Time Out readers' top ten comedians
Stewart Lee‘s ’The Ten Best Stand-Ups in the World Ever‘ shows at the Bloomsbury Theatre over the coming month got us wondering: would Time Out readers pick the same ten? We asked the question online and here are your chosen ones, in ascending order
10. Lee EvansEvans currently holds the world record for the biggest comedy audience ever: a staggering 10,108 watched him perform at the Manchester Evening News Arena in 2005. In October he’ll try to top this by entertaining more than 15,000 fans at the O2 Arena.‘He has a unique talent, combining stand-up comedy with physical humour. He’s Norman Wisdom and Peter Kay all rolled into one.’
‘Watching a Lee Evans video, aged 14, with my brother and friends, I laughed so much I actually shat myself in front of everyone.’ Stephen Doran
9. Terry SaundersProbably the least familiar name on the list, this gentle, creative storyteller won a lot of friends with his last show ‘Missed Connections’ and his ‘Laughter in Odd Places’, which takes comedy out of clubs and into, well… odd places. ‘His whimsical stories are skilfully woven in a touching, beautiful way, while also being hilariously funny.’ Steve Thone
‘Because he is self-effacing with a beard.’ Kirsty Fallow
8. Dara O’BriainThe Irish host of ‘Mock the Week’ has legions of dedicated fans… and a degree in theoretical physics. ‘Supreme wit and improvisation, and one of the most likeable guys around.’ Giles Ellis
‘He’s the funniest potato I’ve ever heard.’ Pat Wheeldon
7. Harry HillHill has come a long way since leaving medicine and is now one of the most popular live comics in the country and the official jester of ITV with ‘TV Burp’ and ‘You’ve Been Framed’.‘The perfect mix of warmth, surrealism and good old-fashioned comedy business.’ Ed Humphrey
‘Because he gave me a box of chocolates once and his face makes me laugh.’ Samantha Welstead
6. Peter KayThe star of ‘Phoenix Nights’ is famously the best digestive biscuit dunker ever to come out of Bolton. ‘He is the funniest guy around. Every word that comes out of his mouth has me rolling on the floor clutching my stomach.’ Jan Martin
‘Everyone can relate to his humour. He doesn’t rely on bad language and is a true professional.’ Susan Harwood
5. Bill BaileyWest Country-born troll Bailey is so obsessed with Star Trek that he named his son Dax after a character from ‘Deep Space Nine’.‘His comedy is intelligent, surreal and always makes me wet myself. He can be seen moseying around Barnes occasionally being nice to people.’ Trina Foo
‘Like Mr Bean but with humour.’ Ian Richardson
4. Daniel KitsonKitson is often described as ‘the comedian’s comedian’. He’s probably most famous to those outside of the comedy cognoscenti for his appearances in ‘Phoenix Nights’. ‘Under that geeky and gloriously hairy exterior lies a confident and hilarious man. What is intriguing, exasperating and impressive is that he ploughs his own furrow, follows his own path and appears only when and where he likes. Not in a town near you, soon.’ Dorothea Fox
3. Janey GodleyThis tough Glaswegian raconteuse is the only woman to make the list. But that’s okay: she’s probably got more balls than all nine men put together. ‘I’ve had cancer and if it wasn’t for her clips on MySpace I doubt I would have survived. She literally had me in stitches.’ Jane Simon
‘I can’t imagine anyone else telling a story about her HIV-positive junkie brother going into hospital for cancer treatment and getting so many laughs. The phrase “one-off” doesn’t even begin to do her justice.’ Martyn Sadler
2. Stewart LeeMr Top Ten himself, the creator of ‘Jerry Springer: The Opera’ makes our list, proving that TO readers don’t let accusations of blasphemy by pressure groups such as Christian Voice bother them.‘He is the bravest and most innovative comedian currently working in the UK.’ Christina Martin
‘Because he bothered to come to Cheltenham Town Hall and he isn’t Jimmy Carr.’ Arabella Blaikie
‘He’s fearless… I am still waiting for “Abu Hamza: The Musical”.’ Glenn Marshall
1. Ricky GervaisSure he’s won Emmys and Baftas, as well as enough other awards to choke a donkey, but this is the one that really counts. For your money, the man who brought you live shows such as ‘Fame’ and ‘Animals’ is still the king of comedy.‘He was an honest, hard-working, middle-class Brit, a hero to the people, a modern-day Jesus bringing happiness to the world. He’s still all those things, but now he’s rich, and deserves every cent.’ Nick Scott
‘He’s an intelligent buffoon. He speaks in an erudite and effortless way about political, social and cultural events with a wry twist of wit, charisma and an awfully high-pitched laugh.’ Alison King
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I've been an electrical contractor in excess of 12 months now and I enjoy the variety you can get on a regular basis. Makes it enjoyable comparing stories with friends who have desk jobs!
lol this top 10 is'nt biased at all! ... who in their right mind would put Ricky fucking gervais , el primo egotistical bastardo at no1 ....the bloke could'nt carry funny if he had a wheelbarrow to help him .....he's the kind of comic the BBC would turn to if national hunger struck Great Britain , and funny was rationed - ie : the meal would be lean and non filling
Dan Leno, Chaplin, Puck, Max Miller, Mr Punch, Norman Gunston, Norman Wisdom, Norman Lovett, even Norm from across the street is funnier than this bunch of mealy mouthed middle class moochers!
agree with david brown. love the deadpan crook. superb material and a very unique and understated persona. should be famous. they call him a comics comic. but i love him and im an electrician
Unknown to many but coming very trong are Max and Ivan, a duo that performs every year in the Edimburgh Fringe with a lot of sucess and now are in London hosting The Roffle Club. Check them out on line,they are fantastic!
Thank god Frankie Boyle isnt on here though. Seriously the man just tries too hard to offend. Not good. Eddie Izzard was voted alongside Billy Connolly and other equally brilliant comedians. This list is "HALF" correct. Shame.
Can't even take this list seriously... Lee Evans 10th WTF? Ross Noble shouldn't be top 10 nevermind infront of Lee... And top top it off, Ricker Gervais 1st? Really... This list should be in reversed order and some of the dead wood replaced by Micheal McIntyre, Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle who isn't greatest but better than some of the names here.
I can't put them in order but I have some faveourite comedians... Milton Jones, Dara O'Brian, Michael Mcintyre, Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey, Peter Kay, Mark Watson, Russel Howard, Frankie Boyle, Jimmy Carr, Rob Brydan, Dylan Moran, Tim Minchin and Billy Connolly. If you havn't seen some of those people you're in for a treat. I don't see why Ricky Gervais is up top... He's allright and I don't have anything against shock comedy, I just don't find him that funny... Each to their own I guess.
I watched Stewart Lee on Xmas eve 2009 and he was pretty crappy. The jokes were stretched out endlessly - imagine a 30 minute long joke where you only probably laugh at the 24th minute once. It wasnt genuinely funny at all - it was like he was trying very very hard and ended up being stupid. It was yawn-inducingly boring. The only good part was where he played the guitar with a violin guy at the end. I will definitely not watch Stewart Lee again for sure!! Go there if you can sit for 1.5 hours to get 3 laughs. It was just like a frustrated guy going on and on and on about Top Gear...ok we get it that you dont like Top Gear...move on, mate and say something funny rather than expecting us to laugh when you say you wished Jeremy Clarkson's daughters become blind....and then scream out loud saying...'I'm KIDDING'...thats funny? Not.
fuck off, why the fuck is lee evans 10th? why is ricky gervais 1st? and where the hell is michael mcintyre?!!! x