You’ve almost forgotten what blue sky looks like, the pre-Christmas excitement has long since dwindled and everyone is telling you 15 January is the most depressing day of the year. Here to dispel the gloom are seven of Bristol’s funniest nights close to that supposedly dismal day…

comedy january

Image credit Tom-Glendinning

Belly Laughs @ various venues

Bristol comedian Mark Olver is putting together a feel-good feast this January to raise money for The Julian Trust charity who work with homeless people in Bristol. Working with some of Bristol's finest bars and restaurants, including Box E (11 Jan) and Pinkmans Bakery (20 Jan), punters will be able to watch great comedians and enjoy a yummy bite to eat too. Mark will also be holding a comedy masterclass at Harts Bakery (18 Jan) to give would-be comedians a helping hand with honing their talents. Take a look at the Facebook page for more details.

Mark Olver

Image - Mark Olver

The Little Live Hyena Show @ Bristol Improv Theatre - 13 January

The Little Live Hyena Show is billed as a joyous and unexpected experience. Prepare yourself for a wondrous night of music, comedy and cabaret based on the surreal Petite Hyène style popular in Paris in the 1930s.

Stand up for the Weekend with Ian Stone @ Hen and Chicken - 13 January

Comedy Box’s regular live stand-up nights at venues, The Hen and Chicken and Tobacco Factory Theatres, have launched the career of many a household name. Ian Stone, described as an edgy and provocative topical act, performs with special guests George Zach and Peter Brush – expect much merriment throughout.

Nincompoop @ The Wardrobe Theatre - 14 January 

The Old Market Assembly is home to the Wardrobe Theatre, where this side-splittingly funny, monthly night of alternative comedy takes place. Anything can happen and quite often does. This unpredictable event showcases new ideas in comedy, clowning, fooling, slapstick, mime, audience participation, mischief and tomfoolery. Previous Nincompoops have included a man pouring a can of spaghetti hoops over his head and a biscuit eating competition (a dog in the audience won).

Nincompoop wardrobe theatre

Image - Nincompoop at Wardrobe Theatre

A bunch of Japes Stand-Up Comedy New Material Night @ Smoke and Mirrors Boutique Pub and Magic Theatre - 15 January

A great value stand-up comedy night that takes place every Monday at Smoke and Mirrors – the UK’s only Boutique Pub and Magic Theatre  (tickets are £3.50 in advance or £5 on the door). Hosted by local comedian George Rigden and friends, expect two hours of chuckles and frivolity. Previous performers have included Russell Howard, Russel Kane, Josh Widdecombe and Romesh Ranganathan.

Smke and mirrors

Image - Smoke and Mirrors

Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera @ The Wardrobe Theatre - 15 January - 2 July

Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera is the world's longest improvised narrative having run at The Wardrobe Theatre fortnightly for over 6 years and over 125 episodes. The show is an unscripted, live, spontaneous and unique theatrical experience - think Twin Peaks meets League of Gentlemen via Eastenders; a soap opera packed with drama, comedy, romance and farce. Hilarious and uplifting.

Milk Poetry’s Milk All Star Slam @ The Room Above- 15 January

Be wowed by words at Milk Poetry’s annual birthday Milk All Star Slam which takes place at The Room Above (St Michael’s Hill) on 15 January. Competing against one another will be some of last year’s favourite poets from Bristol and beyond. There’s also music and cake. 

Bristol Slapstick festival @ various venues, 26-28 January

Christopher Biggins, Jo Brand, Ade Edmondson and Lee Mack are among the stars who will be brightening Bristol this January by making debut appearances at the UK’s biggest festival of silent and classic screen comedy: SLAPSTICK. 25 events will be taking place at venues, including Arnolfini, Bristol Old Vic, Colston Hall and Watershed over the three days. Highlights will include Tim Vine hosting a gala triple bill of silent comedy classics with live music from the Bristol Ensemble, Jo Brand sharing clips and memories of her favourite comedy moments, Ade Edmondson and Nigel Planer re-uniting, Bill Oddie re-opening The Goodies’ songbook and Lee Mack revelling in the comedy of Laurel & Hardy.

Lee Mack’s Laurel & Hardy Classics

Image - Lee Mack's Laurel and Hardy, Bristol Slapstick Festival


Tobacco Factory Theatres
The Tobacco Factory

A popular theatre and café bar in Southville, with a programme of touring and in-house productions, childrens' and music events

Milk Poetry at The White Bear Pub
Poetry & Literature
Milk Poetry at The White Bear Pub

Milk Poetry is a regular poetry slam that provides a friendly and welcoming platform for performers and audience alike.

The Old Market Assembly
The Old Market Assembly

The Old Market Assembly is a responsibly out-of-control restaurant/theatre/bakery and music venue. It's quite simply Bristol's most exciting cultural venue. We can't think of a reason not to go.

Smoke and Mirrors Boutique Pub & Magic Theatre
Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke & Mirrors is the UK's only Boutique Magic Theatre & Pub. Located in the heart of the theatre district. This little entertainment bar is rated in the top 5 things to do in Bristol.

Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera at The Wardrobe Theatre
Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera at The Wardrobe Theatre

The unplanned, unscripted & unconventional cult comedy show continuing the world's longest improvised narrative every other Monday.

Nincompoop at The Wardrobe Theatre
Nincompoop at The Wardrobe Theatre

A face-achingly funny monthly night of alternative comedy where anything can happen and quite often does.


Bakery serving breakfast, lunch, salads, sandwiches, cakes & tarts, sourdough pizza, fully licensed.