10 North American comedians to check out at the Fringe
Greg Proops

It may be all bagpipes, thistles and castles when you first step out of Waverley station, but the Fringe ships in the belly laughs from all over.

2015’s line-up sees a number of names from across the Atlantic come over to the biggest arts festival in the world, ranging from wily Fringe veterans to those looking to break onto the scene.

Here are ten American and Canadian acts you should definitely check out.

Stewart Francis: Pun Gent

Pun-slinger Stewart Francis dishes out one-liners quicker than an Edinburgh bakery dishes out 4am pie orders. The Canadian comedian will be familiar to many from his various TV spots, but it’s in the flesh when you get to appreciate that scatter-gun approach to gags to its fullest extent. We’re dreaming of the day when he and Tim Vine clear Princes Street in order to have a good ol’ fashioned pun-off.

Aug 6-30: The Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street, listing

Tom Stade: You’re Welcome

tom stade


Tom Stade is a Canadian import that the people of Edinburgh get to enjoy all-year round, seeing as he’s a permanent resident. But the comedian still constantly resembles a man about to deliver the greatest best man speech ever, with his open shirt and slurred Canadian free-wheeling accent. Stade is bringing a brand new show to this year’s festival with laughs guaranteed.

Aug 6-30: The Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street, listings

Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, £5


Brooklyn’s finest, Lewis Schaffer is a comedian who seems to revel in riling up critics and audiences alike. He brings his Free Until Famous show to the Fringe on the back of a huge wave of energy from a tour across the UK. The ‘pay-what-you-want’ structure has been dropped in favour of a more conventional £5 entry free – meaning that Schaffer may finally feel he’s getting the recognition he deserves, or that he just enjoys messing with people. Whatever the reason and whatever the price, he’s well worth catching.

Lewis Schaffer: ‘No one’s had as many bad shows as me – and I’m still standing.’

Aug 6-30: Just the Tonic, 86 Candlemaker Row, listings

Butt Kapinski

An interactive film-noire adventure from the director of Edinburgh’s now-infamous Red Bastard show. Private Eye Butt Kapinski brings you an irreverent old-school crime adventure – expect interaction and expect a show that will have you uncomfortably on the edge of your seat.

Aug 8-30: Liquid Room Annexe, 9C Victoria St, Edinburgh, listings

Alex Edelman: Everything Handed to You

alex edelman

After a stellar debut year at the Fringe in 2014 which saw him pick up the best newcomer award for his show Millennial , New York based comedian Alex Edelman is back with a show about the overwhelming responsibility of being a young person. Edelman is a comedian with ‘funny bones’ whose charm comes across before he’s even begun delivering jokes. The future looks bright, so catch him here while you can.

Alex Edelman: ‘You can’t really sum up Millennials’

Aug 5-30: Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, listings

Russell Hicks: Big Mouth Strikes Again

If you’re growing tired of overworked routines, then Russell Hicks may be for you. The American stand-up is currently performing around London and plays off a sense of spontaneity and audience interaction. Hicks’ improvised shows take the crowd to task and he has been known to divide the critics – but if you’re unafraid of becoming the central figure in a live roasting, then Hicks is for you.

Aug 6-31: The Free Sisters, 139 Cowgate, listings

Reginald D. Hunter: Bitchproof

Reginald D Hunter

Reginald is no stranger to British audiences these days – the big man from Albany, Georgia has become a regular guest on TV shows such as Have I Got News For You – but his stand-up shows remain his first love. Hunter’s calm delivery twinned with his near-the-knuckle subject matter mean he’s a joy to watch on stage and a worthy three-time Perrier Award nominee.

Aug 5-30: Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, listings

Will Franken: Who Keeps Making All These People?

One man sketch machine and voice box Will Franken is an oddity of a performer that will have immersed in his own little world. The Missouri-born character comedian doesn’t do impressions as creates little worlds within his head – picking up dialects, accents and phrases from those people you see around you every day. Franken is an erratic and highly entertaining performer who is well worth catching.

5-30 Aug: The Stand Comedy Club, 5 York Place, Edinburgh, listings

Greg Proops: The Smartest Man in the World

A Fringe veteran who has surpassed plenty others, Greg Proops brings his tongue-twisting quick-witted comedy back to Edinburgh and there’s a reason he keeps returning. Proops is a master of his craft and a performer who is truly comfortable in front of a live audience. If you’re tired of seeing stand-ups who still shift awkwardly in front of a waiting crowd, then see The Smartest Man in the World and spot the supreme confidence through those trademark black frames.

Aug 24-26: Gilded Balloon, Teviot Row House, listings

Lucie Pohl: Cry Me a Liver

Lucie Pohl

Returning for her second stint, Lucie Pohl brings her European background and New York street smarts back to the Fringe. Pohl’s 2014 show Hi, Hitler was as theatrical as it was funny and is sure to find an audience amidst those looking for some performance in their stand-up.

Lucie Pohl: ‘Everyone is so open and so curious’

Aug 5-31: Gilded Balloon, Teviot Row House, listings

Main image: Getty Images

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