Are your funny bones ready to be tickled? Between 10th and the 27th of March, Glasgow once again welcomes the cream of the international comedy world to the banks of the Clyde. Now in it’s fourteenth year Glasgow’s International Comedy Festival has risen from humble beginnings in 2002, and is now recognised as the largest festival of its kind in Europe.

GlasgowLiving popped along to The Stand in the West End for the launch of this year’s festival and somewhat foolishly plonked ourselves closer to the front of the stage than we would normally be comfortable with. What an error of judgement that turned out to be.

As soon as compere Chris Conroy, asked the seemingly innocuous question “what do you do for a living”. We responded with the universal symbol for writer and also (whispered) “journalist”, from that moment on our fate was sealed. Whether it be the sharp collective intake of breath from The Stand audience or the glee in the comedians eye, we were sure we were primed for a roasting.

In all fairness GlasgowLiving actually got off likely, we shouldn’t need too many therapy sessions to heal our fractured psyche’. All in good spirits though.

Many of the top names in the Glasgow comedy scene, presented The Stand crowd with a hint of what to expect from their upcoming shows. Names like Big Gary Little, Darren Connell, and Jamie Dalgleish all made an appearance showcasing 5 minutes of their act. The night was also introduced by the inimitable Fred MacAuley, sides were split and a few puzzled heads were scratched. If the acts full shows are on par with the five minutes they presented to the Stand audience, this year’s festival is a certain to be unmissable. (If it wasn’t already.)

With shows ranging from an actual bus parked in the Candleriggs (Bob Slayer’s Blunderbus) where you get the chance to challenge comedians to a board game battle, to watching Frankie Boyle making people squirm in their seat at the Clyde Auditorium, whatever your taste in comedy, Glasgow’s International Comedy Festival will have something that to appeal.

With appearances from Adam Hills (The Last Leg), Rob Delaney (Catastrophe), Chris Ramsey (Mock the Week) Russell Kane although if you prefer more home grown talents such as Des Clark, Janey Godley or even “Uncles” a brand new show from the creative minds of Iain Connell and Robert Florence aka Burnistoun, you can be sure of a laugh or five.

Scot Squad members Grado and Chief Commissioner Cameron Mickelson will be unveiling solo shows and the world’s most foulmouthed comedian/magician Jerry Sadowitz is set to make a few audience members cry with his fantastic brand of visceral comedy/magic.

Sarah Watson Festival Director had this to say about this year’s festival; “We’re proud to announce what I think is our best line-up yet, and look forward to taking over the city for eighteen comedy packed days. We always want to bring our audiences something different and exciting – it’s great that we are working with new ventures like Saint Luke’s, debuting brand new shows like Uncles from the creators of Burnistoun, and bringing top acts to the city, some of whom are visiting for the first time.

With 420 shows across 42 venues and a total of 109,000 tickets available, for eighteen days, our quick preview could never do the festival justice, but seriously you should check it out. Glasgow will literally be the funniest city in Europe, why don’t you come join in the laughter.

For more details and full gig and comedy listings visit http://www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com/