December. It’s a famous someone’s birthday this month. Someone with numerous followers, loved by millions and likes wearing sandals. That’s right it’s my birthday month (I lied about the sandals). Oh, and it’s Christmas too. Plenty of comedy here to get you through a twinkly nightmare or help you to celebrate.
There’s bloody loads of festive fun at the Comedy Store and the Frog and Bucket this month. Right up until just before the big sprout day, the Frog’s Thursday to Saturday stand up shows are special Christmas editions with extra time for partying and Christmas meals. Straight after the big day of parsnips, Thursday Night Live and Barrel of Laughs return, albeit briefly as then we’re straight into New Year where there are not one but two shows, Fake New Year’s Eve on Mon 30 and the real one on, well…the Dec 31.
Beat the Frog is on as usual on all Mondays leading up to Christmas Eve and comedian Sam Gore is presenting a special charity show on Wed 12.
Over at the Comedy Store the fab weekend stand-up shows are as normal until Christmas. Amateur night King Gong is on Sun 2, Toby Hadoke presents pro comics trying out New Stuff on Sun 9 and Sun 23 and Alex Boardman showcases his favourite New Comedians on Sun 16. Plus Comedy Store for Kids is on Sat 22.
Elsewhere there are some special extra shows with Honeypot Christmas Crack Up in aid of Honey Pot Children’s Charity with Justin Moorhouse, Scott Bennett, Chris Washington and Lloyd Langford on Mon 10. Klub Kids presents Alyssa Edwards on Tues 11 plus on Mon 17 it’s ComedyMania’s Christmas Crack Up with Will E, Thanyia Moore, Darren Harriott and Aurie Styla.
They too of course round the year off with New Year’s Eve events with both an early and late show on the last day of the year.
Group Therapy, Gorilla, Sat 1 Dec, £10
A fantastic triple headliner show with sublime Canadian Glenn Wool, the ever innovative John Luke Roberts and vegan metal-head Andrew O’Neill.
The Barbara Nice Christmas Show, The Lowry, Sat 1 Dec, £16.50 – £18.50
No one does Christmas quite like Mrs Barbara Nice, not even Santa. She’s been rummaging in the pound shop in Stockport and has added all sorts of tinsel and baubles to her leopard print frock. It’s gonna be piggin’ fantastic.
Stephen K Amos, The Lowry, Sun 2 Dec, £21
With Trump and Brexit dominating the Western world stage, Amos intends to simply cheer us all up with his latest touring show, Bouquets and Brickbats.
The Didsbury Comedy Club, Didsbury Cricket Club; The Heatons Comedy Evening, The Heatons Sports Club; £9, Sun 2 Dec
This month in south Manchester double Christian Schulte-Loh and Addy van der Borgh run between the two gigs while Mike Keenan provides support and Michael Legge emcees Didsbury and Rivka Utley is in the middle at the Heatons with Martin Mor compering.
Rich Hall’s Hoedown, The Lowry, Mon 3 Dec, £20.50
The award-winning Hall takes a scathing look at Trump’s America whilst also celebrating the good bits (yes, there are still some left) of his native land.
Bring Your Own Baby, The Lowry, Mon 3 Dec, £15
What a civilized idea, a morning show where bums (babies’), boobs (mums’) and bottles (of milk) are welcome to make an appearance at any time during the show. With Britain’s Got Talent’s Robert White, mum of twins Jen Brister, funny mummy Alyssa Kyria and MC Carly Smallman. Babies go free.
Barking Tales, Zombie Shack, Wed 5 Dec, donations at the end
Christmas special of the gig where acts are free to talk about mental health issues. Rest assured in these guys’ hands its bloody funny, the taking-no-prisoners Fern Brady, the wonderfully off the wall Harriet Kemsley, absurd perspectives from Shell Byron and Harriet Dyer holds court as ever.
Dara O’Briain, The Lowry, Thu 6 – Sat 8 Dec, from £24
Voice of Reason sees the charismatic Irishman’s brand new show. No doubt there will be plenty of surprisingly slick tangents along the way too.
Comedy @ Chorlton Irish Club, Fri 7 Dec, £12 (£10 adv)
Chorlton’s doorstep gig this time around see the gloriously talented Stephen Bailey host Northern Irish stand-up Micky Bartlett, sometime magician Javier Jarquin and accomplished local Danny Sutcliffe.
Christmas Queens, O2 Apollo, Sun 9 Dec, £22-£68
RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bob the Drag Queen presents festive queens Asia O’Hara, Blair St Clair, Eureka O’Hara, Kameron Michaels, Manila Luzon and Sharon Needles. With all the glitter and baubles you can swallow.
Trapdoor Comedy, The Old Monkey, Wed 12 Dec, £5
This December an unsung Geordie hero of the circuit comes to Trapdoor – Gavin Webster. Check out his The Comedy Results internet phone-in show where comedians share their Saturday night gig experiences too.
Group Therapy, Gorilla, Sun 16 Dec, £15
A second GT outing this month with a comedy masterclass from the tack-sharp Zoe Lyons with Entry Level Human.
Cinderella, The Lowry, Tue 18 – Sat 22 Dec, £13
A Wicked Mother of a Night Out is an immersive festive experience at the Welcome Inn in Salford. A lot of fun is to be had.
An Evening of Eric and Ern at Christmas, The Lowry, Tue 18 Dec – Sun 6 Jan, from £10.50 on Tues 8, and from £21 thereafter
The real life duo may be cracking jokes in the after life their legacy lives on, so this Christmas you don’t have to do without a new Morecambe and Wise outing. A finely observed and executed homage with the most loved sketches, routines and musical numbers.
Alphabet Comedy Club, Alphabet Brew Tap & Food Yard, Thu 20 Dec, £8
New gig (its second outing) where Mark Grimshaw presents Oldham legend Mick Ferry, international chair stacker Phil Ellis, and with support from the up and coming Anna Spark and Sam Serrano.
National Sprout Day, Tues 25 Dec
Fill ya boots.
New Year’s Eve, Tues 31st Dec
See The Frog and The Store above for their NY comedy love-ins. See you in 2019!
By Marissa Burgess, Comedy Editor