Andrew Maxwell - My Comedy Hero: Patrice O’Neal
I was quite torn with this. The person who makes me truly laugh is Patrice O’Neal, he really cracks me up. Then obviously there’s Connolly and obviously there’s Richard Pryor. But Dave Allen was just a revelation when I was a kid. He was lampooning the Catholic church years before anyone else. People of my parent’s generation laughed at Dave Allen and he really pulled apart the absurdity of that shit and talking about his various addictions while just sitting in the chair and drinking shots. And the tabloids went after him; he said ‘fuck’ on air and they properly went for him. But he was extremely dapper and had a great cadence to his voice.
I just watched a clip and he does this whole routine about quitting smoking recorded in 1982 on prime-time BBC, probably studio one or studio two, when there were four channels maximum. He’s sitting on a chair relating one anecdote for eight fucking minutes, which is a testament to the sheer magnetism of the man. He was from a very patrician background. His old man was editor of the Irish Times but he was just getting stuck into all these topics. And there was the fact he was Irish; him, Terry Wogan and Val Doonican at the time were these massive household names in Britain while fellow Irishmen were blowing the shit out of Britain.
The Stand, Glasgow, Mon 17 May; The Stand, Edinburgh, Tue 18 May