come.
Pat Cahill – Start
We’ve been hyping this bright young thing ever since we saw him rap about a cancer-ridden dog in 2011. Cahill’s bound to be one of this year’s most talked-about Fringe debuts. Mark our words.
John Lloyd – Liff of QI
A behind-the-scenes man for 30 years, and one of the brains behind ‘Blackadder’, ‘QI’ and so many more British comedy institutions, legendary TV producer John Lloyd returns to his performing roots. Quite interesting, we think you’ll agree.
Alfie Brown – The Revolting Youth
This vitriolic youngster is a room-splitter: he received every star rating last year. We’re firmly in the pro camp. He’s angry, intelligent and, unlike the many trendy-haired stand-ups hoping to score a spot on ‘Mock the Week’, he has interesting things to say. Thought insightful political comedy was dead? Think again.
Claudia O’Doherty – Pioneer
This offbeat Aussie soared up the comedy rankings last year after a Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination. There’s even more buzz surrounding O’Doherty this year: her new show is directed by bearded comedy god Daniel Kitson. Pretty. Big. Deal.
Bobby Mair – Obviously Adopted
Making his Fringe debut, Toronto’s Bobby Mair moved to London in 2011 and became one of the most-hyped newbies on the circuit. Deliciously dark and disturbingly funny.
Cassetteboy vs DJ Rubbish
YouTube mischief-makers Cassetteboy – who have taken on Lord Sugar, Nick Griffin and more (and won) in their cleverly edited vids – join forces with shit rapper DJ Rubbish for a late-night comedy party. Expect mash-up VTs, deliberately terrible rhyming and a lot of puerile gags. It’s gonna be madass.
Stewart Lee cites this widely unknown Canadian backwoodsman as his biggest influence, and it’s noticeable; the pair are remarkably similar. The gruff-voiced Baconface performs in a Mexican wrestling mask wrapped in bacon. Yes, really.
Right. We've been churning out lists of comedy recommendations at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe for weeks. But now it's time to simply run down the ten comedy shows we just can't wait to see at this year's festival. Obviously there's some repetition between this list and our other top tens, but there's a couple of new entries in there too. So, here goes: our top ten comedy recommendations at the Edinburgh Fringe.