28 of the best comedy shows to see at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Best comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Nina Conti is Monkey

What comedy you have to see at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from the best stand-up comedians, to sketch, double acts and more

To those who say that the comedy section of the Fringe programme is getting too sizeable for its big banana boots, there's not much anyone can say by means of a comeback. The usual gathering of Fringe favourites and lesser-known lights (for now) can be found everywhere in August and below is a list of those who are already getting us enthused.

Ahir Shah
At long last, Shah received recognition last year from those harsh judges with a spot on the Edinburgh Comedy Award shortlist and no doubt returns with another erudite and gag-packed hour.
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire, 2–26 Aug

Alex Edelman
Already an acclaimed show at Melbourne, the Bostonian's third Fringe hour discusses facing up to the worst parts of humanity.
Pleasance Courtyard, 1–26 Aug

Alfie Brown
The man who was once stand-up's future is ready to bite the bullet in the here and now.
Monkey Barrel, 2–26 Aug

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd
Scotland's great west coast hope is set to deliver further goods after an exciting year.
Gilded Balloon, 1–26 Aug

Best comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Ahir Shah: Duffer / credit: The Other Richard
Douglas Walker
The Racing Minds guy can't stop doing innovative and intriguing solo shows and this festive-themed one should be another prime example.
Underbelly Med Quad, 1–26 Aug

Dylan Moran
The Edinburgh-based Irish stand-up is dotting around the capital with his Dr Cosmos show as he attempts to bring reason and sanity to bear on this ludicrous world.
Various venues, 14–26 Aug

Flo & Joan
Musical comedy hasn't been in such safe hands for years, even if the bank-ad haters think differently …
Pleasance Courtyard, 1–26 Aug

Fringe Wives Club
Operating at the point where glamour meets activism, the FWC trio will be owning their sexuality and blasting out the tunes.
Assembly Roxy, 1–26 Aug

28 of the best comedy shows at the Fringe

Flo & Joan: Alive on Stage
Jamali Maddix
Reputedly more relaxed than he's ever been as the bright lights of Edinburgh approach, the Love Thy Neighbour guy will muse on his recent experiences out in 'the field'.
Monkey Barrel, 2–26 Aug

Jayde Adams
Focussing on being fabulous but without losing that crucial edge, the Divine Ms Jayde is set for a storming year.
Pleasance Courtyard, 1–27 Aug

Janeane Garofalo
Hands up who thinks Janeane will mention the boy Trump? That's probably all of you, then.
Gilded Balloon, 1–19 Aug

Jessie Cave
Honesty is the best policy for this lo-fi comic queen who was once Lavender Brown in the later Harry Potter movies.
The Stand IV, 1–26 Aug

28 of the best comedy shows at the Fringe

Jayde Adams: The Divine Ms Jayde
Laura Davis
A promising Australian with a panache for the unusual, Davis will be performing as a kind-of ghost this Fringe.
Underbelly, 2–26 Aug

Lazy Susan
One of the top double acts in the biz, Celeste and Freya will surprise no one should they pull off another top-notch sketchy affair.
Assembly George Square, 1–27 Aug

Lost Voice Guy
After his victorious journey through Britain's Got Talent, the Geordie lad with the tablet is set for further widespread recognition.
Gilded Balloon, 1–26 Aug

Luisa Omielan
After a devastating experience on the NHS with her mother, Omielan decided it was time to get more overtly political with her comedy. This is the result.
Gilded Balloon, 2–26 Aug

Best comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Lost Voice Guy: Inspiration Porn / credit: Steve Ullathorne
Natalie Palamides
She stormed the Fringe last year with Laid and the Best Newcomer is back by morphing into a dodgy bloke.
Pleasance Courtyard, 1–26 Aug

Nina Conti
It's usually very scary when a ventriloquist dummy takes over its master. But here, Conti will make it proper funny.
Underbelly Med Quad, 1–27 Aug

Nish Kumar
Firebrand comedian one minute, manipulator of silly voices the next, you know by now that Nish has it all.
Monkey Barrel, 2–26 Aug

Pelican
After a successful 2017, these sketch narrative guys hope to follow up their excellent Cat Man Curse with aplomb.
Bedlam Theatre, 1–27 Aug

Best comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Natalie Palamides: Nate / credit: Nick Rasmussen
Pete Firman
Everyone loves a little bit of magic. The Teessider's conjuring shtick is something rather more ambitious.
Pleasance Courtyard, 1–26 Aug

Reginald D Hunter
Returning to those 'N'-word titles will bug plenty folk. But Reg D is in no mood for compromise as he celebrates 20 years on the Fringe.
Pleasance @ EICC, 1–26 Aug

Rob Kemp
The outstanding late-night cult comedy hit from 2017, Kemp brings his Elvis/Evil Dead mash-up to a wider crowd. Plenty will be going back for a repeat visit.
Pleasance Courtyard, 1–26 Aug

