Michael McIntyre

Come to the Cabaret: A darker diversion

Cabaret is back – but there is far more to it than light entertainment. Politically subversive, perfect for those jaded by bland Cowell proteges, these shows are shockingly modern, says Ben Chu

Channel 4's Comedy Gala, O2, London

Post-punk icon and inveterate grump Mark E Smith was recently asked what makes him most depressed; his answer was "all UK comedians". With a considerable number of tonight's 21 acts on poor form, partly due to over-runs, this charity gala could be admissible as evidence to support Smith's scything comment.

Cyberclinic: The slot machine you carry in your pocket

I'm sufficiently au fait with my own weaknesses to know that I ought to steer clear of computer games. I've had lapses that have verged on obsession over the years; Doom about a decade ago, World of Warcraft a couple of years ago – thanks to an assignment for this newspaper that got out of hand – and, more recently, Word Solitaire Aurora for the iPhone, which is like a never-ending episode of Countdown without the weak puns. But while playing these games I felt, however misguidedly, that I was undergoing some process of self-improvement. Doom enhanced my talent for blasting monsters into the ether.

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Tim Vine: The Joke-amotive, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

The moment Tim Vine utters the joke that won him the award for the Funniest Joke of the Fringe – "I've just been on a once in a lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what. Never again." – there's a huge roar of appreciation from the audience. Embarrassed, Vine observes that the award has killed the joke.