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Stewart Lee


Devon Malcolm
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So I just finished watching If You Prefer A Milder Comedian.... and it's incredibly good in parts and generally excellent right the way through.

 

It did make his TV series, which I also loved, seem a lot weaker in comparison but still tremendous. Nothing to do with the material, but the nature of his comedy - his style perhaps doesn't quite fit the half an hour time allotment. Then again, the same could be said of the great Dave Allen, but he got around it after a short time and also had to work with sketches that didn't quite live up to the stand-up segments.

 

But yeah, I like him. I was 23 years old! And so on. Thoughts and that.

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May 4th for the new series of Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle, I think. His most recent show, Vegetable Stew, was basically prepping material for it and I thought it was typically hilarious. Great bit on charity, if I recall. Now, if only the could drop the sketches and let him try for six full half-hours of stand-up like he wanted. I'm sure it'd be great.

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I would also recommend his book: How I escaped my certain fate. On the surface, you'd think reading transcripts of his stand ups wouldn't make great reading. But the side notes, explaning the structure and relavance of his material is really insightful. And a real eye opener into the comedy business. I got a pre-signed copy, except I'm not sure if it's really his, as it's in biro

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The thing is, the sketches are quite good and they do complement his stand-up - again, as did Dave Allen's. But they do mean that he has to sacrifice some of his slow build and that's part of the entertainment watching Lee. Plus, they do mean more Paul Putner and The Actor Kevin Eldon on TV, which is always good.

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Yeah, his book is ace. Wonderfully pretentious, but why not when you're so good?

 

I hated the sketches in the first tv series, so much that I assumed he'd made them deliberately bad as a protest to whatever commissioning editor insisted on them. However, as Butch said it was nice to see some of his mates on tv.

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Wonderfully pretentious, but why not when you're so good?

 

I hated the sketches in the first tv series, so much that I assumed he'd made them deliberately bad as a protest to whatever commissioning editor insisted on them. However, as Butch said it was nice to see some of his mates on tv.

 

I think we just found the new pCc catchphrase!

 

I still think that Paul Putner's performance in that apple shop sketch should have earned him a BAFTA. Or a knighthood. Whether you liked it or not, he was incredible.

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I've heard he rips the piss out of Russell Howard in his stand-up - anyone know what the crack is with that?

 

It must be pretty soul-destroying for comedians who've spent decades perfecting their craft to see gimps like Howard filling arenas.

 

The last sentence is pretty much the basis of the routine. Starts off as mocking him for not doing enough for charity, pointing out how much Howard does for charity. It's not the best bit he's done, but it was okay. Vegetable Stew was decent, but probably the weakest of his shows I've seen so far.

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By the way, I spent a good portion of yesterday evening reading through all the negative reviews he's got on message boards and that he's helpfully packaged on this page:-

 

http://www.stewartlee.co.uk/latestnews.htm

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I've just ordered the book on Amazon. I'm not a great fan of Stewart Lee (there are some bits of his that I really enjoy, but I do find him more smug and dull than funny a good portion of the time), but the dissection of his routines sounds quite interesting.

 

I'm reading those bad reviews now as well. The Morrissey with Down's one tickled me.

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