Honestly, they come over ‘ere, takin’ our gigs! Here’s a guide to some of the comics who are jetting in to Edinburgh from across the globe …
We’re not talking about your Rich Halls and Tony Laws here, who are well known in the UK from years of hammering the UK’s comedy clubs and theatres. We’re talking the comics who are flying in especially for the Edinburgh Fringe. Tom Green and Margaret Cho will hog the limelight – and there are plenty more, too …
• Hal Sparks – Gilded Balloon, 10.45pm
Easy-going heavy metaller and actor (Queer as Folk, Dude Where’s My Car), Sparks brings his debut stand-up show Evolution Overdrive to Edinburgh, about his concerns for pop culture and where the world is headed.
• Margaret Cho (pictured) – Assembly, 9pm
Apart from Tom Green, probably the biggest of this year’s “big in America” contingent, Cho is a bold, sometimes shocking stand-up often tackling social/political issues, and a prominent gay activist. Cho Dependent is a stand-up/musical comedy show following the release of her debut album. Comes recommended. Look out for an interview on Edinburgh is Funny soon.
• Dave Eastgate – Gilded Balloon, 11.15pm
A brash, no-frills, high-octane musical comedy act. Eastgate has been comedy partner of Brendon Burns and is a big name in Australia due to being a roving reporter on The X Factor.
• Danny Bevins – Gilded Balloon, 6.30pm
Bevins is billed as “an unwanted pregnancy, former soldier and son of religious fanatics”, so stand-up comedy seems an inevitability on hindsight. He’s a pretty solid act having been on the north American circuit for 17 years.
• W Kamau Bell – Pleasance Courtyard, 9.30pm
A thought-provoking show by a gifted stand-up, Kamau keeps the gag rate high in this show about racism in America. Look out for an interview soon.
• Tom Lenk – Pleasance Courtyard, 10.40pm
A one-night-only musical comedy show by the self-deprecating, camp former star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
• Fiona O’Loughlin – Gilded Balloon, 9pm
A big star in her native Australia, where she has appeared in Strictly Come Dancing, O’Loughlin performs a show about her very public battle with booze. An absolute natural stand-up, certainly worth a look.
Tom Green (pictured) – Udderbelly, 10.55pm
Proper big name comic. Star of MTV, The Late Show With David Letterman and various hefty Hollywood classics such as Roadtrip, Green is an unpredictable comic so lord knows what he has up his sleeve, but it should be memorable at the least.
• Daniel-Ryan Spaulding – Free Sexy Love Money
A Free Fringer over from Canada, Spaulding is an actor, comedian and filmmaker who does “comedy with a social conscience”; he’s sharp-tongued and looks like a pretty handy gagsmith too.
• Mae Martin
Martin was a 2011 Musical Comedy Awards finalist and is another Canadian comic who dips into stand-up and comedy songs. She’s kind of simultaneously laid-back and neurotic. Another Free Fringer.
• Michael Winslow – Udderbelly, 8pm
Remember the guy from Police Academy who did all the crazy sound effects with his mouth? Yeah, him. Not the world’s greatest comic but an incredible spectacle nonetheless.
• Dana Alexander – Underbelly, 8pm
Alexander is another debutant; she’s curt, she’s controlled, she’s Canadian, she takes her sweet time and it’s all to comedic effect.
• Hannibal Buress – Pleasance Courtyard, 9/45pm
An Edinburgh debutant who looks like a solid choice for a good hour of comedy. Currently writes for 30 Rock and has previously written for America’s TV comedy institution Saturday Night Live.
• Deanne Smith – Gilded Balloon, 8.15pm
A smart cookie of a comic with a show that was nominated for a Barry award this year (the Melbourne International Comedy Festival version of Edinburgh’s Fosters award). The nerdy Canadian-American is making her Edinburgh debut, defo worth checking out.
• Abigoliah Schamaun – Laughing Horse @ Counting House, 8.30pm
The “fattest yoga teacher in New York City”, Schmaun is a charismatic, chirpy and largely autobiographical comic who likes a ‘bit of blue’, too. She’s on the Free Fringe.