Glasgow can boast its fair share of comedy heroes down the years, from Billy Connolly to Kevin Bridges, whilst its residents are famed for their personality and wit. So where could be better to host a festival of laughs? The 15th Glasgow International Comedy Festival gets under way on 9th March and we have picked out just some of the shows you won’t want to miss from a jam-packed line up.

Darren Connell

Thursday 9th, Friday 10th and Saturday 11th, Blackfriars Basement 36 Bell Street, 21:15 (additional show at 19:30 on Thursday), £10

Glasgow Comedy Festival
Image: Darren Connell Facebook

Best known as Officer Karen’s tormenter in BBC comedy Scot Squad, Connell is a rising stand-up star who was a big hit during last summer’s Edinburgh Fringe and whose shows at last year’s Glasgow festival sold out. A former finalist in the Scottish Comedian of the Year competition, Connell was convinced to pursue his comedy dreams by Kevin Bridges, who called him a “natural” and had him support his shows. Endorsement enough to convince anyone that Connell’s is a show to see. That the show is in a cracking Merchant City boozer is an added bonus!

A Pizza Lunchtime Comedy

Daily (from Friday 10th), Yesbar – 12-14 Drury Street, 13:00, £5 or £10 including a pizza

Image: Yesbar Facebook
Image: Yesbar Facebook

Laughs at lunch. The longest running lunchtime show of the Glasgow Comedy Festival brings a different line-up each day. So while there is no guarantee of who you will see laughs are virtually assured. And at least if the show is flat you’ll have something else flat to enjoy – a famous Yesbar pizza.

BBC Comedy Presents: The Best of Red Raw

Tuesday 14th and 21st, Stand Comedy Club – 333 Woodlands Road, 21:00, £5

Image: The Stand Website
Image: The Stand Website

If you’re one of those hipsters who loves telling people how you liked something before it was cool then Red Raw is your chance to be introduced to the next best thing in comedy. The Stand’s regular weekly show, giving budding stand-ups a platform, is beefed up for the Comedy Festival, bringing audiences the best new performers from the venue’s weekly showcase. With a top compère guaranteed, and guest headliners to bring the house down, advance booking is strongly recommended.

Frankie Boyle (+ guests)

Thursday 16th, King’s Theatre – 297 Bath Street, 19:30, £26.25

comedy glasgow frankie boyle festival
@FrankieBoyleFans Facebook

A man who really needs no introduction. The former star of Mock The Week and Tramadol Nights creator is one of comedy’s biggest names. His dark humour is not for the faint hearted but always entertains and appals in equal measure. Boyle’s headline show can also be seen on the 13th, 14th and 15th but with all the proceeds from Thursday’s show going to support the work of charity Help Refugees UK you should choose this performance in preference to the others. Trust us, you’ll feel better laughing at things you really shouldn’t knowing you’re doing so in aid of a good cause.

The Wee Man’s Rap Battle Showdown

Saturday 25th, Hug and Pint – 171 Great Western Road, 22:00, £6/£5

comedy glasgow festival
The Wee Man Facebook

“Think an 8 Mile style rap battle atmosphere mixed with a comedy show.” That was how The Wee Man described the event he will be hosting when talking exclusively to Glasgow Living.

“The audience tends to be more of a comedy audience though so some of the content  may be a bit different to your usual rap battle. The performers can get away with a bit more in this environment.”

Glasgow’s own The Wee Man will MC the event that pits rappers against comedians in a lyrical putdown showdown. It could get messy. And that’s just the audience’s humour induced incontinence.

“The show has always been well received and I hope this time will be no different. A west-end pub isn’t your typical setting for a rap battle!”

The show will again feature the hilariously sharp Kirsty Morrison, whose head to head with burly rapper Ryza stole the show during the shows 2016 Comedy Festival slot.

Soccer FM: The Live Podcast

Sunday 26th March, Liberté – 241 North Street, 15:30, £5

Glasgow comedy festival
Image: Soccer FM Facebook

Funnymen Ray Bradshaw and Steven Mill go live with their popular podcast poking fun at all things related to the beautiful game. Football funnies and a venue that serves prosecco on tap. Cheers!

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival runs from 9th-26th March with shows at venues across the city.

Seen a show? Let us know your verdict in the comments section below.

By Alistair Sargent