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The best comedy shows of 2013

Who made our comedy critic laugh hardest this year? Here are our top five stand-up shows of 2013


Louis CK

If you managed to get a ticket to one of American comedy giant Louis CK’s London shows, you’re one of the few. The first gig sold out in minutes, and from the looks of the Hammersmith Apollo crowd, it was mostly awestruck British comedians who snapped up the tickets. CK’s undoubtedly the biggest comic in the world right now, and rightly so – he’s at the top of his game. You can download the show for $5 from www.louisck.net.

Read our interview with Louis CK


John Kearns – Sight Gags for Perverts

Absurdism fans, listen up. John Kearns – who bagged Best Newcomer at the 2013 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards – is exactly the kind of ludicrously silly stand-up the comedy scene needs. His debut Fringe hour of shrieky self-loathing and Springsteen-inspired optimism was an utter joy. And you can catch it at the Soho Theatre in January 2014.


Harry Hill – Sausage Time

The large-collared loon finally hit the road again with his first stand-up show in six years. ‘Sausage Time’ baffled many of Hill’s new-found ‘TV Burp’ fans, but I loved the show’s extreme surrealism and ridiculous slapstick. With ‘The Harry Hill Movie’ hitting cinemas and ‘I Can’t Sing’, the ‘X Factor’ musical he’s co-written, launching in the new year, who knows when double-H will be back on stage?

Read our interview with Harry Hill


Bridget Christie – A Bic for Her

The list of Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominees this year was mighty strong, but Bridget Christie’s fiercely passionate show attacking everyday sexism ultimately walked away with the gong, and deservedly so. The beautifully written, wilfully silly show has already sold out a five-week run at the Soho Theatre, but Christie’s added more dates in January 2014.

Read our interview with Bridget Christie


Bo Burnham – What

It was the attack of the US comedians in London in 2013, with Aziz Ansari, Bill Burr and Louis CK all destroying (to extend the metaphor) our capital. But best of the bunch was 23-year-old Bo Burnham. ‘What’ was overflowing with ridiculously clever ideas and killer gags. Missed it? He’s released the show on his YouTube channel, for free, from December 17.

Read our interview with Bo Burnham

Watch our videos of Bo Burnham responding to YouTube comments and answering the most Googled questions about him


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