IF YOU were lucky enough to have tickets for the Comedy Benefit Night at the Wellsprings Leisure Centre you'll probably agree it's the funniest night Taunton has ever played host to.

The evening was organised by Trish Caller of Genius PR for Taunton-based charity Stand Against Violence.

And it saw people from Somerset and beyond flock to see the West County's favourite comedian Russell Howard and guests.

Compere for the night was Geoff Whiting - a stand up comedian with over 16 years of experience.

Geoff's been to Taunton many times and always goes down well with the crowd.

He charmed many of the audience, and joked about how cats are cleverer than dogs.

He geared us all up in between acts and dealt with a rowdy but harmless group of women well.

First up was Welshman Steve Williams, who joked about what a great city centre Taunton was and then was heckled into telling us some sheep jokes - a little too crude to mention here but funny nonetheless.

His act was mainly full of anecdotes but this wasn't a bad thing and combined with some witty observations, he made a great start to the evening.

A personal favourite part of the act was the difference you get when shopping in Waitrose and Lidl.

The next time someone asks for a pain au chocolat, all I'll be thinking of is a Kit Kat sandwich.

Next up was dad-of-two Steve Hall, a friend of Russell's who has been on his show before.

Most of his material too was personal recollections, sometimes his jokes were very close to the mark but you couldn't help but laugh at him.

Let's face it, we all know a child who we think is a little bit of a terror and we've all done questionable things that we hope we've managed to get away with when drunk.

Fellow Bristolian Becky Brunning was up next.

She's fairly new to the comedy scene, but she's definitely one to watch.

Her geeky charm was the whole appeal of her set, she was slow to start off but left me wanting to see more of her jokes.

Her rap/rhyme on people and things beginning with two B's was very witty and clever and she led us on a rollercoaster with her struggle to pass her driving test - which she managed after nine attempts, four instructors and in three different countries.

But the star of the show was of course Russell Howard.

The Bristol-born funnyman had us in stitches the whole way through the set - in fact my sides and cheeks are still hurting today.

Russell brought a whole new heap of material for Taunton to enjoy and boy did it go down a treat, we were all enjoying ourselves so much that he was heckled for more.

As always, Russell delivered a great mix of his own stories and comments on life in general, including the NHS, education and how he doesn't believe in love at first sight (that's down to his lazy eye he says).

I think most of us would love even more so to meet his mum and brother - who he describes as even funnier than himself.

The memories Russell shared of his brother running around Tesco naked aged seven, while being chased by his father, and the reaction of an Aussie bloke opening the door to Russell weeing on his brother's leg (he had been stung by a jellyfish) were hilarious.

What's so loveable about Russell is the fact he's so down to earth and so relatable in his material - he says what we're all thinking.

A huge well done to Trish Caller for bringing such laughter to Taunton and all in aid of charity.

It is so far estimated that the night including ticket and raffle sales, has raised around £20,000.

  • Were you there? Share your favourite part of the evening with us by commenting below or emailing danielle.morris@nqsw.co.uk