Once upon a time in the year 2000 a comedy club opened in a Glasgow basement. Since then, thousands of Glaswegians have realised that a good laugh can lighten the spirits of even the grumpiest weegie – who hasn’t seen the sun for five years and has taken up wearing a traffic cone on their head à la Wellington cos one more broken umbrella stuffed forlornly into a bin will be the death of them.

Philosophers have argued for centuries about what comedy is, where it comes from, what makes it so funny… I reckon if the last few years are anything to go by, the answer is probably to be found at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, and that can be your first reason to get your giggle on. Have a look at our top picks here, and get planning for the festival, which will run from 10-27th March.

1. They have food

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a comedy fan, you are (probably) a pizza fan, right? Or at least a lunch fan. Head on down to Yes Bar for comedy and food for just ten pounds. Maybe you’ll see the next Frankie Boyle? Maybe you’ll be ridiculed for having a face covered in stringy mozzarella and tomato sauce? Maybe you’ll enjoy it? I am honestly already in stitches with all the cheese jokes that this post has brought to mind. Pizza and comedy. Glasgow Comedy Festival organisers… we salute you.

2. They can entertain your kids

Easter Bunny

Easter bunnies, magicians and balloon modelling, oh my! The Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre are preparing to welcome all the kids (and their parents) for a Sunday Funday with Alex the Magician. There will also be the chance to make your own masks and puppets and put on an Easter show, or just sip coffee and sample the home baking whilst the kids tire themselves out of that massive sugar rush we like to call Easter Sunday. Everyone wins.

3. Confessions from Ardal O’Hanlon (we love you, Father Dougal)

Comedian, actor and author Ardal O’Hanlon brings his stand up show to Glasgow, and while he has worked his comedy magic on an impressive range of entertainment delights, to me he will always be beloved Father Dougal. In saying that, he is a critically acclaimed and sought-after stand up, and we can’t wait to see what his Festival show will deliver.

4. Board Games with Comedians

All aboard Bob’s Blunderbus for the unlikely hit of the Edinburgh Fringe – a show where you pay just 5 pounds to be beaten at monopoly and ridiculed by comedians. Could things BE any more fun?! Invite all your most competitive friends, sit back, relax and enjoy watching them get wound up and starting fights with scrabble dictionaries. More info here.

5. Dylan Moran won’t let you Off the Hook otherwise

He might make rambling, hilarious standup seem like the easiest thing in the world, but Dylan Moran has recently become the first Western comedian to perform in Saint Petersburg, amongst other great accolades, and there is no doubt that his brand of eagle-eyed observational comedy is nothing short of genius. Don’t miss your chance to catch him in action on March 13th.

6. Lots of Home-grown Comedy

The great Scottish people are known to have a certain breed of humour: fairly wry, heavy on the banter but not so much that it ever seems like we’re enjoying ourselves because we are SCOTS and IT RAINS ALL THE TIME and WANKSHITE. Ama right? The Comedy Festival might be international, but there are plenty of locals representing, such as Alan Young, Christopher Macarthur-Boyd and Fern Brady amongst several others. Get along to a show and support the home-grown talent. They’ll thank you for it one day.

7. Old School Comedy

As the world’s oldest surviving Music Hall, Glasgow’s own Britannia Panoptican has been entertaining the masses since the 1850s and knows a thing or two about a good old fashioned laugh. The excuse just to see this gorgeous relic is reason enough to go, but as a special comedy festival treat, the hall will be showing classic silent comedy films (think Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy) with musical sound effects, as they would have been seen in days gone by at an afternoon at the pictures.

8. Romesh Ranganathan might get irrationally upset if you don’t

When he isn’t pointing out the vital flaws in much-loved kids films (he does have a point, though, Nemo is a wee shite), Romesh Ranganathan is busy establishing a firm place on the comedy circuit, gracing shows from Live at the Apollo to Mock the Week, and the ex-maths teacher is now set to bring his stand up show, entitled ‘Irrational‘ to the Glasgow Comedy Festival. Not to be missed.