Observations: All in the (same) name of comedy

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The Independent Culture

What's in a name? Well, if you're called Thomas or Tom, it seems you're more likely to have funny bones.

A year or so ago, you couldn't move for Russells on the stand-up circuit as Brand, Howard and Kane all came to prominence. Now it's the turn of the Toms, with Basden (if.comedy newcomer winner in 2007), Wrigglesworth (shortlisted for the main prize this year), Craine and Deacon all rising through the ranks, not to mention Bell (of Tommy and the Weeks) and sketch troupers Parry (Pappy's Fun Club) and Tuck (The Penny Dreadfuls).



At this year's Edinburgh Fringe, a late-night conversation in the Pleasance bar gave birth to a night of "Tomedy" with eight comedy Toms on the bill. It played as part of the wonderful Five Pound Fringe, whose secret midnight One Night Only gigs - which also saw Mark Watson give a sneak preview of his 2010 show and sets from Andrew Maxwell and Simon Munnery - became the word-of-mouth hit of the festival. "As a joke, I said I'd do one, but only on a bill with other people called Tom," says Thom Tuck. "We announced it two days beforehand, I did some hand-made flyers and Twittered about it and we sold out straight away."



Now, the comedy programmers Good Sense of Humour are reviving the idea for a new monthly night, tom:foolery, in Soho. The first has Toms Parry, Meeten, Webb, Wateracre, Allen and Rosenthal on the bill, with Tuck signed up as regular "tom:pere". There's more fun to be had with tom:bola and tom:trumps, while Basden and Wrigglesworth are signed up for later dates. Toms, naturally, get in for £1.



tom:foolery, 21 October, The Escape Bar, 8-10 Brewer St, London W1

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