December comedy picks: The best comedy in Manchester this month

John Stansfield

Our comedy picks for Manchester in November – including Josh Widdicombe, Phill Jupitus compering and a Christmas Ding Dong.

Finding good comedy at Christmas can be a tricky affair; everybody loses their sense of humour. Kidding… It’s more that the swathes of office parties and Christmas dos that infest the local clubs make it difficult to see the comic for the drunken hecklers. This December, though, there is a rather healthy dose of comedy – hopefully at venues that the hordes will avoid. So, with good cheer (and high tolerance) – go forth!

Group Therapy Christmas Ding Dong at Gorilla

Finishing a very successful year with a spectacular Christmas blow-out are the fine folk at Group Therapy; they provide not one, but two headline acts. Back to back Foster’s winner John Kearns and Powerpoint maestro David Trent are the real draw but an unlikely turn from Phill Jupitus as master of ceremonies is arguably the most exciting prospect for this night jam packed with talent. 5 December, Gorilla, 7pm. Tickets £12

Quippodrome at Gullivers

Manchester’s chief purveyors of weird host a final festive evening for the year at Gullivers on Oldham Street. With a host of offbeat characters including the ‘King of Christmas’ and ‘Walter 77’ (the best and only surviving post-apocalyptic stand up) Quippodrome mark themselves as a unique and sometimes terrifying voice on the British comedy scene. The grinchified musings of Michael J Dolan only help increase the feeling of hilarious dread. 7 December, Gullivers, 7.30pm. Tickets £4

Josh Widdicombe at The Lowry

The ubiquitous Devonian takes a step outside the telly box for a nationwide tour. Showing his hugely impressive observational and quick witted skills on the likes of Mock the Week, QI and The Last Leg (as well as his own sitcom on the beeb) Widdicombe has proven himself as one of the UK’s most bankable comics. Well worth taking a chance to see him live rather than continue to watch him for free on TV. 8 December, The Lowry, 8pm. Tickets £19

Noel Fielding at The Lowry

The man behind the haircut is going on tour for the first time in five years – and he’s inviting you to come with him. Maintaining his childlike sense of wonder and imagination even while moving into his 5th decade on this earth, Fielding is still a surreal mastermind with characters both old and new ready to dazzle an audience willing to spend an evening in his company. You won’t regret it. 10 December, The Lowry, 8pm. Tickets £28-41

Sidekick Comedy at Via

Usually swinging in on the last Monday of the month, one of Manchester’s most reasonably priced comedy nights pushes forward a couple of weeks in order to give you that little bit of extra Christmas cheer. Tonight they have rising star Tom Little, Jade Fearnley and Lydia Bernsmeier-Rullow in the middle section and a headline set from former Beat the Frog World Series winner Jay Hampson. All for just £2, and with the added bonus of the delightful Kate McCabe on compering duty. 14 December, Via, 7.30pm. Tickets £2

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