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.

‘The Comedians’ (1971-79, Granada)

Deftly edited showcase of effortlessly sexist and casually racist ’70s club comics of undeniable skill but no ambition. Their 50 interchangeable quips are interspersed with Dixieland jazz played by white people.

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