Our shows tend to follow the same basic model of one host, with two guest acts doing 10-20 minute sets, and sometimes short sets from the Comedy Academy kids too. We might even have on a grown-up act who has never gigged for a family audence before, testing the waters with a five-minute set, and possibly wondering what they’re doing on a bill with an old-hand who’s just nine years old.

Lots of stand-ups and sketch groups perform at the Comedy Club 4 Kids, from big names to upcoming stars. Just like any other gig, but swear-free. (Please note, not all content on comedians’ own websites may be suitable for children.)

Our very own Tiernan Douieb usually compéres, introducing comics like musician Mitch Benn, the acerbic Fern Brady, trickster Otiz Cannelloni, improvisers Comedy Sportz, the darkly comic Nick Doody, gregarious adventurer Tim FitzHigham, singer Jay Foreman, ever-charming Stu Goldsmith, the self-deprecating Ivo Graham, the exuberant Lee Kyle, sketch group Late Night Geek Fight, the delightful Laura Lexx, Aussie sketch duo The Listies, occasional swan-impersonator Elf Lyons, comic and archaeologist Paul Duncan McGarrity, the giddy Pat Monahan, trickster Martin ‘Bigpig’ Mor, time-travelling magicians Morgan & West, improviser and rapper Eleanor Morton, improvisers Noise Next Door, rocker Andrew O’Neill, CBBC’s Ed Petrie, the charming Kiri Pritchard-McLean, CBBC’s Howard Read, trickster Mat Ricardo, the masterful Rich Sandling, beatboxer Shlomo, poet Joshua Seigal, John Henry Falle’s Storybeast, the chipper Joe Sutherland, the off-kilter Ben Target, the laconic Luke Toulson, improviser Twig the Pixie, the cheery Ben Van Der Velde, veg orchestra player Faye Treacy, the effervescent Tessa Waters, the deft Tom Webb, snot-lecturer Joe Wells, riffmeister Paul ‘Silky’ White,and interactive computer-game show Wi-Fi Wars!
All doing jokes aimed at (and not at the expense of) children. And generally being great.

Some of our great acts include...

A few notable highlights from the last decade+ of shows include:

