Now celebrating its 71st year and with an impressive 3,548 shows on offer, the Fringe has a reputation for producing comedic gold. From well-known talent to emerging names, catch our round-up of the best must-see comedians performing at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 3–27, 2018.
Described by Dawn French as ‘the 3rd funniest woman in the world’, the delightfully endearing Jayde Adams returns to the Fringe with Jayde Adams: The Divine Ms Jayde. Guaranteed to induce rippling laughter, this unmissable show directed by Matt Peover will entail full diva splendour (in true Jayde style, of course) with glitzy gowns, outstanding wit and music by Oliver award-winner Richard ‘Jerry Springer: The Opera’ Thomas. Crowned The Scottish Sun’s Best Female Comedian winner 2017, The Scottish Sun’s Best Show of Edinburgh Fringe winner 2017 and Chortle Best Newcomer nominee 2017, Adams oozes inimitable talent.
For jaw-aching laughter and a sharp analysis of the human condition, look no further than Daniel Sloss: X. Destined to be one of the stand-out Fringe highlights, this world-famous Scottish comedian has starred in the UK’s comedy scene since he was in his teens. Following multiple TV appearances on US shows like Conan and The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, Netflix just signed Sloss for two specials set to stream this summer. Better still, catch this firecracker live at the Fringe and embrace the magic.
Jamali Maddix is graced with the gift of the gab and the kind of bold honesty you want to be around. Celebrated for his role as the unabashed host of Viceland’s Hate Thy Neighbor and his numerous appearances on Live at the Apollo, The John Bishop Show and 8 Out of 10 Cats, Maddix tackles topics many tend to skirt around – think racial inequality, social exclusion and morality (to name but a few), along with the general state of humanity! Jamali Maddix: Vape Lord is a must-see at Fringe and the perfect precursor to Maddix’s first world tour.
Loud, wonderfully brash and side-splittingly funny, comedic superstar Janeane Garofalo is descending upon the Fringe with her first show in five years. Janeane Garofalo: Put a Pin in That is the latest and greatest from the critically acclaimed American actress and comedian famed for roles in films like Wet Hot American Summer, The Cable Guy, The Truth About Cats and Dogs and Ratatouille. A beloved comedic institution, Garofalo co-authored Feel This Book with Ben Stiller and is a widely known activist, spoken-word guru and natural entertainer. And entertained you shall be!
Another leading kingpin of British comedy, Russell Howard knows how to get an audience going, and then some. In what will undoubtedly be a sell-out stunner of a show (book your tickets ASAP), Howard is ready to wow with new material, fresh routines and a whole host of ideas – all for a grand total of £5. Russell Howard: Work in Progress will run for just two weeks at Assembly George Square Studios, one of the best Fringe venues around. Howard, who is best known for his appearances on Mock the Week and shows Russell Howard’s Good News and The Russell Howard Hour, has the kind of slick wit and barefaced banter that makes the Fringe the Fringe.
Camilla Cleese and Steve Hofstetter
As the daughter of one of the world’s most adored and greatest comedians, Camilla Cleese has comedy running through her veins. This actress, writer and comedian will join American comedian and television personality Steve Hofstetter (who has over 100 million YouTube views) in what can only be described as stand-up at its finest. Showing at Assembly George Square Studios, Camilla Cleese and Steve Hofstetter: Produced by John Cleese is sure to be a showstopper of an act running for two weeks only.
Famed for his downright controversial comments and hilariously acerbic musings, Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle is one of the UK’s biggest names in comedy. With a surplus of television shows, appearances and awards under his belt, Boyle is bringing something a wee bit different to this year’s Fringe. Hosted by Daphna Baram, Laughing for Palestine with Frankie Boyle features the comedy star himself, along with a wealth of top comedians, in a charity fundraiser show for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition in the UK (ICAHD UK). The funds raised will pay for the construction of a much-needed community centre in the Jordan Valley, an intensely deprived area of the West Bank.
Janey Godley, with her true mastery of wit, is the queen of Scottish comedy. From day one, this feisty tell-it-how-it-is Scotswoman has worked the crowds like no other, leaving audiences in uncontrollable fits of tear-adorned laughter. With two decades of Fringe performances and sell-out world tours (including off-Broadway in New York) to her name, this Glaswegian comedian, playwright, blogger, award-winning author, social media influencer and self-confessed Trump antagonist is back with her most incorrigible banter yet. Godley’s Cream 20 Years and Counting is jam-packed with the kind of stories and humour you simply cannot miss.
Between his unrivalled pantomime skills and uproarious observations surrounding the knee-slapping idiosyncrasies of society, Irish comedian and actor Jimeoin has to be one of the funniest people on Earth. A live comedy legend, this born joker rose to fame in Australia during the 1990s and has enjoyed endless successful Fringe appearances and global sell-out tours. Spoiled for choice, this year’s festival boasts not one but two hilarious shows. Jimeoin: Result! will have you laughing your head off for years to come, while the just-as-entertaining Jimeoin: Roast Chicken Result! showcases the same talent but with a devilishly cruder late-night kind of edge!
A comedic genius in the making, Ahir Shah is one to watch out for. Described by The Telegraph as ‘One of his generation’s most eloquent comic voices’, this ascending star is bringing a whole hour of new stand-up to Edinburgh this August called Ahir Shah: Duffer. Themes will tackle big topics like life and death, what happens before and after and, of course, Bohemian Rhapsody! If last year’s Fringe show, Control (nominated for Best Show at the 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Awards), is anything to go by, then audiences are guaranteed the time of their lives.