A FLEDGLING comedy night has taken light-hearted aim at the Swindon Advertiser newspaper. 

For months now, Old Town Comedy Club has been taking place on the first Wednesday of every month and filling the top of The Hop pub to showcase up-and-coming comedy talent and work-in-progress shows from established professionals. 

The night is the brainchild of Sam Michael who also acts as compere, and on Wednesday, July 5 he held his final show before taking a summer break which was headlined by Stuart Goldsmith. 

Goldsmith treated the Swindon audience to his new show ahead of an Edinburgh Fringe run and in an extraordinary act of hubris, which he even admitted, he attempted to make the current climate crisis and potential end of the world funny - and succeeded. 

The Swindon crowd were mostly on board with the comedic lessons on ways to reduce our carbon footprint and environmentally unfriendly behaviours. Some boos were reserved for mention of Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion, but Stu's bumper set was very well-received. 

Before Stuart were three very different up-and-coming comedians, one was self-deprecating and also managed to stay on the right side of mean-spiritedness with audience interaction, another played up to his awkwardness with a sex-themed set and the third had some great material about this family - all very funny. 

And the whole thing was held together by Sam Michael who kept up his compering work full of the usual friendly patter and ongoing in-jokes like his repeated mentions of the fact that he's a Stand Up For Cider finalist.

Since finding out about it, Michael has thoroughly enjoyed the fact that a local journalist (me) has regularly been in the audience and has weaved the newspaper into his segments for laughs as well. 

Initially, he put me on the spot by getting him to justify some of the more ridiculous headlines the paper had published, then at another night he asked people to guess which headline was real out of three fakes, and they were, of course, all ridiculous. 

Not one to miss a trick, this show also included a bit revolving around the Adver, with Michael 'humbly' playing down that the night was reviewed in the paper, before then reaching for a 'nearby' paper to 'swat a fly' only to proudly display the article with his face front-and-centre on it. 

He has often pointed out how ill-advised it is to poke fun at a journalist during his shows, but luckily he gets away with it because his comedy nights are full of laughs and extremely good value for money.