The early stages of a comedian’s career are the most difficult, but they can also be the most innovative. Unafraid and unpolished comedians provide some of their rawest and most powerful work when unshackled by fame. It can also be an absolute car crash – but then, such is life. Manchester is lucky that it has such a wealth of comedy talent and new comedy nights and venues spring up all over the city to accommodate such funny humans. Here we’ve listed some of our favourite nights that showcase new comedy talent. They might not be perfect but y’know, even Louis CK used to be this guy.

Alex Boardman’s Young Guns
Host Alex Boardman presents four of his favourite acts from around the country, though mostly the North West, just for you. Which is ever so nice of him because not only is he an amiable and astute stand-up and compere, he also has very good taste in comedians. Manchester’s next big comedians can be found as one of Boardman’s Young Guns as he adopts the Terrence Stamp role and welcomes his comedy wards on to the stage. And not an Emilio Estevez in sight.
Third Sunday of every month. The Comedy Store, Arches 3-4, Deansgate Locks, M1 5LH. Tel: 0870 593 2932, 7.30pm, £6 – £8 (£4 adv)

Quippopotamous at Fuel
Promoting itself as ‘Free (but not shit) comedy’, Quippo is exactly that, bringing you four comedians from around the North West to the snug top floor of Fuel for comedy pleasure. Hosted by Jack Evans, it revels in a more surreal brand of comedy with an easy-going attitude you can’t help but get on board with.
Fourth Sunday of every month, Fuel, 448 Wilmslow Road, M20 3BW. 8pm FREE

Beat the Frog at Frog and Bucket (pictured)
A simple premise: try to last five minutes doing stand-up with the audience in charge of your fate. Simple, right? Not so much. With eight brand new acts trying their luck every week, you’re lucky if anyone manages to beat the frog. A much friendlier atmosphere than The Comedy Store’s rival Gong Show, beating the frog is that big first step in a young comedian’s life, before moving on to a longer set. That you don’t get paid for. It’s a hard knock life.
Every Monday, The Frog and Bucket Comedy Club, 102 Oldham Street, M4 1LJ. Tel: 0161 236 9805, 7.30pm, £3 (FREE for students), @frogandbucket 

Dead Cat Comedy Club
The most energetic man in comedy (provided Lee Evans is now dead), Red Redmond introduces his comedy peers for a free night of comedy at two great venues across the city. He has booked some great international stand up in the past including Canadian Wes Zaharuk who was phenomenal. Free comedy at its finest.
Third Monday of the month. Sandbar, 120-122 Grosvenor Street, M1 7HL. 0161 273 1552, 8pm, FREE
Fourth Monday of the month. TV21, 10 Thomas Street, M4 1DH Tel: 0161 819 2221, 8pm, FREE,

XS Malarkey at Jabez Clegg
A nomadic comedy night of sorts, it has moved from venue to venue before landing in Jabez Clegg earlier in the year. It’ an historic building for a historical comedy night – in Manchester at least. Over the years acts such as Stewart Lee, Jason Manford and Peter Kay have appeared at XS Malarkey. They’ve won the Chorlte Award for Best Comedy Club more than any other and host five comedians for your five pounds. Renowned for its top-notch headline acts just as much as its dedication to grassroots comedy, XS Malarkey is a Manchester institution.
Every Tuesday. Jabez Clegg, 2 Portsmouth Street, M13 9GB. Tel: 0161 272 8612, 8.30pm, £5 (£3 with a Malarkey card),

John Stansfield
Published on:
Thu 11 Jul 2013