Stewart Lee's history of stand-up on TV

Thinking inside the box with the maverick comedian



Add +

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.

Latest comedy features

Doug Stanhope’s top ten stand-ups

The hellraising US stand-up and Time Out favourite picks his favourite fellow comics

Joseph Morpurgo: on the record

The Foster’s Award nominee talks us through some hidden gems from his record collection

October's top ten comedy shows

The ten shows that'll make you laugh most this month

The best ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic songs

Musical comedians pick their favourite tracks by the king of musical parody

See more comedy features

Users say