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EDFRINGE 2016: The Ten Best New Comedians

02/08/2016 16:45 | Updated 02 August 2016

It's time for the world's largest arts festival, and once you've ignored all the lesser art forms (theatre, music, puppetry, dance, mime, writing - ugh!), you'll want some comedy. These ten acts are the funniest and most promising of the new comedy crop, as judged by their relative lack of fame, oodles of talent and grinding, desperate poverty.

1. JOHN ROBERTSON

A goddamn one-man powerhouse, John shows up on a lot of these lists, but usually they're written by other people. A handsome, long-haired chap in a suit, he's an improv genius and creator of The Dark Room, the world's only live-action videogame. As featured by the Soho Theatre, Udderbelly and last seen tearing off his shirt and crowdsurfing during his set at Download Festival, critics have called him "a splendid comedy beast" (Kate Copstick, The Scotsman) who "strides onto stage giving precisely zero fucks" (The Skinny.)

You can see his new show Arena Spectacular at 3:40pm each day (not 15th) until the 27th August at Stand 2. Tickets here.

And The Dark Room, a cult sensation now celebrating its 5th Fringe, 8:30pm each day until the 27th at Underbelly Cowgate. Tickets here.

2. ROBERT JOHNSON

A prominent American blues singer in the 1930s, Robert Johnson's main claim to fame is that he is an anagram of John Robertson, the fabulously talented Australian wunderkind taking the Edinburgh Fringe by storm. Former host of Challenge TV's Videogame Nation, John memorialised his deceased best friend in last year's critically-acclaimed "Let's Redecorate!" Since nobody has died this year, his show "Arena Spectacular!" is a mockery of arena shows, the Fringe, stand-up and whoever he can get his hands on.

You can see John Robertson: Arena Spectacular at 3:40pm each day (not 15th) until the 27th August at Stand 2. Tickets here.

And John Robertson's The Dark Room, the immersive comedy classic, now celebrating its 5th Fringe, 8:30pm each day until the 27th at Underbelly Cowgate. "One of the best and most enjoyable evenings you can have" - The Sun
Tickets here.

3. MARK WATSON

Famous as a television star, author and Fringe pioneer, Mark toured Australia in 2008, where his opening act was the absurdly gifted John Robertson, who was only 23 years old at the time. Now 31 and funnier than ever, John appears twice a day at Fringe, in his new show Arena Spectacular, and legendary Fringe game show The Dark Room.

John Robertson: Arena Spectacular 3:40pm each day (not 15th) until the 27th August at Stand 2. Tickets here.

John Robertson's The Dark Room, 8:30pm each day until the 27th at Underbelly Cowgate. Tickets here.

4. JOJO BELLINI

A bombastic, brassy babe with a singing voice that can soothe your soul and blacken your eye, JoJo cooks her audience lunch while singing Tom Jones classics. Sparkly, saucy, impish and naughty, JoJo is an absolute cabaret joy. She is married to John Robertson.

JoJo Bellini: Kitchen Cabaret 1:20pm each day (not 15th) until 28th August at Stand 2. Video here. "Cheeky and full of charm" **** ThreeWeeks Tickets here.

5. MARK TWAIN

Noted American humorist Mark Twain is now very dead, but his estate wishes it known that, were he alive, he would be a big fan of Australian comedy star John Robertson. He'd particularly have enjoyed this moving bit of journalism.

Mark Twain's favourite comedian, John Robertson, appears in two shows daily at EdFringe:

John Robertson: Arena Spectacular 3:40pm each day (not 15th) until the 27th August at Stand 2. Tickets here.

John Robertson's The Dark Room, 8:30pm each day until the 27th at Underbelly Cowgate. Tickets here.

6. SPIKE MILLIGAN

Another dead guy, Milligan mangled, twisted, prodded, squeezed, squozed and squonged the face of British comedy after the Second World War. John Robertson wrote to him once. He wrote back and returned a sketch John had written, "in case it is the only copy you have". What a lovely man. If he was alive, he'd probably go see John Robertson and ask for it back.

John Robertson: Arena Spectacular 3:40pm each day (not 15th) until the 27th August at Stand 2. Tickets here.

John Robertson's The Dark Room, 8:30pm each day until the 27th at Underbelly Cowgate. Tickets here.

7. ELLIS & ROSE

A short chap and a tall chap make for a classic British double act. A few years back, the big one punched the little one so they could pretend they'd been assaulted on the street by angry audience members. Something, something John Robertson.

John Robertson: Arena Spectacular 3:40pm each day (not 15th) until the 27th August at Stand 2. Tickets.

John Robertson's The Dark Room, 8:30pm each day until the 27th at Underbelly Cowgate. Tickets.

8. DONALD TRUMP

The only act on this list without a reference to the justifiably legendary John Robertson, you won't see Donald Trump at the Fringe, but Christ, you're going to hear about him heaps.

Not, however, in either:

John Robertson: Arena Spectacular 3:40pm each day (not 15th) until 27th August at Stand 2. Tickets.

John Robertson's The Dark Room, 8:30pm each day until 27th August at Underbelly Cowgate. Tickets!

9. BEC HILL

Not appearing at this year's Fringe, but is also Australian, just like vegemite, melanomas, the funnel-web spider, the abuse of indigenous youths in prison, casual racism and the justifiably lauded voice of his generation, John Robertson.

10. JOHN ROBERTSON

Footballer. Scored a goal in the 1980 European Cup Final. Cries bitterly in his sleep that he isn't the much more attractive, piston-hipped sex tornado, John Robertson, the only solo act ever named by the Huffington Post as not one, but 10 of the best new comedians at EdFringe. Isn't that amazing? Buy a ticket, love.

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