Comedy

Fawlty Towers – The Play is the best museum piece you’ll ever see

18 May 2024 9:00 am

Fawlty Towers at the Apollo may be the best museum piece you’ll ever see. A full-length play has been carved…

Player Kings proves that Shakespeare can be funny

20 April 2024 9:00 am

Play-goers, beware. Director Robert Icke is back in town, and that means a turgid four-hour revival of a heavyweight classic…

A magnificent set of dentures still leaves little to smile about

20 April 2024 9:00 am

After undergoing prolonged cosmetic dentistry, 50-year-old John Patrick Higgins reluctantly acknowledges that he’ll never be the stylish man about town of his dreams

Progressives vs. bigots: How I Won a Nobel Prize, by Julius Taranto, reviewed

10 February 2024 9:00 am

When a quantum physicist and her partner reluctantly move to a university staffed by cancelled luminaries the scene is set for a darkly comic clash of ideologies

No laughing matter: accusations of transphobia wrecked Graham Linehan’s life

11 November 2023 9:00 am

The comedian found himself out of work and out of his marriage when he challenged the transgender ideology that to be a man or women is about choosing an identity

‘Comedy is much more important than I thought’: John Cleese on the press, his new talk show and the power of Fawlty Towers

4 November 2023 9:00 am

John Cleese enjoys tough questions. He’s currently touring America with An Evening with the Late John Cleese, and a substantial…

What a joke

26 August 2023 9:00 am

The award for the funniest joke at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe was won by Lorna Rose Treen, with this: ‘I…

‘I disliked him intensely’: Richard Lewis on first meeting Larry David

26 August 2023 9:00 am

Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Richard Lewis talks to Ben Lazarus about addiction, his Parkinson’s diagnosis – and his friendship with Larry David

Rizal Van Geyzel races through his 60-minute set peppering the material with snatches of Chinese, Tamil and Malay

Trump, Diogenes, the Mitfords and Malaysian comedy: Edinburgh Fringe round-up

19 August 2023 9:00 am

The Mitfords is a superb one-woman show by Emma Wilkinson Wright who focuses her attention on Unity, Diana and Jessica.…

Forgettable stuff: The Crown Jewels, at the Garrick, reviewed

22 July 2023 9:00 am

In the 1990s, the BBC had a popular flat-share comedy, Men Behaving Badly, about a pair of giggling bachelors who…

Gag order: China’s stand-up comedy crackdown

3 June 2023 9:00 am

The crackdown on China’s stand-up comics

I’ve finally been offended by a joke

10 September 2022 9:00 am

I went to the O2 on Sunday night to see the comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock. Chappelle, who survived…

A four-way race between poet, actor, video artist and sound engineer: Edinburgh Festival's Burn reviewed

20 August 2022 9:00 am

In a new hour-long monologue, Burn, Alan Cumming examines the life and work of Robert Burns. The biographical material is…

Who are these pathologically liberal rozzers? Channel 4's Night Coppers reviewed

16 July 2022 9:00 am

Grizzled police officers of the old school should probably avoid Channel 4’s Night Coppers for reasons of blood pressure. Like…

Ricky Gervais is an achingly conventional Millennial posing as a naughty maverick

11 June 2022 9:00 am

Just how edgy and dangerous is Ricky Gervais? There is no one more edgy and dangerous, we learn from no…

Ricky Gervais is guilty of blasphemy

28 May 2022 2:00 am

I have long thought that if Life of Brian came out today, it wouldn’t be Christians kicking up a fuss…

Boldly and brilliantly unoriginal: Kermode and Mayo’s Take reviewed

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Last April Fools’ Day, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo wound up their award-winning film review show on BBC Radio 5…

The chief characteristic so far has been nervousness: Chivalry reviewed

23 April 2022 9:00 am

Chivalry – written by and starring Sarah Solemani and Steve Coogan – is a comedy drama about post-#MeToo Hollywood life.…

Mismatched from the start: One Day I Shall Astonish the World, by Nina Stibbe, reviewed

16 April 2022 9:00 am

First the bad news: Nina Stibbe’s new novel does not feature Lizzie Vogel, the engaging narrator of the trilogy that…

Fun, good-natured and schmaltzy: Phantom of the Open reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Phantom of the Open is a comedy-drama telling a true story that would have to be true as no one…

Perfection: The Duke reviewed

26 February 2022 9:00 am

The Duke is an old-fashioned British comedy caper that is plainly lovely and a joy. Based on a true story,…

May put you off Chaplin for ever: The Real Charlie Chaplin reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Charlie Chaplin is one of the most famous movie stars ever and is certainly the most famous movie star with…

All a bit Blackadder: Hamlet, at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Never Not Once has a cold and forbidding title but it starts as an amusing tale set in an LA…

Sick jokes: why medics need gallows humour

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Medics need black humour