Our selection of London’s alternative, clever and offbeat comedy gigs this week.
Josie Long's optimism, whether she's talking about politics or whimsy, is infectious so we throughly recommend these informal work-in-progress nights at Invisible Dot on 6-7 January (£8, 7.30pm). If you want a full evening of treats, combine her show with Mike Wozniak's work-in-progress straight afterwards on 7 January (£6, 9.30pm).
Bit of a generational divide, this. Older *cough* readers will remember Robert Newman from The Mary Whitehouse Experience and, with David Baddiel, the first comedian to sell out Wembley Arena. Then he dropped out of the spotlight, concentrating on more socially conscious writing and shows, which is why most people in their 20s will be reading this paragraph with blank looks of non-recognition. Look: he's really funny, and he's doing his New Theory of Evolution show at the Soho Theatre 6-18 January (£10-£15, 7.15pm).
Robin Ince and Michael Legge
Two angry men get angry and shout funny things, angrily, at the Comedy Cafe Theatre in Shoreditch on 7 January (£5, 8pm).
Unfairly maligned as a posh twat, Jack Whitehall's doing a big UK tour later this year. But here's a chance to see him in a smaller venue (the Cockpit in Marylebone) for less money (£10 / £9) as he hones the material. 10-11 January, 7.30pm
Z List Dead List
Iszi Lawrence presents a night of rediscovering semi-obscure figures from history. Go to the Camden Head on 12 January and see Paul Ricketts, Elf Lyons (who we like a lot), Deborah Hyde and QI Elf Stevyn Colgan, £5, 4pm.