Comedy reviews: Russell Kane | Totally Tom | Mark Watson

RUSSELL Kane (Assembly Rooms, 10.25pm, until August 24 *****) is getting broody. The only problem is, he’s single and there’s no potential mother in sight. So bereft of an ‘egg carrier’, he’s created an imaginary son – Ivan – in order to analyse the potential qualities of his own fatherhood.

What follows is a set exploring sibling rivalry, parenting choices and failed relationships that’s not only outrageously funny, but also has some emotional and intellectual depth behind it.

Delivered with Kane’s usual relentless energy, we’re carried along at breakneck speed as he pouts and preens, telling tales of his own childhood as well as life nowadays.

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He’s arguably one of the best straight-up stand-ups in the business, showing it’s possible to be ‘mainstream’ and very funny.

Returning with a show much more ambitious than the simple sketch format that proved a hit in 2011, Totally Tom (Underbelly Bristo Square, 6.40pm, until August 27 ****) present a series of skits with an overarching storyline, introducing wrongly-imprisoned ‘genius’ Tom Short and his nice-but-dim cellmate Kenneth.

While the laughs don’t come quite so frequently as in last year’s show, the duo display a terrific talent for parodying pop culture lampooning, among others, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Ryan Gosling’s brooding performance in Drive.

With a polite, geeky, almost neurotic edge to his comedy, it’s hard not to like Mark Watson (Assembly George Square, 7.40pm, until August 27 ***), and this year’s show, The Information, will have you giggling away like a loon for almost all of it.

The only issue is the subject matter. After personally suffering from online fraud and some Twitter abuse, he looks at how you can use the internet for personal gain.

Dave Gorman has already the examined the idea in detail and this effort feels underdeveloped, amounting to little more than people texting him mid-show and his attempts to gain a modicum of revenge on a heartless mortgage broker.