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.
Read a bunch of Key’s poems, written on the back of (often filthy) playing cards
The multi award-winner pens a poem exclusively for Time Out
The ten shows that'll make you laugh most this month
We ask the arena-filling 'Fresh Meat' star the most Googled questions about him