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.
‘Boom Boom… Out Go the Lights’ (1980-81, BBC2)
Short-lived, two-episode showcase for newfangled “alternative comedy”, comprising the DNA of the next 30 years of British stand-up. Brightly lit social workers drinking BBC orange squash fail to process the innovations of Rik and Ade’s Dangerous Brothers double act, Pauline Melville, and masked machine-gunman Keith Allen, all inexplicably interspersed with feelgood R&B from Paul Jones.
Time Out’s 2014 Edinburgh Fringe comedy highlights and recommendations in a neat A to Z
The biggest controversies from dark, shocking stand-ups Anthony Jeselnik and Jim Jefferies
The loud shirt-wearing joke-machine reveals his favourite comics
Ben Target, co-director of new short film ‘The Bird’, opens up his Filofax of fowl facts