Our top 10 comedy shows at Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Susan Calman. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Susan Calman. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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THE problem with stand-ups is that they all think they are hilariously funny... even when they are not. With more than 90 pages of comedy listed on the Fringe website - that’s nearly 1000 different shows - it can be difficult to know what to choose.

However, if it’s a good laugh you want, sometimes it’s better to stick with the tried and tested names - comedians who have earned their comedy stripes.

Brian Appleton, the alter ego of actor and comedian Graham Fellows

Brian Appleton, the alter ego of actor and comedian Graham Fellows

Here, to help you decide what you might want to spend your hard-earned cash on this August, are a few recommendations, with a couple of less well known acts thrown in for good measure.

Tickets for all shows are now on sale from the Fringe Box Office 0131-226 0000 or from www.edfringe.com

HOT TICKET

BRIAN APPLETON’S HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN THREE DARTS

Paul Zerdin. Picture: Contributed

Paul Zerdin. Picture: Contributed

GRAHAM Fellows returns to the Fringe as ‘rock musicologist and part-time lecturer’ Brian Appleton. The nearly Man of pop, Brian’s brilliantly innovative ideas are always hijacked by some passing pop wannabe.

Best known as the man behind comedy legend John Shuttleworth (or if you’re old enough, as Jilted John - all together now, ‘Gordon is a moron’) Fellows’s last Fringe show, Brian Appleton’s History of Rock ‘n’ Roll, was made into a BBC Radio 4 series.

Grab your tickets now to avoid being so upset that you cry all the way to the chipshop.

Pleasance Ace Dome, 5-11 August, 8.20pm

VENTRILOQUIST

PAUL VERDIN: NO STRINGS

LAST time he was here, in 2010, Paul Zerdin sold out. He did the same in 2009, so expect great things as the star of the Royal Variety Show returns with a brand new show featuring gobby Sam, senior citizen Albert and precocious Baby Paul.

Gilded Balloon, Nightclub, 31 July-25 August, 8pm

IMPRESSIONIST

ALISTAIR McGOWAN: DAMN LABELS

BRITAIN’S favourite impressionist asks the big questions: would the world be a happier place if Ed Miliband was PM? What are we really thinking while watching Shakespeare? And is Hilary Devey Jessie J’s mum? Expect everyone from Andy Murray to Colin Murray, Jo Brand to Kevin Bridges and at least one song about butter.

Gilded Balloon, Teviot, 18-25 August, 7.30pm

THREE NIGHTS ONLY

CHRIS RAMSEY: FEELING LUCKY

THE Celebrity Juice and Hebburn star brings his critically acclaimed show to the Fringe for three nights only.

How did we get here? Elaborately laid plan or just pure fluke? Who knows, do you feel lucky? Perhaps you should.

Underbelly, Bristo Square, 23-25 August, 7pm

ROOTS

LUCY PORTER: NORTHERN SOUL

DOES geography shape our destiny? Born in Croydon to a Northern Irish dad and a Midlander mum (who met in Africa), discover why the diminutive Fringe favourite considers herself ‘like the littlest hobo’.

The Stand Comedy Club, York Place,

31 July-25 August, 5.10pm

CRAIC

ARDAL O’HANLON

FATHER Ted star, Ardal O’Hanlon has the gift of the blarney, his observational style tackling the subject matter is life itself.

Join him as he explores the world around him with his ever present trademark look of bemusement and disbelief.

Assembly Rooms, George Street, 12-18 August, 7pm

FUNNY GIRL

SUSAN CALMAN: ALWAYS

SCOTTISH comedy doesn’t come much funnier than this. The News Quiz and QI star is back with a new show, asking questions like: Where is she? What is she doing with her life? And can she put cat wrangler as her occupation on a mortgage application?

Stand Comedy Club III & IV, York Place, 1-12 August, 6pm

LEGENDS

ERIC AND LITTLE ERN

MORECAMBE and Wise brought us sunshine for decades. This show uses classic scripts to vividly recreate some of the finest moments of the great double act’s television and stage performances.

Gilded Balloon, Teviot, 1-26 August, 3.15pm

CHARACTER

LEE NELSON LIVE

STAR of Well Funny People, the Well Good Show and host of Live at the Apollo, Nelson brings his unique brand of character comedy to the Fringe for two weeks only.

Expect audience interaction and appearances from his alter-egos, Premier League footballer Jason Bent and bungling medic Dr Bob.

Assembly, George Square, 12-24 August, 7.30pm

MUSIC

AIRNADETTE

IS it comedy or music? Maybe both, but you will laugh. Airnadette is an air band - six musicians dub the greatest songs and the greatest films of all time and mix them together to make their (almost) true story. Could this be the phenomenon of the Fringe?

Underbelly, Bristo Square, 31 July-26 August, 8.50pm

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