Stewart Lee's history of stand-up on TV

Thinking inside the box with the maverick comedian

0

Comments

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.

‘Gas’, ‘Comedy Network’ (1997-98, C4, Paramount)

The twin last gasps of straight stand-up on TV in the twentieth century, then presumed by execs to “not really work”. Endlessly repeated for years on late-night cable under the terms of  the acts’ one-payment buy-out deals, and featuring many stars of the future – Noel Fielding, Lee Mack, Peter Kay – the shows typify the time when TV stand-up started to feel like worthless one-size-fits-all filler. Like peasants with free milk we lapped up what they offered us, only to see our virgin sets chopped into differently titled shows, and sliced into 79p audio-only iTunes clips, for eternity.

Latest comedy features

Review: Dave Chappelle Live

  • Rated as: 5/5

American comedy heavyweight pulls no punches in his London debut

  1. Eventim Apollo Hammersmith 45 Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH
  2. Fri Jul 10 - Tue Jul 14
Buy tickets

Dave Chappelle: six routines and sketches that made a comedy legend

AS the elusive US comedy heavyweight and ‘Chappelle’s Show’ star heads to London, we offer some essential viewing to get you pumped (or bring you up to speed)

Review: Steen Raskopoulos – Character Assassin

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

This Aussie character comic takes aim at his audience, and he kills it.

  1. Soho Theatre 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE
  2. Fri Jul 3 - Sat Jul 11
Buy tickets

July's top ten comedy shows

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

See more comedy features

Users say

0 comments