It’s that time of year again when entertainers and performance artists from across the globe descend on Scotland’s capital city for three weeks of fun: yes, the Edinburgh Festival has arrived!
Running this year from the 7th-31st August, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (or ‘The Fringe’ as it often known) is officially the world’s largest arts festival. As an annual showcase for the performing arts, the Fringe has categories including Cabaret, Dance, Physical Theatre & Circus, Music and Exhibitions.
Undoubtedly though, one of the festival’s main selling points is comedy, with The Fringe having helped to launch the careers of many well-known comedians over the years, including Rowan Atkinson, Graham Norton, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie to name but a few. Indeed, the festival’s comedy element is so influential that it prompted the creation of The Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Established in 1981, the awards now represent the most prestigious comedy prize in the UK!
We all love a bit of a chuckle here at Roku, so as a tribute to Edinburgh’s celebration of the comedy genre, we’ve picked out some of the best stand-up entertainment available to stream via your Roku player:
To kick off your comedy viewing, we recommend ’20 Moments That Rocked Comedy’, which is available to stream via Roku’s Demand 5 channel. Taking a retrospective look at influential and controversial comedy moments, the show highlights performances by the cast of The Young Ones, Joan Rivers, Tommy Cooper, Russell Brand and many more. (Available until July 2016)
Over on Roku’s All 4 channel, there’s plenty of stand-up comedy to watch on-demand. Notably, viewers can watch highlights from the 2010 and 2015 editions of Channel 4’s Comedy Gala; an annual benefit show in aid of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. The Gala is recognised as “the biggest live stand-up show” in the UK and has featured some of the nation’s best comedians including: Alan Carr, Lee Evans, Noel Fielding, Jo Brand, Michael McIntyre, Russell Kane and more.
If you’re a fan of dead-pan comedy, then we also recommend re-visiting The Jack Dee Show. First broadcast in the early ‘90’s the series sees former Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Jack take to the stage at the fictional Bohemia Club, joined by an assortment of guests. Six episodes are currently available to stream via All 4.
Many Roku users will be familiar with Netflix as a great source of films, TV shows and documentaries, but did you know it also boasts an impressive selection of stand-up comedy performances?
Live at the Apollo sees famous comedians host the very best in cutting edge stand-up comedy, live from the legendary Hammersmith Apollo in west London. Series 7-10 are currently available on Netflix, and feature stand-up routines from Micky Flanagan, Rhod Gilbert, Eddie Izzard, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rich Hall and more.
Series 3 of the BAFTA-winning Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle is another of our top picks. Comprised mainly of stand-up routines based around a particular theme, the show has been praised by critics for its “intelligent comedy”.
Also available on Netflix is a selection of full shows including: Chris Tucker: Live, Lee Evans: Roadrunner Live at the O2, Alan Carr: Spexy Beast and legendary live performances from Eddie Murphy (Delirious, 1983) and Richard Pryor (Live on the Sunset Strip, 1982).
Comedy-specific channels on Roku
If you browse the ‘comedy’ category of Roku’s channel store, you’ll come across several channels dedicated solely to stand-up. We recommend ‘Comedy Time’, which features on-demand videos of American standup comedians, including Dax Jordan, Kendra Cunningham and Dwight Slade.
The ‘Stand Up! Channel’ is also worth checking out for its collection of stand-up comedy routines, podcasts and comedy skits from performers including Chad Daniels, Jimmy Shubert, Mike Stanley, Glenn Wool and more.
A long-standing relationship with the Fringe means that the BBC will be broadcasting a range of performances throughout this year’s festival, many of which will be made available on demand afterwards and accessible via Roku’s BBC iPlayer channel. In terms of stand-up shows, the lineup is one of the best yet, with the following comedians all set to perform:
Reginald D Hunter
…and lots more. So be sure to keep a check on Roku’s BBC iPlayer channel over the next couple of weeks for the best of the Festival’s comedy shows!