My picks of the Fringe | David Bussell's alternative Edinburgh selection

My picks of the Fringe

David Bussell's alternative Edinburgh selection

1. Puntification

Downstairs at The Flailing Arms, 3pm

Spurred on by the success of a tweet he once made that got no less than 3 ‘favourites’, self-styled wordsmith Gary Baldy churns out a litany of increasingly desperate puns, none of which quite work. This continues for an excruciating 45 minutes as Gary mistakes audience groans for enjoyment somehow. Stay for the finale, when Gary creates a big finish out two words that sound sort of similar. Chucklefucks magazine says: 'I’m not laughing just thinking about it!'

2. LAYDEEZ!!!!!

Wunder Bar, 2pm

Be sure to arrive a full hour early to see these two hormone-cases screaming: ‘Come to our show! Come to our show!’ at fellow comedians trying to enjoy a bit of lunch in peace. Marvel as they clamber aboard tabletops, mashing their stiletto heels into people’s food as they bark through gobs like fresh shotgun wounds in a last-ditch attempt to persuade strangers to sit with them for an hour and fill the yawning chasms of their empty souls. A penis-shaped lollipop for anyone who brings along one of their flyers featuring them half-naked and airbrushed to within an inch of their lives.

3. Two Dudes in a Room

The Dog and Bollock, 4pm

A pair of comics that have nothing in common but the fact they went halves on renting a flat split an hour of comedy. Flinch at the gearshift crunches as they pass the baton between their wildly disparate acts. Witness the seething resentment still present from the night before when the tall one stole the little one’s last Fondant Fancy. Stay for the end when one of them exacts revenge over a perceived slight by skimming off the larger share of the bucket. says: "I love the way that ended."

4. Captain Cock-a-Hoop’s Imaginarium

The Mundane Mammal, 1pm (except Tuesdays)

Wacky prop comic Captain Cock-a-Hoop (who can be seen every morning handing out flyers dressed as a corn on the cob for no good fucking reason) conjures up a world of wonder more whimsical than a little French peasant girl tugging at a kite with her bottom lip sticking out. You’d have more fun watching a four year old running around with his dick super-glued to his elbow.


The Prole Hole, 11am

Watch a comedian with less than a dozen gigs under his belt fill the coveted 11am slot at the pub you never heard of on the other side of town. Observe as he burns through his material in the first 10 minutes and is forced to resort to uninspired MCing to fill the rest. Listen as he gains such intimate knowledge of the audience’s names, places of origin and occupations that you’re left wondering if you were hoodwinked by an identity thief only posing as a comedian.

6. Here and Now

Asscapades Nightclub, 10pm

Russell [insert surname here], an asymmetrical haircut growing out of some tight trousers, leapfrogs over his debut Edinburgh gig on the way to a TV panel show. Catch him now while you’re in spitting distance.

7. There’s Been a Jape!

The Pensive Pony, 5pm (except every other Wednesday)

A privileged twenty-something ‘shock comic’ talks authoritatively on the subjects of sexual assault, paedophilia and AIDS, despite his biggest personal tragedy being the time he was walking home from a farmers market and accidentally dropped an organic farmhouse loaf into a puddle of pedigree dog piss. says: ‘About as edgy as a beach ball.’

8. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Girl!

The Queen’s Leg, 7pm

An adorable musical act strums some parody songs out of a uke that are of such poor quality you’d think she were deliberately giving the finger to anyone who ever believed in her. Stay for her big closer when she sings ‘Gy-na-chology’ to the tune of We Are Family, then visit again a day later after she’s smashed her instrument out of frustration at not getting any laughs and rebranded her show as ‘spoken word’.

20 GOTO 10


Upstairs at The Confused Uncle, 1pm

A man who has spent more money on technical apparatus than he can ever hope to earn as a comedian takes the audience through a succession of slides that are less jokes than they are prompts for his shitty memory. Can be seen every evening sighing in a booth as he provides technical support to fellow comedians with actual stage presence. say: ‘Might as well have just stayed home and mailed a DVD.’

• Dave Bussell tweets at @Busselling and is a member of the the sketch project, Hunka Wunda.

Published: 31 Jul 2013

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