Bridget Christie: ‘I ate strawberry-flavoured pants with baked beans’
From Amy Schumer to Best In Show, the comedian reveals the things that make her laugh the mostI’ll never forget Kevin McAleer’s Edinburgh warmup at the King’s Head in Crouch End in July 2006. I had to sit on the floor at the back of the room, cover my ears and try not to think abou... [Read More]
Watch It, Sailor! / The Vertical Hour review – trouble with the in-laws
Theatre by the Lake, KeswickBroad 60s comedy and sharp millennial political drama share a venue as the Cumbrian rep company ends an eraIt began life in 1952 as a “Blue Box” – a mobile theatre with 225 seats, towed by a military truck, delivering theatre to towns without any. But tr... [Read More]
Standout success: Edinburgh's Free Fringe is no comedy graveyard
The fringe is no longer centred around the ‘big four’ venues. Whether you’re a performer or punter, take it from an award-winning comic – and get out morePiecing together my reviews list for this year’s Edinburgh jamboree brings home to me how dramatically the fringe la... [Read More]
Why can some people remember jokes and others can’t?
The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific conceptsWhy can some people remember jokes and others can’t? Or is it “do” and “don’t”?David Cockayne, Lymm, Che... [Read More]
Zoë Coombs Marr: why a 'cranky lesbian in her 30s' should be person of the year
‘You can’t make intersectional feminism funny,’ says Coombs Marr as Dave, her alter ego. He goes on to make it hilarious, in a show that everyone should seeI’m lobbying for a new person-of-the-year award. While Time magazine’s fêted title honours one who has done ... [Read More]
Ed Gamble: 'My entire personality was based on Alan Partridge'
From back hair to a leather trenchcoat, the comedian reveals the things that make him laugh the mostThe first time my mind was blown by a live standup was Boothby Graffoe in Edinburgh in 2003. He had absolute control of a very rowdy crowd without pandering to them at all, and was so delightfully sil... [Read More]
Scared of standup? Making the leap from the safety of sketch comedy
Katy Brand and Kieran Hodgson were intimidated at first by the idea of going it alone on stage. But plenty of comedians journey between sketch troupes and solo performance – taking refuge in one and soul-searching in the otherIt was interesting the other week to hear a belated convert to stand... [Read More]
Nish Kumar: ‘I laughed so hard I nearly threw up’
From Catch-22 to his cousins, the standup reveals the things that make him chortle the mostOne out of Louis CK, Chris Rock, Daniel Kitson, Stewart Lee, Richard Pryor or Bridget Christie. James Acaster is phenomenal, but he’s my friend so I can’t say him or he’ll make fun of me. Con... [Read More]
Ghostbusters’ Leslie Jones: ‘The US is the most depressed nation in the world and I blame comedians’
She’s a 6ft ball of energy who slogged away on the comedy circuit for 25 years before landing Saturday Night Live and then Ghostbusters. She talks about wanting to be the new Eddie Murphy and why ‘crazy-wild-big’ laughs matterLeslie Jones is sick of smart comics. She can’t be... [Read More]
Is the 2016 presidential campaign beyond satire?
All the late-night shows have tried to lampoon a certain Republican nominee, but when real-life TV feels stranger than fiction, does satire fall flat?At its finest, satire can forever define the perception of a politician or a news story – the word “strategery” will forever be (inc... [Read More]