If you’re in the UK, August means time for Edinburgh Festival Fringe, four weeks in which comedians from around the world descend upon this Scottish city and compete for your attention, money and laughter.
The 2011 Fringe would tell you, through its searchable database, that there are 26 comedy shows to choose from that arrived from America. Somehow they missed several other U.S. comedians.
From that first list of 26, we learn that musical improv comedy troupe Baby Wants Candy is pulling double-duty on both sides of the pond this week, performing both in Edinburgh and NYC! Boston’s Chris Coxen and his eccentric cast of characters compete with himself in Chris Coxen’s Space Clone Audition. Henry Rollins does his spoken-word thing for a limited run. Austin’s Parallelogramophonograph is improvising plays all month. Politically aware Lee Camp headlines a full hour of stand-up late nights at The Stand. Todd Barry has a daily afternoon gig at The Stand, too. Michael Winslow is there. Yes. That Michael Winslow.
But don’t let that let you overlook these other Americans in Edinburgh:
- Hari Kondabolu is part of a nightly stand-up showcase called “The Comedy Zone” at Pleasance Courtyard.
- Dave Fulton is an American stand-up who spends most of his time in the UK, and you can enjoy his wisdom and exploits nightly at The Stand.
- David Sedaris is speaking for five nights. Three of those nights already are sold out.
- Hal Sparks has a nightly show all month called “Evolution Overdrive.”
- Troy Conrad channels his inner George W. Bush in a show with Harmon Leon, whilst also presenting Set List, the show that forces stand-ups to improvise comedy sets based on a list provided to them just before going onstage.
- Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal bring their Hot Tub Variety Show over, starting on the 12th.
- Margaret Cho has a run with “Cho-Dependent” at Assembly George Square.
- Hannibal Buress brings his current hour, “My Name is Hannibal: The Hannibal Montanable Experience,” straight from JFL Montreal.
- Neil Hamburger and his anti-comedy punchlines show up next weekend.
- The Pajama Men‘s fast-paced two-man sketch work is showcased in “In the Middle of No One.”
- Rich Hall! (Sniglets not included) In addition to Hall’s stand-up, he’s got a musical act doing a late-night “Hoedown.”
- Steve-O, yes Steve-O from Jackass, is performing for three nights only.
- W. Kamau Bell is still curing racism in about an hour. How does he do it?
Of course, I know I’m overlooking a few lesser-known American acts, as well as some international stand-ups who Americans already may be familiar with (Rich Fulcher, Glenn Wool, Matt Kirshen, Omid Djalili and Tom Green among them). Perhaps someone will break out from this overwhelming pack of shows at Edinburgh.