The Glasgow International Comedy Festival celebrates its 21st birthday as it returns to the city in March.

Over close to three weeks more than 500 events will take place, from family friendly shows to late night laughs.

Festival Director Krista MacDonald said: “We’re excited to reveal Glasgow International Comedy Festival’s biggest programme yet with 500 shows taking over the city this spring, bringing the very best of Scottish, UK and international comedy to the city’s doorsteps.

"The festival firmly believes that Glasgow is the funniest city in the world and we’re thrilled to showcase that with a brilliant mix of headline names and rising stars performing across our venues in March. 

Read More: 'It belongs to the city': Stand-ups launch Glasgow International Comedy Festival

“Comedy is such an integral part of Glasgow’s DNA - from conversations with strangers on a night out to some of the world’s greatest comedians, comedy plays a vital role in our city’s cultural identity. Glasgow International Comedy Festival allows us to celebrate and shine a light on that whilst nurturing the next generation of talent and enjoying sets from beloved comedians. We’re looking forward to welcoming fans to iconic venues in the city’s East End, West End and everywhere in between. We’ll see you at a show!” 

Glasgow Life Chair, Bailie Annette Christie, said: “As a much-anticipated annual highlight of our culturally rich events calendar, Glasgow International Comedy Festival celebrates the city’s famous appreciation of humour. The event is hugely popular with a broad range of audiences, and attracts the very best in established and emerging talent in comedy – and that’s testament not only to Glasgow’s reputation as a major player on the worldwide comedy stage but also its international renown as a great destination for entertainment.

“The programme for GICF’s special 21st birthday boasts a dynamic line-up spanning an eclectic variety of superb, truly inventive comedy so our city venues are looking forward to hosting audiences from all over Glasgow and much further afield for what promises to be a fantastic series of shows in March.”

Here's everything you need to know.

When is the Glasgow International Comedy Festival?

The festival runs from March 13 to 31st.

How do I get tickets?

You can see the full line-up and how to get tickets on the festival's website.

Who are the big names playing at the festival?

The Herald:

Frankie Boyle will bring his Lap of Shame tour to the King's Theatre on March 25, with many other big names appearing across the run.

Elaine C Smith, Susie McCabe, Reginald D Hunter, Ed Gamble and Frank Skinner will all be performing shows.

Is it all stand-up?

No there are a variety of comedy stylings to enjoy.

There will be live versions of podcasts such as Enjoy An Album and the Old Firm Facts Podcast, improv comedy such as Yer Da Wants A Word, sketch comedy, and a showing of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at the Imax at the Glasgow Science Centre.

Plus, 2024 will see the festival’s first ever comedy wrestling show with Insane Championship Wrestling.

Are there any unusual acts?

Wholesome Prison Blues returns to the festival for 2024, performing at Blackfriars on March 23.

The comedy troupe go into prisons to perform for the inmates, having done their first gig at HMP Low Moss in November 2022.

There's also EASTERBUNNY, a sketch show in which Sigmund Freud gives therapy to Adolf Hitler.

The Herald: Elaine C Smith, Zara Gladman and Mark Nelson

What are the venues?

Over 45 venues will host Glasgow International Comedy Festival events with shows in Blackfriars, Drygate, King’s Theatre, The Garage, The Glad Cafe, Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow Science Centre, The Glee Club, McChuills, O2 Academy, Oran Mor, Saint Luke’s and the Winged Ox, Sloans, The Stand Comedy Club, Van Winkle West End, August House and more. 

Anything else I need to know?

GICF will also host a free ‘Introduction to Comedy’ course for women and marginalised genders in the lead up to the festival, with the aim of ensuring comedy in Glasgow is open to everyone.