Stewart Lee


Love him or hate him - and everyone from fundamentalist Christians to Ben Elton’s mum must have a voodoo doll with a sagging quiff lying about their house - Stewart Lee is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. It might be premature to call him the Godfather of British comedy but that’s a title he seems destined to attain. Or perhaps more accurately, Lee is an ambassador for stand-ups everywhere, whether they be forgotten cults (he appeared with old mucker Richard Herring at Tedstock to raise awareness of and funds for a Ted Chippington Cod release) or aspiring young comics (his pioneering of Josie Long for all those years seems to be paying off).

And while his writing is continuing apace (he has a story in the Fall-related collection, Perverted by Language, and joined up with Johnny Vegas for the site-specific stage show Interiors), he is truly at his best in the realm of stand-up. This night is a taster of his Edinburgh Fringe show, 41st Best Stand-Up Ever, named after his placing in Channel 4’s recent poll. Whether this will be an hour of ranting about why the likes of Andrew Dice Clay, Jim Davidson and, oh yes, Ben Elton merited higher places than him, is unknown and probably unlikely. What can be expected with some certainty from this show is an intelligent, bruising heavyweight stand-up performance from one of Britain’s true comic craftsmen.

(Brian Donaldson)

The Stand, Glasgow, Mon 30 Jul.

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