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30 cracking comedy nights to check out in December

lee mack press 2013
© Avalon

There's still plenty of comedy to take in in this most festive of months (you know... December). Some regular nights, some touring shows and plenty of seasonal specials.

Gein's Family Giftshop's Bargain Basement, The Kings Arms, Mon Dec 1
The darkly twisted sketch group, who impressed at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, return with their monthly residency.

John Hastings, XSMalarkey, Tue Dec 2
The storytelling Canadian at one of Manchester's longest running and respected club nights. Hastings is also fast with a mean ad lib too.

Dawn French '30 Million Minutes', The Lowry, Thu 4 Dec & Fri 5 Dec
The Dawn half of French and Saunders goes on her first solo tour with a show about her life and career and what she's learnt so far. She's leaving that Churchill dog behind though.

Manford's Comedy Club, The Bierkeller, Thu Dec 4
Jason Manford's ongoing quest to take quality comedy to all corners of the country continues with this gig in his native Manchester. With MC Ray Peacock, Steve Gribbin, Adam Rowe and Roger Monkhouse.

Stephen K Amos, The Lowry, Thu Dec 4
Amos honed his stand-up skill on the comedy circuit over many years before he became a better known name. A consummate pro.

Laugh Local, Chorlton Irish Club, Fri Dec 5
Another quality night at this grown-up comedy gig in Chorlton. Manchester's own Tony Burgess stands in for resident compere Justin Moorhouse to introduce intelligent humour from Josh Howie and policeman/comic Alfie Moore.

Paul Foot, The Lowry, Fri Dec 5
Foot is one of the most innovative and unexpected comedians around. Sometimes you're not even sure why it is you're laughing. This is his latest solo show, go see it.

Comic FX, Royal Exchange, Fri Dec 5
A lovely little gig in the Great Hall area of the beautiful Royal Exchange Theatre. This month with Manchester-based Geordie John Cooper.

Buzz Comedy, Waterside Arts Centre, Sat Dec 6
Sadly the legendary Manchester comedy promoter Agraman only has the one monthly Greater Manchester gig these days, in his home town of Sale. So enjoy it with American Brad Tassell, Scott Bennett, Paul Ricketts and Sal Stevens.

Tommy Tiernan, The Lowry, Sun Dec 7
The Irishman and former recipient of the Perrier Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe is a beguiling yarn spinner and out of the box thinker. Catch him on his latest tour.

The Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club and The Heatons Comedy Evening at The Heatons Sports Club, Sun Dec 7
Promoter Rob Riley brings comedy to Didsbury and Heaton Moor simultaneously. Deadpan one liner merchant Gary Delaney and BBC New Comedy Award 2011 Angela Barnes double-up.

Noise Next Door, The Comedy Store, Mon Dec 8
The improv troupe's tight structure and carefully prep-ed framing ideas ensure that the on the hoof bits based on audience suggestion don't get flabby.

Sam Simmons, XSMalarkey, Tue Dec 9
XSMalarkey continue their quality line-ups with arch surrealist and Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Simmons.

Comix Live, The Frog and Bucket, Tue Dec 9
Laughing Cows – the promoters of all women comedy nights – have branched out into mixed bill nights. This month the headliner is respected Danish stand-up Sofie Hagen.

Lee Mack, O2 Apollo, Tue Dec 9 - Sun Dec 14 & Sat Dec 20
An impressive seven night run for the Blackburn born and Southport brought up master gagster and star of the Beeb's 'Not Going Out'. With support from circuit veteran Mike Gunn.

Worst Comedy Night in Salford, The King's Arms, Tue Dec 9 & Tue Dec 23
Not necessarily the worst comedy night in the district but this is an amateur or new material night and quite frankly anything could happen.

Amateur Transplants, Gorilla, Wed Dec 10
Musical comedy from Adam Kay as he manipulates the lyrics of famous tunes for his own ends, such as his search for an Iranian man.

Twisted Comedy, The Frog and Bucket, Wed Dec 10
Second night of the monthly night at the Frog and Bucket. This time it's Barbara Nice's turn to go nasty and make the other comics bend to her will.

Simon Bligh, Antwerp Mansion, Sun Dec 14
Born in Liverpool (Uni) educated in Manchester, Bligh has always had a soft spot for the city. Here he performs a hyperactive, yet crafted, headline set.

Prince Harry, The Frog and Bucket, Sun Dec 14
A star of social media, Prince Harry (no, not that one) aka White Yardie introduces some mates Smash, Junior Booker, Jose and Dane Baptiste.

Mick Miller, The Comedy Store, Mon Dec 15
The veteran comic (and star of ITV's old school stand-up programme The Comedians) ventures once more to the 'alternative' scene proving there's not that much difference when it comes to getting laughs.

Mrs Barbara Nice's Christmas Cracker, The Dancehouse, Fri Dec 19 & Sat Dec 20
A special life affirming festive show from the superstar Stockport mother of five and Poundstretcher shopper extraordinaire.

Russell Howard, The Phones 4U Arena, Sat Dec 20
Popularity un-waned, Howard continues with the arena gigs, having come a long way from his BBC New Comedy Award finalist routine about a sandwich.

Laugh 'Til Ya Fart, The Comedy Store, Mon Dec 22
The as-seen-on-Coronation-Street Trevor Lynch presents a top evening of entertainment. You might want to lay off the sprouts though.

Beat the Frog, The Frog and Bucket, Mon Dec 22
Check out The Frog's amateur night where newbie comics attempt ten minutes of material before they are carded off by members of the audience.

Thu Dec 25: Merry Christmas! No live comedy today. Maybe try the 1977 Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special instead.

Barrel of Laughs, The Frog and Bucket, Sat Dec 27
Escape the relatives and head out and catch some Christmas week comedy as Dave Williams introduces Smug Roberts, Will Duggan and David Longley.

Best In Stand Up, The Comedy Store, Sun Dec 28
Feeling guilty about leaving the relatives behind yesterday? Take them out with you today. With MC Justin Moorhouse, Alun Cochrane and Danny McLoughlin.

Not NYE, The Frog and Bucket, Tue Dec 30
Can't be bothered fighting the crowds on New Year's Eve? Head out the day before to see Justin Moorhouse, Mick Ferry and Dan Nightingale.

NYE at The Comedy Store, Wed Dec 31
A fine end to the year at the Store with MC Mandy Knight, Alistair Barrie, Steve Shanyaski, Louis Ramey and Charlie Baker.

NYE at The Frog and Bucket, Wed Dec 31
Alternatively you could see the year out at the Frog and Bucket where Mick Ferry introduces Alex Boardman, Steve Harris and David Longley. We'll leave you to decide that one.

For more great nights out, check out our Music & Nightlife section

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