Is Edinburgh the comedy capital of the UK? Is London the ideal destination for lovers of great jokes? Could Brighton come out of nowhere and steal the show?
We don’t know, but with the trailer for Can We Take a Joke?, a new documentary exploring the boundaries of comedic taste, we’ve taken a look at just how funny the UK is.
Comedy clubs: Come August, Edinburgh is really just one big comedy club. But the best establishment for year-round laughter is definitely The Stand.
Famous names: Boasting names like the late Ronnie Corbett, Greg McHugh, and Jo Caulfield (who calls the city home), Edinburgh has a decent comedy heritage.
Tell us a joke: “A cement mixer collided with a prison van on the Kingston by-pass. Motorists are asked to be on the look-out for 16 hardened criminals.” – Ronnie Corbett
Comedy clubs: As well as another Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow also now boasts Drygate Brewery, which has started to stage comedy as well as brew IPAs.
Famous names: And it’s not just charming venues the Scottish city pumps out – you’ve probably noticed the prolific nature of Glasgow’s comedic talent by now. Frankie Boyle, Billy Connoly, Craig Ferguson, Kevin Bridges… The list goes on and on, and on, and on.
Tell us a joke: “In Glasgow, ‘how’ means ‘why’. You don’t ponder ‘why?’, you demand ‘HOW’.” – Kevin Bridges
Comedy clubs: Being the nation’s capital you’re spoilt for choice. Some of the favourites include The Comedy Store, the Soho Comedy Club and 99 Club Leicester Square.
Famous names: London lays claim to immeasurable comedic talent, including Jack Whitehall, Micky Flanagan, Sara Pascoe, Omid Djalili and Milton Jones. Yeah, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Tell us a joke: “I worked as a doctor for the World Health Organisation. I didn’t mean to, I thought I was auditioning for Doctor Who.” – Milton Jones
Comedy clubs: Newcastle’s own version of The Stand Comedy Club exemplifies everything about the city’s scene. The city that hailed great Ross Noble knows how to have a laugh.
Famous names: Many of you will know of Chris Ramsey, who’s from just down the road, and the meteoric rise of Sarah Millican goes to show how funny a night in Newcastle (and South Shields) can be.
Tell us a joke: “That’s the thing in deaf class; no-one can hear you scream…” – Ross Noble
Comedy clubs: The House of Fun comedy club in Leeds will cater to absolutely every need any comedy fan has, but if you’re really desperate for something new, the city’s Yorkshire wit shines bright in a multitude of venues and events.
Famous names: A city that gave the world greats like Vic Reeves and Barry Cryer must have something to offer even the most passive of comedy fans, mustn’t it? Oh, and Keith Lemon is from Leeds as well.
Tell us a joke: “I put so much petrol in my car the other day… I couldn’t get in it!” – Vic Reeves
Comedy clubs: Shall we just point you to the best in comedy entertainment in Manchester? But look no further than the Comedy Store if you’re looking for world class funnies.
Famous names: From Steve Coogan’s genius characterisations to Jason Manford’s no-nonsense routines, the choice of comedic talent from Manchester is astounding. And if you count Greater Manchester the city can just about lay claim to Peter Kay too.
Tell us a joke: “The temperature inside this apple turnover is 1,000 degrees.” – Steve Coogan (as Alan Partridge)
Comedy clubs: If you think Bristol has nothing much to offer the world of comedy, you are sadly mistaken. The Riproar Comedy Club provides perfect entertainment and quality acts so you can laugh the West Country night away.
Famous names: Stephen Merchant lays claim to this city, and after writing The Office, Extras, and co-hosting The Ricky Gervais Show, as well as smashing a successful stand-up campaign in 2011, he’s cemented himself as one of Britain’s funniest folk. Then there’s also Mark Watson and John Robins. Just don’t mention Justin Lee Collins.
Tell us a joke: “I thought it was worth getting some condoms, because … you know … it’s Christmas party season, and you never know when you’re gonna run out of balloons.” – Stephen Merchant
Comedy clubs: Brighton’s sense of humour can be best seen displayed at the Krater and Komedia comedy clubs, both of which have housed some seriously impressive talent over the years.
Famous names: Stand-up regular Simon Evans is one of the city’s newest and most interesting claim-to-fames. Look out for Seann Walsh too.
Tell us a joke: “Fifty Shades of Grey; the new Farrow and Ball Catalogue. Or so my wife assures me that’s what it is.” – Simon Evans
Comedy clubs: The Last Laugh is the main hub for comedy in Sheffield, although the City Hall also stages tours from well-known names on the circuit.
Famous names: He may not have been born there but Eddie Izzard got into comedy while studying at the University of Sheffield. Michael Palin, one of the most influential names in comedy history was born in the city, while it has also given the world Graham Fellows, best known for his ingenious John Shuttleworth character.
Tell us a joke: “I had a mate who found herself looking for something in a tin and uttering the immortal words “Tint int tin” – Reddit