Rory Bremner & Jan Ravens
Two of the most distinguished mimics in the British satire game go head to head with a volley of political and cultural targets waiting to be punctured.
Underbelly George Square, 13–19 Aug

Best comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead / credit: Roger Jones
Sara Barron
This acclaimed live storytelling act is finally taking the plunge into the Fringe depths. Are we ready for a bit of Barron?
Just the Tonic at The Tron, 2–26 Aug

Sean McLoughlin
Could this be the year that the manic comic delivers on his early promise? For the sake of modern stand-up, we can only hope so.
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire, 2–26 Aug

Tim Key
We've all had an awful date somewhere down the line, right? But the ex-Cowards guy manages to make his one fiercely funny and oddly emotional.
Pleasance Courtyard, 16–26 Aug

Tony Slattery
The beloved former member of the Whose Line TV team takes another dip back into the Fringe's waters with this improv affair.
The Stand, 20–26 Aug

Nish Kumar: It's In Your Nature To Destroy Yourself

Nish Kumar / Phil McIntyre / Heroes Double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee and host of The Mash Report trials new material for a national tour. The title is a quote from Terminator 2. There will be jokes about politics, mankind’s capacity for self-destruction and some jokes that simply don’t work. Come watch someone…

Luisa Omielan: Politics for Bitches

  • 4 stars

The outspoken London-based stand-up defends her right to have opinions about topics she knows absolutely nothing about as she finesses material for a TV show.

Alfie Brown: Lunatic

  • 4 stars

Fresh from a complete sell out run at the Edinburgh Festival, Alfie Brown is going on his first UK Tour and he remains charming and disgusting. His new show is about identity politics, trying to be a good father in a horrible world and being responsibly horny in the wake of wide-spread male sex crimes. He provides no…

Tim Key: Megadate

The award-winning comedian, performance poet and actor engages in autumnal wistfulness as he mixes pithy verse with storytelling.

Jamali Maddix: Vape Lord

  • 3 stars

The critically-acclaimed comedian and host of Viceland's Hate Thy Neighbour shares personal tales from his travels around the world of hate and moral confrontation.

Dylan Moran: Dr Cosmos

Curmudgeonly Irish stand-up who wrote and starred in the TV sitcom Black Books.

Lost Voice Guy: Inspiration Porn

  • 4 stars

BBC New Comedy Award winner and star and writer of BBC Radio 4's brand-new comedy series, Ability talks about how he's unwittingly become an unintentional porn star.

Ahir Shah: Duffer

  • 5 stars

Ages 16+ Nominee: Lastminute.com Edinburgh Comedy awards 2017 – Best Show Ahir Shah returns with a new hour of stand-up about life and what comes after, death and what comes before, and Bohemian Rhapsody. Shah's last show, Control, enjoyed a critically acclaimed Edinburgh Festival Fringe run, culminating in a…

Flo & Joan: Alive on Stage

  • 4 stars

16+ Following a sell-out run of their critically acclaimed 2017 show The Kindness of Stranglers, musical comedy duo and sister Flo & Joan are back at Soho Theatre with a new hour of their dark and witty songs. ‘These intricately crafted, flawlessly performed numbers will have you howling with laughter one minute…

Pete Firman: Marvels

'The UK's leading comedy magician' (Time Out) is back on the road with an astonishing new show. As seen on ITV1's Tonight at the London Palladium, The Next Great Magician, BBC One's The John Bishop Show and The Sarah Millican Television Programme. Expect Pete's trademark blend of laugh-out-loud comedy and jaw-dropping…

Nina Conti Is Monkey

  • 4 stars

PBJ Management Nina turns up with her favourite ingredients to bake the perfect showcake when a radical change occurs: Monkey takes unadulterated control of the whole enterprise. Abandoning all etiquette, Monkey is on the loose in a whole new way. Following the three-year UK sell-out success of In Your Face, this…

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Home Sweet Home

  • 4 stars

Gilded Balloon and Off The Kerb Productions Ltd present… The debut hour from the future of Scottish stand-up. A three-time Scottish Comedian of the Year finalist, So You Think You're Funny? finalist and two-time nominee for Best New Act at the Scottish Comedy Awards. As featured on BBC Radio 1 and 4 Extra. 'On the cusp…

Rory Bremner and Jan Ravens

Lakin McCarthy by arrangement with InterTalent She’s Merkel to his Trump. He’s Boris to her Theresa. Two of Britain’s top impressionists come together on one bill, also featuring personalities from Farage to Lumley, Dianne Abbott to Fiona Bruce and the sublime to Jacob Rees Mogg. Over 30 characters for the price of two…

Alex Edelman: Just for Us

  • 4 stars

The third solo show by the former Edinburgh Comedy Award winner.

