Stand-up has risks: one person’s comedy cult is another’s humour hell. But live laughs don’t have to be such a gamble. Themed nights are springing up across the capital. These gigs focus on specific subjects to cater for different tastes. We’ve rounded up what’s on offer so you can laugh alongside like-minded loons…
Hosted by Mark Allen and his glamorous (if hairy) assistant Eli Silverman, this quiz-style show pits comedians against each other in feats of etiquette, art, science, wit and, er, hunting. Each month, Allen sets out to find true genius in a battle of plasticine visions, doodled inventions and ‘deer’ shooting (Eli in antlers counts, right?).
This puntastic offering from whimsical, crafty Aussie comedian Bec Hill is a chance for those who love of a good bit of wordplay to finally admit it in public. Stand-ups and sketch acts perform pun-exclusive sets, packing in as many gags as possible, the mantra being: a groan is as good as a laugh.
Politics is boring, right? Well, Chris Coltrane makes it markedly more palatable with his unpretentious topical comedy night. With the help of funny chums, he tackles some serious subjects with the focus as much on the ‘lols’ as the ‘politics’. There are also competitions and prizes to whet your appetite in an unintimidating environment.
Two things make Richard Sandling’s formula a success: one big sarcastic host from Essex and more pop culture references than Tarantino’s back catalogue. But whether you can guess the lines or not, Sandling’s consistently funny monthly line-ups riff about their favourite films via stand-up, sketches and a fair bit of shouting.
The Weirdos collective don’t always do themed nights, but they’re so bloody bizarre, we had to include them. If a re-enactment of ‘Hook’ isn’t strange enough to grab your attention, then imagining erratic comedian Beth Vyse reciting Jodie Foster’s entire 2013 Golden Globes acceptance speech should get you down to their gigs. Normals need not apply.
No joke is too niche at this fairly new night which sees comics mine their most dorkish obsessions for gags. Whether Anime lights your life, purebred horse-breeding’s your forte or the shabby CGI in the 1997 classic ‘Anaconda’ is your game, comics here talk about the subjects they're most passionate about and try to get the audience as interested as they are.