They make you giggle, they make you think, they make you hold your sides until they're sore. But, Al Murray aside, which of the comic acts at the 1999 Edinburgh Festival are several punchlines beyond a kflOCkOUt? Words: Brian Donaldson

Terry Alderton The loose-limbed Essex boy rat-a-

tats the impersonations like nobody’s business Harry Hill, Prince Naseem, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton. They’re all subject to the shorn one's penetrating tongue. Observer Assembly, until 29 Aug, 70pm. Arctic Boosh Last year’s Perrier Newcomers’ vic- tors continue their stream-of-surreality but with a warm, warm heart. More chemistry than jigsaw dead fish. Pleasance, until 30 Aug (not 24), 6pm. Adam Bloom lnfamously notorious for his Jeremy Beadle hand gag, he regularly receives more five-star reviews than can be healthy to the ego. Pleasance, until 30 Aug, 7pm.

Ed Byrne He’s On The Road and in our hearts discussing elepha'nt cocks, Singapore toilets and boy bands. Probably the most naturally funny stand-up in town. Observer Assembly, until 76 Aug, 70pm.

Omid Djalili The UK’s only Iranian stand-up mixes ceilidh and comedy in one of the year’s most unusual shows. Shiny clothes, sparkling wit and ayatollah stories. Pleasance, until 30 Aug (not 23), 70.35pm; Queen’s Hall, 23 Aug, 70.30pm.

26 THE usr 12—19 Aug 1999

Rich Hall Montana’s grouchmeister has tem-

porarily fled the comedy circuit, leaving his uncle

Otis (Lee Crenshaw) to pick up the tab. Out of

a prison and into your sorrowful hearts. Pleasance,

until 30 Aug (not 7 6), 70.75pm.

Jimeoin Australia’s most famous Irish stand-up is

the gentlest funnyman to drag genuine tears from hard people’s eyes. He’s also the most mis-

; spelled. Beck’s Famous Spiege/tent, until 22 Aug

(not 76), 9.30pm.

3 Phil Kay Still churning out the nonsense as fast


as his locks can grow. His alternative tourist route should bemuse both vistors and locals alike.

Gilded Balloon, 73—28 Aug, 70pm; bus tour 7 from Waverley Bridge, 26 Aug, 3.30pm. ' The League Against Tedium Anarcho-comic

Simon Munnery declares himself to be TV, though


not in the Eddie Izzard sense. Pushing more

boundaries than Hitler, this is truly the devil’s work. Pleasance, until 30 Aug (not 24), 9.50pm. Harmon Leon Monologues from a San Franciscan hell-bent on exposing his country’s flaws, defects and general shoddiness. McCarthy

Kings of comedy (from left) Omid Djalili. Rich Hall aka Otis Lee Crenshaw. Ross Noble and Terry Alderton

would have strung him up. The Stand, until 29 Aug (not 7 6), 5pm.

Alan Miller Our own answer to Harry Hill with many unsavoury notions about sex. Calling him deranged is probably being kind. The Stand, until 29 Aug (not 76), 5. 75pm.

Mitchell 8: Webb Pythonesque yet funny duo with a taste for bitter old wizards and dodgy Latino dance instructors. Observer Assembly, until 30 Aug (not 78, 25), 9.30pm.

Dylan Moran A very grumpy yet deeply funny man, the former Perrier winner’s The Last Gasp proves he is far from being on his last legs. Gilded Balloon At The Palladium, 73— 7 7 Aug, 70.30pm.

Ross Noble Peroxide headcase with a flair for flares and a taste for the unpleasant no guinea pig or rare bird’s egg is safe. Gilded Balloon, until 30 Aug, 9.30pm.

Johnny Vegas Pottery’s loss has been comedy's gain with St Helens’ burliest and best serenading the ladies and out-swilling the lads. George Square Theatre, until 75 Aug, 9.45pm.