My Edinburgh: Josh Widdicombe finds watching other comedians a struggle


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The Independent Culture

I am trying to go and see more shows this year. You'd think, at the Edinburgh festival, that watching shows would be a given. For a month my life is a combination of the world's largest arts festival and day upon day of free time - what else is there to do? A lot, it turns out. I am good at finding excuses. Last year the Olympics was on TV, I can't miss history in the making. And the year before that we had a Playstation in my flat. I'm only human.

This year is different, I am trying to go to see other people's shows. I think the reason a lot of comedians struggle to watch other shows in Edinburgh is because you can never put your own show out of your mind. You might be watching your friend perform but all you can think is: Will I get an audience like this tonight? Should I be doing a show more like this? That is good music to come on stage to, why didn't I also choose The Weathergirls?

But this year, because I am only here for two weeks and I am really enjoying performing my show, I am trying to forget that I am a comedian and just enjoy watching comedy. It turns out it is really good fun, finally I understand what all the fuss is about. No wonder comedy is so popular. I finally get it.

Josh Widdicombe: Incidentally..., Assembly George Square, 9pm, to 15 August, not 9 (0131 623 3030); The Last Leg is on Wednesday nights at 10pm on Channel 4

My Edinburgh Must-See

Ivo Graham (Pleasance Courtyard, 6pm) A brilliant 22-year-old with mind of a neurotic three times his age. Has a gift for finding punchlines where you least expect them. Deserves to be hugely successful. Charlie Baker (Assembly George Square, 9.15pm). Playing the 13 biggest hits of the last 13 years in a show that is funny and stupid and brilliant.

Joke of the Day

"In many ways the Pope is like Doctor Who. He just keeps on being played by white guys."

Phil Wang, Pleasance Courtyard