The Boy With Tape On His Face, The Duchess Theatre, London

Kiwi mime artist Sam Wills tops off his Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award success earlier this year with a West End run of his winning show: a sweet treat, perfect for the season of goodwill and frivolous entertainment.

Reggie Watts, Union Chapel, London

Tonight he regales us with how Druids and Romans clashed in the time of Boudicca

Greg Davies: The Back of My Mum's Head, Hammersmith Apollo, London

Leaving the stage, Greg Davies describes his show tonight as one of the high points of his career.

The right prescription? Doctor Brown performs his mime act at Soho Theatre

Doctor Brown: Befrdfgth, Soho Theatre, London

The good Doctor defies mime and reason

Pedestrian flats and tickling highs are exactly what you get with John Bishop's latest offering

John Bishop: Rollercoaster Tour, 02 Arena, London

The title of his tour is 'Rollercoaster' and pedestrian flats and tickling highs are exactly what you get with John Bishop's latest offering.

Rob Delaney, Soho Theatre, London

If ever there was a room full of smug ticket holders, this was it. You can hardly blame them: Soho Theatre’s cabaret basement holds 150, and Rob Delaney has amassed 600,000+ followers on Twitter. Needless to say, these shows – the American comedian’s first in the UK –  sold out in minutes.

Michael McIntyre, The O2, London

If there had been a spot for stand-up in the London 2012 closing ceremonies, it would surely have gone to Michael McIntyre.

The Establishment, Ronnie Scott's, London

Pre-dating the birth of the Comedy Store and the explosion of the "alternative" club circuit by nearly 20 years, Peter Cook's short-lived club, The Establishment, was ahead of its time in showcasing politically nuanced live comedy.

Jon Richardson, Apollo Theatre, London

Richardson has a lot to get off his chest. Dirty skirting boards, children’s artistic ineptitude, olives – life is just one hardship after the next for the Lancastrian comic, whose latest show feels more like a therapy session than a stand-up set.

Pajama Men: Improv Show, Soho Theatre, London

For their latest show this sharp-witted and usually slumberwear-clad pair, who you'll normally never catch sleeping, have cast off crafted lines and practised clowning - and their normal stage attire - in favour of freeform improv in casual clothes.

Magnus Betner

Magnus Betner, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh
Des Bishop, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh
Max and Ivan, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Comedian Dies in the Middle of a Joke, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

If comedy is the new rock 'n' roll, then Magnus Betner may be its Lou Reed: deadpan, downbeat and determinedly difficult. The Swede tells us he is a "fucking superstar" in his home country, though it's hard to tally that with the jaded figure who explains he couldn't be bothered to give his show a name. "People would go to something because of the title? How stupid is that?" he seethes. Duly, his set is austerely gimmick-free. A vitriolic jeremiad sees him weighing in on numerous "horrible, tragic" news stories – his preferred kind – with provocative one-liners and skewed sermonising. Given the ground covered, it's inevitably a mixed bag – his rundown of the Aids "hierarchy" was as trenchant as his analysis of the Batman shootings was glib. But, in an hour that inspires as many awkward silences as laughs, his uncompromising commitment to serious humour is a perversely admirable thing.

Totally Tom, Underbelly, Bristo Square, Edinburgh

There is a double helping of promise in this show from Totally Tom - better known as Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton (son of broadcaster, Ed).

Sam Fletcher: Good on Paper, Bannerman's Free Fringe, Edinburgh

In a dank back room of a pub, in an unlovely daytime slot on the Free Fringe, Sam Fletcher has created a tiny world of wonder. It's a delight to spend an hour there.

Lou Sanders: “I waited an hour for my starter so I complained: ‘It’s not rocket salad”

Lou Sanders: And Now for a Nice Evening with Wallan, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

In a year of high-octane show openings, Lou Sanders, self-styled "Beyonce of comedy", might just have the best. It's certainly the only one involving techno, pink tights and rollerblades.

Joe Lycett: Some Lycett Hot, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Though this 24-year-old comedian fails to convince that he has brought a complete hour with him to Edinburgh, he does enough with this debut show to flaunt his potential star quality.

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