Even in our darkest times we still have the capacity to laugh about life – and it’s clear we’re going to need lots of humour injected in to 2020.
Help is at hand from some of the nation’s top funny men and women who are planning tours this autumn which take in various Liverpool venues.
Catch comedy everywhere from regular club nights at locations like Hot Water and Laughterhouse to special one-off shows at the arena, Philharmonic Hall, Unity, Epstein and Royal Court Studio.
Some are well-known faces from the television, while others are at the top of the live comedy circuit. Or why not catch some stars of the future while they are on the rise?
Here is a list of some of the names who are set to tickle our ribs and turn on the laughing gas later this year.
Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny
Philharmonic Hall – September 6
Carr’s new show contains jokes about all kinds of terrible things. Terrible things that might have affected you or people you know and love. But they’re just jokes - they are not the terrible things.
Having political correctness at a comedy show is like having health and safety at a rodeo - you’ve been warned.
Chris Turner: Rap God
Hot Water Comedy Club - September 15
Award-winning performer and viral YouTube sensation Chris Turner presents his most ambitious show yet: a one-man comedy and hip-hop spectacular. Jaw-dropping freestyles, hilarious stand-up, and dextrous raps combine for an hour of high- octane musical comedy that will have even the most avowed Kanye-haters nodding their heads to the beat.
A UK-born, USA-based improv superstar, Turner has spent the last year selling out shows in Los Angeles, writing for Epic Rap Battles of History, and headlining shows at New York’s world-famous Comedy Cellar.
Mark Watson: How You Can Almost Win
Unity Theatre – October 10
In 2017, Mark Watson – a man prone to considerable anxiety, with multiple phobias and a history of piss-poor self-esteem – was asked to go on Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls.
It really wasn’t for him at all because his favourite things include safety, comfort, food and not being scared and miserable.
But the experience changed the shambolic comedian for the better, and now he’s written a sort of motivational talk about what it taught him. But still with jokes.
Tez Ilyas: Populist
Hot Water Comedy Club – October 18
The new stand-up show from the star of The Tez O’Clock Show (Channel 4), TEZ Talks (BBC Radio 4) and the multi-award-winning Man Like Mobeen (BBC Three).
Join Ilyas as he uses his trademark silly, smart and subversive approach to pit ordinary people against the establishment.
Expect huge laughs, groans and shocks as he confronts the state of the world with his cheeky, provocative flair.
Philharmonic Hall – October 23
Dillie Keane, Adèle Anderson and Liza Pulman are back, with a selection of old favourites, songs you haven’t heard before and some you wish you’d never heard in the first place.
With three Olivier Award nominations and more than 25 million YouTube and Facebook hits for Cheap Flights and their incredibly rude Christmas song, the numbers are hilarious and topical – and the glamour is unstoppable.
Jon Richardson: The Knitwit
Philharmonic Hall – October 28
Will the recycling be put out on the right day? Who is going to smooth over the top of the margarine? How many lights are on upstairs when everybody is downstairs? Watch Richardson pretend that these aren't his foremost concerns as he leaves home on his first tour since the last one.
Richardson is best known as a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Channel 4), host of Dave’s Ultimate Worrier, new sitcom Meet the Richardsons, as well as Would I Lie To You (BBC One), Have I Got News For You (BBC One), Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow (BBC One), and Taskmaster (Dave).
David O’Doherty: Whoa Is Me
Auditorium @ M&S Bank Arena – November 6
Here he comes again, trotting on to the stage with all the misplaced confidence of a waiter with no pad. Is he going to remember it? Oh yes he is.
There'll be lots of talking, some apologising and some songs on a glued together plastic keyboard from 1986.
As seen on Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and BBC's Live At the Apollo.
Jason Byrne: Audience Precipitation
Epstein Theatre – November 7
Byrne has learnt over the past few years that we all need to “play” a bit more in our lives.
With this in mind he will do what he does best, connecting with the audience in a way no other comic can. Whether it’s inviting or dragging (as it has been known) people up on to stage and making a holy show of them.
Byrne promises his Audience Precipitation will be a laugh out loud, must see show, with a light drizzle of audience participation….
Rhys James: Snitch
Royal Court Studio – November 7
The Mock the Week regular - and star of his own BBC Radio 4 series - heads for the Royal Court Studio on his first national tour and in a show postponed from next month.
In early 2019, James was asked to go back to his school and inspire the Year 11s. Given that teenagers are a nightmare and there was no fee, he ghosted the teacher who had emailed.
Bit of a shame really, given that he's figured out the true circle of life, has solved parenting despite having zero children, and even thinks he can predict the curriculum of schools in 50 years. Maybe he'll inspire some Year 11s in 2069?
Christ McCausland: Speaky Blinder
Epstein Theatre – November 10
He’s blind. He’s a dad. He’s a husband. He’s third in command. He’ll speaky about all of that, plus loads more nonsense in between.
Chris McCausland is heading back out on tour, but don’t worry, he’s got somebody else doing the driving.
As seen on Would I Lie to You?, Have I Got News for You, Live at the Apollo and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.
Milton Jones in Milton: Impossible
Auditorium @ M&S Bank Arena – November 22
One man. One Mission. Is it possible? No, not really.
Jones reveals the truth about being an international spy, before being given a disappointing new identity which forced him to appear on Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo.
But this is also a love story with the twist - or even a really bad sprain.
Just gloriously daft nonsense or is there a deeper meaning? Every man has his price. Sainsburys, where good food costs less.