Pundit: comedian Simon Brodkin will host tonight’s war of words

The inaugural UK Pun Championships will kick off tonight - it's punbelievable that we've never had one before...

Whatever your tolerance for silly one-liners, puns are really groan on us. You could say we are in the grip of a global pun-demic. Indeed, if the pun is to wordplay, as William Safire, the late New York Times writer said, "what dominatrix sex is to foreplay – a stinging whip that elicits groans of guilty pleasure" then we have rarely been keener gluttons for pun-ishment.

Robert Newman: The comedian on freestyle skating, West End lies and evolution

I doubt anyone has had a fulfilling experience going to an arena-comedy gig Big-show arenas are compromised ergonomically, though I blame myself for the success of them, as I set a bad precedent. [Newman and his then-comedy partner David Baddiel were the first comedians to sell out the 12,000-seat Wembley Arena, in 1993.] I felt discombobulated and everything was out of time. Even the great Steve Martin struggled [with arena-sized shows]. My favourite gigs are places with low ceilings and the smell of gig juice on the floor.

A universally acknowledged booth: Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza in an advertisement for ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’

The Week in Comedy: Jerry Seinfeld's race rant is no laughing matter

Jerry Seinfeld is the world's most successful comedian. Thanks to Seinfeld, a sitcom about nothing that ran for a decade and is regularly named the best television show of all time, he is now worth an estimated $800m.

Game for a laugh: the Chuckle brothers

The Chuckle Brothers: Life after television for Barry and Paul Elliott

The brothers are back in the spotlight – courtesy of the Dave Lee Travis trial

Virgin territory: scenes from Louis C.K.’s 1998 debut film, ‘Tomorrow Night’, with Steve Carell

The Week in Comedy: Zany debut that set Louis C.K. on his way

Long before Anchorman and the American Office, Steve Carell played Mail Room Guy without Glasses. And long before Parks and Recreation and the Golden Globes, Amy Poehler was Woman Sprayed with Hose. Now superstars of comedy with Hollywood at their feet, both had their first, minor film roles in Tomorrow Night, alongside another comedy titan of the future, Louis C.K.

The duo in 2007

Punt & Dennis: Ploughing on Regardless, comedy review

Hexagon Theatre, Reading

The Establishment Club, comedy review

Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill, London

Stand-up comedian and controversial crowd-pleasing philosopher Dieudonne on stage in Bordeaux

An act of cruelty: An audience with Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, the man behind the 'quenelle' salute

Dieudonné M'bala M'bala is the man behind the 'quenelle' salute. His fans claim the stand-up represents free speech. Others say he is just a hateful anti-semite. John Lichfield joins the crowd at his latest gig

Top gear: Peter Kay will star in new sitcom 'Car Share'

The week in comedy: Peter Kay steers the BBC in a new direction with latest project Car Share

Peter Kay's latest project, Car Share, due to be broadcast in the spring, will make BBC history. It's the first television comedy that the corporation has commissioned to be shown first on the internet – on their streaming service, iPlayer – before being transmitted later on terrestrial TV.

David Baddiel gives his music, film, comedy and books picks

David Baddiel: 'Blue Jasmine isn't Woody Allen's greatest work, but I liked it'

Cultural Life: The comedian on his favourite music, film, comedy and books

Tommy Tiernan: Stray Sod, comedy review

Soho Theatre, London

Kate Saunders as Sandra during the second series of 'Only Fools and Horses'

The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses

David Beckham will have a hoot appearing on 'Only Fools and Horses', says Kate Saunders, whose part in one classic episode was the most enjoyable week's work she's ever done

On the cutting edge: Johnny Vegas, from the Face of Satire exhibition at the BFI

The week in comedy: BFI's feast of fun shows British satire is in rude health

On 26 February, Spitting Image will celebrate its 30 birthday. BBC Four will mark the occasion with a special episode of Arena which promises to tell the “vexed and frequently hilarious story” of the sketch show which ran for 21 series between 1984 and 1996 and marked a high point in British satire.

Comedian Ruby Wax has talked openly about her depression

Study finds comedians are more inclined to have 'high levels of psychotic personality traits'

Stephen Fry, Spike Milligan, Paul Merton and David Walliams have all talked openly about their experiences with mental health problems

Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep in 'The Devil Wears Prada'

What's it like to work for somebody famous?

Take a letter, entertain my Aunt Sylvia and boil me 72 eggs. As recent revelations have shown, being a PA to the rich and famous can be an almost impossible task. Gillian Orr reports

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