Review of the year - comedy

Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee Becoming a father should be a big enough deal in anyone’s year, but British comedy’s bossman also scooped the number 41 slot in Channel 4’s stand-up comic poll. And boy, did he make hay from that, conjuring the Fringe’s comedy highlight in the biggest room he’s played in. The lad could go quite far.

Joan Rivers During her Glasgow appearance in March, Dame Joan had to interrupt her show for a brief respite (‘I puked!’, we think she said on her return) and just carried on with her profane set. Professional to the last.

Mark Watson A year in which the actually not-Welsh comic brought out books and TV comedy dramas and could be heard on the wireless, just about finding time to tour the country and do another all-day Fringe marathon alongside his own nightly hour. He even managed to show up at his wife’s Fringe performance in a portable toilet near the purple cow.

Kristen Schaal Kooky probably doesn’t quite get close to describing this US comic actress’ appeal. But her messing around with shapes, colours and textures as well as throwing in the ghost of Winston Churchill all added up to a refreshing Fringe experience. She also cropped up as a scary fan on Flight of the Conchords’ BBC4 show.

Frank Skinner Having neglected the stage for TV sofas of various shades of red for a decade, the Midlands wag returned with a flourish, entertaining the same small room in which he won the Perrier back in 1991 before virtually ditching that show for an ever better one on his all-conquering autumn tour.

Sean Lock And the man better known these days for his show-stealing efforts on Channel 4 panel programmes also came back to the Fringe playing the same Pleasance room as Skinner before launching onto his own national tour. He’s quite famous, but should really be stratospheric by now.

Brendon Burns After years of banging away at his own psyche, Burnsy was given some kind of reward by scooping the second if.comeddies main prize. His show which threw up a mirror (quite literally) at the audience’s own prejudices was delivered with spine-tingling audacity. (Brian Donaldson)

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