Comic Fringes

Comic Fringes

21 short stories by top comedians


A cracking collection of comic monologues, written and read by leading comedians

Recorded in front of a live audience at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this fantastic anthology features a host of diverse short stories, composed and performed by a veritable Who's Who of stand-up comedians. By turns hilarious and irreverent, poignant and bittersweet, together they make up a superb selection box of tasty treats.

Among the all-star line-up, Romesh Ranganathan tells a comic tale of unrequited love among the orangutans; Susan Calman takes a wry look at office politics; Jon Richardson explores the perils of internet dating; and Sarah Millican takes us into the worlds of a compassionate undertaker's assistant and an elderly woman who fears she's becoming invisible.

Russell Kane recalls his tempestuous ex; Aisling Bea recounts the dark, funny tale of a pensioner with murder in mind; Robert Florence reveals the shady doings of the Scottish branch of the Illuminati; and satirist John O'Farrell asks, 'what if Judas had written the Gospels'?

Also sharing their fantastic fiction are a wealth of other literary comics, including Sanjeev Kohli, Joe Lycett, Bridget Christie, James Acaster, Jenny Eclair, Shazia Mirza and Mark Watson. Short story fans, rejoice: here are five hours of some of the most charming, absurd, dark, thoughtful and funny tales you'll ever find in one place.

1. May Contain Nuts by Janey Godley
2. The Hair of the Dead by Sarah Millican
3. Gone Phishing by Jon Richardson
4. The Woman Who Sniffed by Susan Calman
5. Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Be in the Green by Patrick Monahan
6. On the Dot by Shazia Mirza
7. Stairlift Us Up Where We Belong by Sarah Millican
8. Spooky and the Van by Joe Lycett
9. A Difference of Opinion by Bridget Christie
10. The Three Times I Dumped Eleanor, and the Manner of Her Death by Russell Kane
11. Sorry For Your Loss by James Acaster
12. Club Sandwich by Mark Watson
13. The Understudy by Jenny Eclair
14. Kill Dilly by Aisling Bea
15. I Bought a Monkey To Stand Out in the New York Art Scene by Sanjeev Kohli
16. Love and Orangutans by Romesh Ranganathan
17. Bad Fairytale by Grainne Maguire
18. The Gospel According to Judas by John O'Farrell
19. Pick Me Up by Angela Barnes
20. Apocalypse Soon by Dane Baptiste
21. Cats Who Walk Like Gentlemen by Robert Florence

Production credits:
Produced by Kirsteen Cameron
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 25 August 2009-6 September 2015

© 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

About the authors

Sarah Millican

Sarah Millican has had 2 BAFTA nominations, 6 nominations for British Comedy Awards and won The People’s Choice: Queen of Comedy in 2011. Her debut DVD, Chatterbox Live, was the biggest selling stand-up DVD by a female comedian of all time. She has appeared on numerous comedy shows including QI, Mock the Week, Have I Got News For You, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Live at the Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and presented three series of her own show, The Sarah Millican Television Programme.
Learn More

Joe Lycett

Joe Lycett is a British comedian who has appeared on numerous TV shows including Live At The Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Celebrity Juice and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. His radio credits include hosting the BBC Radio 4 panel show It's Not What You Know.
Learn More

Bridget Christie

Learn More

Susan Calman

Susan Calman is an award-winning stand-up comedian, actress and writer. She won a Scottish BAFTA as one of the cast of the Channel 4 sketch show Blowout, and went on to appear in numerous TV and radio comedy shows including Fresh Meat, Dead Boss, Don't Drop the Baton, The News Quiz and The Now Show. She has also presented BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Pick of the Week. In 2013, her solo radio show Susan Calman is Convicted won 'Best Radio Comedy' at the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards.
Learn More

Jon Richardson

Jon Richardson is a stand-up comedian best known for his appearances on 8 Out of 10 Cats, Have I Got News For You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. His radio appearances include curating the third series of The Museum of Curiosity, appearing on 6Music's The Russell Howard Show and co-hosting (with Matt Forde) the TalkSPORT show The Warm Up.
Learn More

Russell Kane

Multi-award-winning comedian, presenter, actor, author and scriptwriter RUSSELL KANE is best known for the BBC Sounds podcast, Evil Genius which has become a flagship show and was the best performing original podcast on the platform. Russell’s other podcast, Boys Don’t Cry, also features regularly on the iTunes podcast chart.

Recent TV appearances include The Apprentice You’re Fired, Antiques Roadtrip, Stupid Man, Smart Phone and the host of three series of Live At The Electric. Other TV appearances include Live at The Apollo, Michael McIntyre's Big Show, Love Island Aftersun, Comedians Giving Lectures, 8 Out of 10 Cats, The Crystal Maze and Celebrity Juice.

Winner of Best Show in 2010 at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, Russell went on to make history as the first comedian to win both the Edinburgh Award and Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Barry Award in one year.

Russell is currently touring his sell-out show The Fast and The Curious throughout UK, Ireland and Scandanavia as well as continuing his ever-popular topical online rants Kaneings’.
Learn More

James Acaster

Learn More

Mark Watson

Mark Watson is one of Britain's most popular stand-up comedians. His comedy shows have won, among others, the Daily Telegraph Award, Time Out Best Stand-Up Award, Edinburgh Festival Panel Prize, and best shows at the Adelaide and Sydney Festivals. He has performed at every major international comedy festival and in more than twenty countries. He made comedy history at the Edinburgh Festival by performing for 24 hours, solo and without a break. He is a regular on many British TV shows and has had two highly successful BBC Radio 4 series, Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better and Mark Watson's Live Address to the Nation. He is the author of the novels Bullet Points and A Light-Hearted Look at Murder, and the non-fiction title Crap at the Environment. Mark Watson lives in London.
Learn More

Jenny Eclair

Learn More

Aisling Bea

Learn More

Romesh Ranganathan

Romesh Ranganathan is a comedian, actor and writer. A former maths teacher, he is now known for his award-winning series The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan, his weekly topical show The Ranganation, his sitcom The Reluctant Landlord and the BAFTA nominated Asian Provocateur, which features Romesh's mum.

Amongst all of this, he still manages to squeeze in time to record his award-winning podcast 'Hip Hop Saved My Life', to write his regular Midlife Crisis column for the Guardian, and to pen his bestselling autobiography, Straight Outta Crawley. DJ Muffin drops the Mic is his first children's book and gave him an excuse to write about two of his favourite things - hip hop and cake.
Learn More

Dane Baptiste

Learn More

Shazia Mirza

Learn More

Sanjeev Kholi

Learn More

Angela Barnes

Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more