The enduringly funny joke about singer/entertainer John Shuttleworth - the wry creation of character comedian Graham Fellows - is that he's a failed celebrity. Where Ivana Trump wears designer ball gowns, Shuttleworth sports a red acrylic polo-neck and a burgundy car-coat. His tragic inability to hit the big time makes him oddly endearing. Fellows confirms that it was always his intention to make Shuttleworth "a really kind man". "I'm fed-up with angry comedians," he declares. "It's not very interesting when people like Ben Elton are in your face. People laugh at swear-words, you presume, out of embarrassment. Gentle comedy is a good 1990s antidote to the in-your-face style which came out of the yuppie, go-getting society of the 1980s." Shuttleworth returns with Ken's Karvery, another chapter in his unfolding story of showbiz near-misses.
Bloomsbury Theatre, Gordon Street, London WC2 (0171-388 8822) Tue to Sat
THE BEST OF THE REST
At his first Edinburgh Festival, in 1997, Johnny Vegas won a Perrier nomination. It was not hard to see why. Vegas demands attention on the grounds of originality alone - who else would make the throwing of a pot the focal point of a stand-up act? Following his Channel 4 Christmas special, he returns with an all-new live show, Swingin'.
The Talk of London, Drury Lane, London WC2 (0171-494 5397) Tue to Sat
Many stand-ups are spinning off into a form of personalised storytelling which is close to straight theatre. Owen O'Neill's Off My Face was a moving account of his struggle with alcoholism. Morton is entering similar territory with Blood Below the Window, his tale of how an accident as a teenager precipitated his first tentative steps towards adulthood.
Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead (01442 242827) Fri