Keith Smith’s Comic cuts

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THERE are plenty of comedians who have been on the circuit longer than Daniel Sloss (EICC, 6.30pm, until August 26, ****) has been alive that couldn’t carry off a set with such elegant ease as the baby-faced 21-year-old.

Despite his tender years, the Fifer is well on the way to superstardom, thanks to some smart observations and an innate understanding of how to both craft and then deliver a joke. Sure the subjects – relationships, politics and drugs – might be typical comedy fodder, but he manages to imbue each with youthful vigour, making it almost impossible not to like him.

Proving he’s the king of the rapid-fire funnies, Tim Vine (Pleasance Courtyard, 3.45pm, until August 27, ****) selects audience members to join him on stage as guest on his “chat show”, the star of which is always Vine. Like a human jokebook, he’s got a one-liner for virtually any occasion, skilfully using each scenario to demonstrate the depth and range of his material. Even the cheesy puns and groan-inducing gags get laughs, while some clearly spontaneous ripostes demonstrate an admirable ability to think on the hop and leave you grinning from ear to ear.

In a damning indictment of the hypocrisy of the British tabloid press, former Daily Star hack Rich Peppiatt pricks the pomposity of some of the individuals responsible in One Rogue Reporter (Pleasance Courtyard, 5pm, until August 27, ****). With the Leveson Inquiry drawing to a close, it’s a timely reminder that humour is often the best weapon. Well, that and some good old-fashioned comeuppance. Fortunately for us, but less so for the likes of Kelvin MacKenzie and Neville Thurlbeck, he’s forgotten none of the tricks of the trade, serving up two delicious scoops the red-tops would be proud of. With a knack for visual pay-offs and engineering devilishly devious scenarios, Peppiatt’s show is probably better suited to a TV format rather than stand-up, and it surely won’t be long until the networks come calling. Provided they can clear it with their lawyers first that is.