It’s almost my favourite time of year again, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a month where some of the best names in comedy around the world come to perform in Scotlands capital. And some theatre and other shit that I’m not cultured enough to care about.
I honestly love the festival. And because I live in Edinburgh, it means a lot of my best friends from around the world come to my doorstep and we catch up and get appropriately shit faced.
So it’s around about this time I like to make some personal recommendations for shows I think that you should go and see. These names might not be the biggest in comedy, but they are some of my faves. The Fringe has so many brilliant acts that people might not have heard of, and therefore not take the risk of going to see, which is stupid. One of the best things about the Fringe is that you have thousands of choices, and I’m here to help narrow a few down for you.
So without any further rambling or proof of my poor grasp of grammar or sentence structure (my mums a part time author, she constantly reminds me of this) let’s do this.
Kai Humphries – let’s get this cunt out the way shall we? If you’ve ever seen me on tour, you know this bell-end. He’s been my support act for three years, my flat mate for three months and my best friend for never. Despite my utter, unwavering animosity to this man who has a grasp of the English language similar to that of a monkey with a Ouija board, he is a very funny bloke. It’s rude, it’s shameless and it’s funny.
The Noise Next Door – I recommend these guys every year, and I will recommend them every year until they are as big as they should be. I wasn’t the biggest fan of improv until I saw them do it exactly the way it should be done. Their shows are always different, which is why I go see them four or more times every Fringe. They’re also doing a Friday and Saturday show called the Lock-in, which is where they bring other comedians to join them in their antics. I’m lucky enough to be doing one of the shows and I always love being part of it. And despite my lack of actual Improv talent, they make me look great.
Rhys Nicholson – four years ago I went to Sydney for the first time. I met a gay, bright red haired, gay, young, incredibly gay, Australian, homosexual comedian named Rhys. With in two minutes of conversation he made a joke so hilariously brutal that alcohol came out of my nose. And we’ve been drinking partners ever since. Challenging each other to say things so offensive that we giggle and whisper like school kids. His show is vile, vitriolic and sublimely vicious. If you’re easily offended, please go and see his show so I can laugh at your reaction.
Ronny Chieng – Ronny is another Australin comedian I met a few years ago. He is one of the nicest guys I have ever met, which is sometimes comedian code for “not that funny”. Not in this instance. Every time I go back over the other side of the equator Ronny is getting bigger and better and I’m so happy he’s finally bringing a show to Edinburgh. He does material I wish I had the genius to come up with and has a delivery that I utterly adore.
Matt Okine – Another brilliant Australian comedian who is coming over with Rhys and Ronny. Not only have I never seen Matt not smile, I’ve never seen him not be brilliant at a gig. He’s charming beyond belief and even when he’s ranting still has the biggest grin on his face. It’s a beautiful thing to watch a comedian who genuinely loves what he does and it inspires me to be less of a miserable bastard sometimes.
Milo McCabe – Milo McCabe is literally the most awesome guy I’ve ever met (again, not code). Kai and I have a complete man crush on him. We constantly bicker and fight for his attention. His show is a mix of characters he’s come up delivered with such skill that I’m amazed he’s not actually schizophrenic. Writing a recommendation for Milo is particularly difficult as I find it hard not to keep mentioning how much I fucking adore him not just as a comedian, but as a person. It’s my dream in life to be as cool as he is when I’m older, but it’s a forlorn fantasy that I can never hope of achieving. His show will be brilliant. I don’t even have to see it to know that, but I will. I absolutely will.
Felicity Ward – You may have already seen or heard of her because she had an amazing festival last year. But I’m still going to tell you to go. I just think it’s important to go see (one of the many, many, many) comedians who completely shits all over the “Women aren’t funny” bollocks. I love Felicity because she’s so brilliantly honest and has me in stitches on and off the stage.
Britains Got Fuck All Talent – Matthew Ellis is a guy I recently met at Rockness. We had a weekend that was incredibly fun and almost impossible to remember. Two weeks later I saw him utterly rip a gig I was hosting and it blew my mind. He’s another fantastic character comedian who commits to his characters so much that hanging out with him before the gig was very weird, but a lot of fun.
Peacock and Gamble – best show I saw last year. I laughed my way to a six-pack, which I then drank away in despair that I would never be as brilliant as these two.
Dayne Rathbone – I shared a flat for a week with Dayne in Sydney this year. After five minutes of meeting we entered into one of the deepest, most interesting conversations of my entire life. Dayne then said “Yeah, I’m not really like this on stage.” And when I went to see him, he wasn’t wrong. It’s an incredibly weird act… Which I immediately fell in love with. It’s very hard to explain what it is he does exactly, but it made me laugh. A lot.
Davey Connor – I did a free, half an hour show at my first ever Fringe with Davey. It was called “Life in 2D” because both our names began with “D” and we’re fucking geniuses. He’s always made me laugh and this show won’t be any different.
The Dark Room – Now, this is different, but I can tell it’s going to become an obsession of mine during the festival. Remember the really, really, really, really old choose your own adventures games on computers? Of course you don’t, you’re probably my age. But apparently it’s what parents did before masturbation was invented. This show is gonna be my new masturbation. It’s a live version of one of these type games. I was lucky enough to see it in Oz earlier this year and have a go. I failed pretty quickly. And then so did every one else who had a go. Turns out only 3 people EVER have completed John Robertsons game, one was Brendon Burns who won’t fucking tell me how, the bastard. I’m not pitching it that well, because I don’t want to ruin or spoil it. But it’s really different and immensely fun.
Benny Boot – Benny is an act I always go and see when ever I can. He’s an amazing joke writer and has one of my favourite delivery styles of any comic. If I’m ever lucky to be on the same bill as him I always watch his set regardless of how may times I’ve seen his jokes. I think he’s hysterical. And I also regularly maul him at FIFA.
I am absolutely gutted that I can’t fit in more recommendations, but I didn’t want to make this too long and unreadable. There’s only a certain amount of me gushing over other comedians that I reckon you could handle. There are sooooo many other comedians who are brilliant that I recommend going to see that I didn’t have time to fit in here like Keith Farnan, Susie McCabe, Eric Lampaert, Joe Lycett, Susan Calman, Diane Spencer, Tommy Little, Tommy Holgate and so many more.
If you live in Edinburgh you should go and see as many shows as you can. The world of comedy is coming right to your doorstep and the amount of talent and choices you have is the envy of the other comedy festivals around the world. If you just have two hours to spare in a day, go see a fucking show. Chances are you won’t forget it. And if you’re skint the free festival is always a great opportunity to go see some shows. So you have no excuse not to see a show.
I’m also obviously doing a show. If you want to come and see it, please do. I have so much fun at the festival and the fact that you lovely bunch of fuckers come and see me and laugh is the best thing in the world.
Keep supporting live comedy and have a great fucking festival.