Stewart Lee's history of stand-up on TV

Thinking inside the box with the maverick comedian

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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.

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‘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.

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