Stewart Lee's history of stand-up on TV
Thinking inside the box with the maverick comedian
Iconoclast comedian Stewart Lee knows TV's delicate relationship with live comedy better than anyone. Ahead of his Comedy Central series showcasing leftfield comics he outlines the history of stand-up on television…
Picture credit: Steve Ullathorne.
‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’ (1955-74, ATV)
Youthful scouse mod Jimmy Tarbuck and an already skeletal Bruce Forsyth host this insanely programmed institution of variety circuit stand-ups, proto-psychedelic beat pop and people doing weird things with planks. Makes “Live at the Apollo” look like a content-driven engagement platform.
North American improv institution The Second City – where Tina Fey and Bill Murray trained – is in London for the first time, to both perform and teach
See how Angela Lansbury keeps fit, how to massage a possum and more weirdness at the Found Footage Festival – where strange VHS clips are screened live
Think you’re the ultimate comedy fan? Could you handle more than 100 hours of stand-up in just two weeks? This is the competition for you
Once a regular on the London circuit, shy yet boastful US stand-up and social misfit Dave Hill is making a welcome return