  • James Acaster using kids to crowd-source a letter hom to his parents, or even a Valentine – the children tend to go mad with power, making him declare the horrible things he smells of and disgusting place he lives, and delighting in him taking their every word VERY SERIOUSLY
  • Tom Allen getting the kids to advise him on good places to go on a date, and being told – by a very authoritative small child – that the best places are in a hedge or under a slide
  • Aisling Bea letting the kids use her as a Girl’s World style head, and make her up however they wanted
  • Dr Brown playing tennis with a singing tiger
  • Brendon Burns getting pro-wrestler Colt Cabana to pick up MC Thom Tuck and twirl him round like a ladder in a farce
  • Jason Byrne and Adam Hills creating both mayhem and a large fake man out of props they found hidden in a Bongo Club alcove, and – somehow – David O’Doherty‘s trousers
  • Adam Buxton presenting a specially curated selection of video treats, including the joy to be had in a small boy dancing to a lawn-sprinkler to the sound of the Prodigy
  • Rhys Darby impersonating a helicopter on a flyby
  • Foil, Arms & Hog being stage-invaded by a helium balloon octopus, floating gently down from the ceiling where it had been hiding unnoticed, and trying to join in a sketch about competetive sandcastle building
  • Deborah Frances-White explaining the Bechdel Test with girls from the audience and well-directed roleplay
  • Helen Duff getting children up onstage to impersinate foodstuffs, generally only easily guessable by other children if they are bananas
  • Mo Gilligan organising a catwalk of animal impersonators at a school show, the most outrageous thing to ever happen in that assembly hall
  • Ginger & Black, and ther dour dark songs going down so well, proving you don’t need to smile and act twee to fully engage a family crowd
  • Grace The Child,an actual child, wondering why more kids in the audience didn’t get her Paul Potts / Pol Pot material
  • Matt Green eliciting very specific pro-tips from kids on how to deal with squirrel home-invaders, includng the evergreen “move house”
  • Bec Hill getting some magnificent fart impersonators up from the audience to help as sound effects for her illustrated guff lecture
  • Matt Highton wearing a fake parrot found backstage as a sort of hat, desperately waving an empty cage and asking children if they had seen his pet, somehow unable to hear the yells that it is ON HIS HEAD
  • The Horne Section doing a disappearing sweetie trick with a trumpet
  • Robin Ince and Michael Legge singing a pair of seemingly never-ending songs for our edification and instruction
  • Jonny & The Baptists having kids clamour for their denim cut-offs, Jonny having decided to take scissors to his jeans mid-show and create shorts
  • Phill Jupitus (as Joop Joop the Panda), taking questions from the floor about his life as a panda
  • Butt Kapinski, Private Eye, solving a murder case in the dark, her suspects lit only by guilt and the light on her back
  • John Kearns losing his wig to a giddy child and leading the room in an impromptu singalong about butts, around a fortnight before he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for a beautifully constructed hour of gold
  • Nish Kumar getting children incredibly angry with his claims that the film ‘Frozen’ is about going to the shops to buy some beef, and furthermore trying to prove it with his impassioned song on the very same beefy quest
  • Tony Law being stage-invaded and upstaged by his tiny twins
  • Stuart Laws making his exhausted mascot dance, knowing that inside the costume is an increasingly resentful Mark Dean Quinn
  • Stewart Lee describing, in great detail, how he shrank down when he ignored is mother’s insistences to eat his greens
  • Josie Long giving an illustrated lecture that includes an A3 drawing of a really unlikely prawn
  • Joe Lycet doing his John Roast character, full of rhyming perils
  • The Punk Science duo using an audience volunteer, a bag of brown icing and the collective power of shouted directions to give a sense of what it is like for astronauts to use a toilet in space
  • John-Luke Roberts insulting an apple off a very rude boy’s head, a la William Tell (“you’re 90% pips!”)
  • Sara Pascoe getting as many children as would fit onstage to create the world’s biggest kid joke machine
  • Lucy Pearman, as an egg, clambering through an audience which included Edd Milliband, as we listen to Dean Martin singing of breakfast kisses
  • The Red B*st*rd doing an only slightly scaled-down version of his intense hour of physical exuberance in a 20 minute set, in his red bodysuit stuffed with balls so he looks for all the world like a malevolent bunch of grapes stalking the stage
  • Abigoliah Schamaun being fed a firestick by Prof. Sophie Scott
  • Jim Smallman, back when he still had some blank space on his arms, getting kids to draw on new tattoo ideas, including the phrase I AM AN IDOIT (sic)
  • Arthur Smith, having gotten seemingly every kid in the Udderbelly up onstage to show how fast they could run around him, managing to get them all to retake their seats by promising them money after the show…and literally giving one his watch there and then
  • Iain Stirling accidentally swearing in complimenting a Linus on his -ing incredble name, and being so profuse in his apologies he even got his mum to ring in and tell him off live onstage, Mrs Stirling then overstepping her brief and genuinely having a go at him about the state of his bedroom
  • Isy Suttie’s serenades
  • Mark Thomas soliciting ideas from the kids on how to make the world a better place, and thus determining we all need a free penguin and a zipwire to school
  • Trygve Wakenshaw taking a phone call on his shoe, in burbling French, and passing it to a small child, who cheerily continued the conversation
  • Phil Wang offering to a create a looped soundscape on any subject, and kids insisting it be about their fabourite political parties
  • Josh Widdicombe‘s story of his custard-filled wellington boots
  • Michael Winslow, from off of the Police Academy movies, doing his magic voicebox thing for a full tent at Camp Bestival
  • Glenn Wool taking to the stage to ask, with a wink, “anyone hear got a lonely mommy…?” and as the hands go up, adding “who likes gin..?”

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