There are some pretty iconic comedians who identify themselves within the LGBTQ+ community. We at The Edge have put together our favourite LGBTQ+ comedians, and why they stand out as our favourites.
Okay, in my opinion, comedians can either do stand up or panel shows, and there are only very few elite comedians who can do both. But nobody can do what Joe Lycett, or otherwise known as alter-ego Hugo Boss, can do. His unique style of combining consumer scoundrels and comedy has seen him crowned the king of complaint emails and a fierce ally in fighting for consumer justice.
Lycett has become a recognised comedian amongst the youth of comedy enthusiasts. His biggest stunts, including becoming Hugo Boss, feature in his Channel 4 show Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, alongside an assortment of celebrity guests and slapstick sarcastic sketches. Lycett also frequently makes references to his pansexuality and bisexuality that have now become part of his stand up routines.
Portsmouth born Suzi Ruffell began her career in comedy at only 23 years old. She has established herself as a great comic and has featured on many popular British comedy shows such as Mock the Week and The Last Leg, as well as doing a set for Live at the Apollo.
Suzi’s stand-up features stories of her life experiences, describing herself as “a bit of a confession comic”. Ruffell has no problem opening up about being gay and uses stories involving her identity in her performances. Her overall honesty in her stand-up makes her comedy increasingly captivating to the audience. Ruffell believes that her sexual identity doesn’t play that big of a role in her success as a comic, but believes “what makes any comic interesting is being authentic to themselves onstage”.
Suzi also works on her podcast, co-hosted with Tom Allen, called Like Minded Friends. It is “a podcast where two homo comedians talk about life, love and culture”. As well as her podcast with Tom, Suzi has recently started her own podcast, Out With Suzi Ruffell, in which she interviews a variety of LGBTQ+ guests about their lives.
Suzi is definitely an underrated comedian but has been tipped by many as one of the best upcoming acts for good reason.
Labelling himself as “the world’s only gay Anglo-Bengali GP turned stand up comedian”, Paul Sinha is well known for his appearances in professional quiz shows, such as University Challenge: The Professionals, Are You an Egghead? and Mastermind. In September 2019, he became the British Quizzing Champion.
His most recent appearances include his place on the 8th series of Taskmaster, where he came across as the least-skilled but most funny. His comedy is modest in itself, and Sinha seems like the type of guy you could go for coffee with easily.
On Twitter, he is open about a lot of aspects of his life. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s last year, and also married his partner a few months later. If you’re looking for someone smart, modest, funny and relaxed, Paul Sinha is where you can find this.
If you asked about Tom Allen many people would give you a confused look and just plainly shrug their shoulders at you. However, some people would remember many of his appearances on Channel 4 panel shows, not to mention him presenting Bake Off: The Professionals. For anybody unfamiliar with Allen (who seems to be anybody I talk to about comedy), he frequently makes references to his sexuality and his cockney upbringing whilst adding extravagant twists to his stories, which are usually drawn from everyday life and his personal experiences.
Despite crazy, almost unbelievable anecdotes, Allen’s style isn’t that of a typical comic that really, rubs you up the wrong way (I’m looking at you Jimmy Carr, oops). He strays from outdated offensive jokes and unnecessary swearing and shouting and instead uses his voice in subtle ways to highlight the punchlines of jokes, meaning his voice is one of the funniest things about his stand up. If you find yourself bored at home in the next few days, hop on to YouTube and watch a few of his Apollo performances, you’ll love him.
Perkins has been on several comedy based television shows, including Mock the Week and Room 101, as well as QI; but her television career is perhaps most well known for her stint on Bake Off, which she and Mel Giedroyc were the comedic relief, interacting with the contestants and reportedly ruining takes by swearing or naming brands when camera crew would film bakers in tears. More recently the pair starred in comedy miniseries Hitmen, which has cemented itself as one of my favourite comedy series of the year so far.
And who doesn’t love Sue Perkins?