Sean McLoughlin: Hail Mary

PBJ Management After 30 wasted years, Sean McLoughlin (Chortle Award nominee, Ricky Gervais tour support) is back at the Fringe to perform the show of his mediocre life. As seen on Russell Howard's Stand-Up Central, Comedy Central At The Comedy Store and VICELAND. ★★★★ (Scotsman). ★★★★ (List). ★★★★ (Chortle). ★★★…

Douglas Walker Presents: Of Christmas Past

  • 4 stars

Douglas Walker Christmas is a time for joy and happiness, but there's a sinister secret wrapped in the stories we tell. Douglas Walker unravels a shocking true story with his ingenious new comic play. An absurd and incredible one-man epic, encompassing a dizzying cast of characters spanning 100 years of history. The…

Tony Slattery's Crimes Against Improv

Tony Slattery / The Stand Comedy Club Whose Line is it Anyway? star and inaugural Perrier Comedy Awards winner Tony Slattery returns to where his comedic heart truly lies; with his brand-new, headlining, all-star improvisation show. Welcoming a hand-picked selection of old friends and the fresh cream of Edinburgh…

Janeane Garofalo: Put a Pin in That

Live Nation Actress and comedian Janeane Garofalo has been an American institution since she burst on the scene in 1992. Janeane has had many memorable and critically acclaimed roles in films such as The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Wet Hot American Summer, Ratatouille, Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, Mystery…

Laura Davis: Ghost Machine

  • 4 stars

Brett Vincent for Get Comedy A show about life. Performed by a ghost. For the love of god. Laura Davis pushes into new ground in her internationally acclaimed, multi award-winning show Ghost Machine. Lauded as one of the strongest and most unique comedic voices around, Laura Davis is unconventional, cathartic and…

Jayde Adams: The Divine Ms Jayde

  • 3 stars

Johnson, Mackay, Soho Theatre and United Agents present Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominee 2016. Comedian Jayde Adams is going full diva with glorious gowns, acerbic charm and show-stopping music by Olivier Award winner Richard ‘Jerry Springer: The Opera’ Thomas. Directed by Matt Peover. The (Scottish) Sun's…

Natalie Palamides: Nate

  • 5 stars

Soho Theatre For the first time in history, it's hard to be a man. Natalie Palamides (2017 Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer) doesn't understand this… but Nate does. Natalie Palamides is Nate. May include: consensual touching of boobies, non-consensual mind-blowing, and Nate's hard, stretchy cock. Co-devised and…

Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery

The Furies Winner: Best Cabaret, Adelaide Fringe 2018. Nominated: Best Newcomer, Melbourne Comedy Festival 2017. 'A cult feminist disco not to miss' ★★★★★ (Fest). Named a Top Five Adelaide Fringe Show by the Guardian, this champagne-fuelled power trio are unleashing their debut with original songs, epic dance moves and…

Lazy Susan: Forgive Me, Mother!

  • 4 stars

Live Nation The Fringe favourites are back. Sorta sketch comedy but sorta in a cool way? Ha ha. Just relax baby, why you getting so tense? Writers of critically-acclaimed BBC Radio 4 series The East Coast Listening Post. Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominees. As seen on The Windsors (Channel 4), This Country…

Reginald D Hunter: An American Facing the Beast and Niggas

Mick Perrin Worldwide Celebrating 20 years at the Fringe and direct from an 80-date tour of the UK and Ireland, Reginald returns to the Fringe this Summer with his highly anticipated new show. Reginald’s searingly honest material has garnered him a cross-generational fan base. His TV appearances have included Have I…

Sara Barron: For Worse

  • 3 stars

PBJ Management The ‘reigning queen of New York’s live storytelling scene' (Jon Ronson) and host of the hit US storytelling show, The Moth, delivers her debut stand-up hour. Filthy, funny and incisive, Barron skewers her husband, her child, WhatsApp, herself and, notably, a tweenage sex script she wrote way back in…

Jessie Cave: Sunrise

Jessie Cave with Soho Theatre c/o Curtis Brown Ltd With her cult following for her acerbic doodles online about love, Jessie has stuff to say. She’s back with a new show – following on from her two previous sold out and critically liked shows. Here she is, oversharing like she does best. ‘A unique comic talent. Think…

Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead

Lee Martin in association with Geoff Rowe The multi award-winning Fringe cult hit is back. Rev up the Delta and come on a trip to a cabin in Tennessee, to witness the classic horror movie Evil Dead 2 reinterpreted through the songs of Elvis Presley. Best Show: Leicester Comedy Festival 2017. Best Musical Show…

Pelican: Fisk

  • 3 stars

Pelican Brand-new whirlwind comedy by the critically acclaimed Pelican (makers of The Cat Man Curse). Blending surreal narratives with playful and interactive comedy, Fisk is madcap, uplifting and hugely entertaining. Fresh from a run at the Soho Theatre, Pelican’s hotly anticipated follow-up show is not to be missed.

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