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.
‘They want to extend the Northern line, but I think this is Morden adequate.’
The hellraising US stand-up and Time Out favourite picks his favourite fellow comics
The Foster’s Award nominee talks us through some hidden gems from his record collection