4. Ten underrated comics

Edinburgh 10x10

The focus at Edinburgh is inevitably on big names and exciting new comics. But much of the best work is done by proven comics who’ve been around a while, but haven’t perhaps, achieved the success they deserve. Here’s some of our picks from that category..

1. Bad Musical

Back after a short absence, inventive three-man sketch outfit The Trap – Dan Mersh, Jeremy Limb and Paul Litchfield – return with a deliberately cack-handed spoof of the theatrical genre, as they’ve done before with various Bad Plays. They might be about to inch into the public consciousness as they have a Radio 4 show in development, but this should be a good place to start. If you liked Acorn Antiques you’ll love this... Gilded Balloon 17:00

2. Peacock And Gamble Don’t Even Want To Be On TV Anyway

Erstwhile Chortle podcasters are back following their childishly silly double-act shenanigans of last year. Ray Peacock’s been bringing foolishness to the Fringe since the Big And Daft trio of the Nineties, and now has a perfect foil in Ed Gamble. It won’t be clever, but it will be fun. Pleasance Dome 21:40

3. Liam Mullone: A Land Fit For Fuckwits

Stand-up with a brain – and a point of view. So no wonder he isn’t on dumbed-down TV. Arch-contrarian Mullone always offers food for thought, but doesn’t skimp on the laughs. The Stand 15:30

4. Martin Mor: A Man You Don’t Meet Everyday

One of the strongest comperes around, this affable, commandeering and distinctive-looking Northern Irish comic – and former circus performer – is performing force to be reckoned with. The Stand 21:10

5. Dan Nightingale: The 11 And A Half Ill-Conceived Edinburgh Shows Of Dan Nightingale

Another of Britain’s foremost MCs, Nightingale hasn’t always achieved the same heights with his solo shows, but this one does have an intriguing premise: why settle on one idea for an hour when you can choose 11 and a half. Pleasance Dome 18:50

6. Pete Johansson: Utopian Crack Pipe

Canada’s given a lot to the UK circuit – with the North American delivery driving home the jokes, but usually have a more distinctive style to their comedy than many of their neighbours to the south. Johansson’s a welcome addition to that heritage, with a winning combination of quirky lines and casual delivery that won him nominations for Edinburgh’ best newcomer in 2009 and the Chortle breakthrough award the following year. Underbelly 20:40

7. Charmian Hughes: Charmaggedon

Charmian seems to have been around forever, but usually under the radar, especially when it comes to Edinburgh. But at her best she has a quirky sense of the absurd expressed in solid punchlines, even if it’s not high-impact comedy. Banshee Labyrinth 18:40

8. Lewis Schaffer: No YOU Shut Up

He’s one act where you can understand the lack of mainstream success… this New Yorker’s brashness and self-destructive tendencies mean you’re not guaranteed a smooth ride. But he adheres to Socrates’ maxim ‘an unexamined life is not worth living’ more than most – and combines his neurosis with blunt appraisal of the complacent. Alternative Fringe @ The Hive 16:45 and Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters 20:15

9. Seymour Mace: Squeg!

Last year’s personal show was a departure for North East nonsensemonger Seymour Mace,  describing in frequently hilarious detail his mental breakdown, and was one of the underappreciated highlights of the Fringe.. The official blurb for this year’s show is simply the made-up word Squeg repeated 40 times. We do hope he’s all right…The Stand 19:00

10. Hal Cruttenden

His status is on the rise, thanks to a star appearance on the Royal Variety Performance three years ago, but he hasn’t quite hit the success that should imbue. For Cruttenden – deservedly nominated as best club comic in this year’s Chortle awards – is a very safe pair of hands, showing that a comic broad appeal can still have a personality: Even if his is of the rather fey middle-class person overwhelmed by life. Pleasance Courtyard 21:45

Published: 23 Jul 2012

Live comedy picks

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