Archive for Comedy

Quote of the Day: Stewart Lee

Posted in Of the Day with tags , , , , , , , on 8 October, 2008 by Ally

Stewart Lee: 41st Best Stand Up Ever

Stewart Lee has spoiled me. His work is so precise, so honed and controlled that it puts most other stand-up comedians to shame. His delivery is slow but perfectly timed, his choice of words impeccable. Sometimes he deliberately irritates his audience with repetition or sly insults, but I find that very funny indeed. At times he even picks apart his material on stage, explaining why it may or may not work and how he came to that conclusion.

In short, he knows what he’s doing. Which is more than can be said for a lot of comedians, many of whom I suspect went into comedy because their mates down the pub told them they were “well funny”. Stewart Lee is to other comedians what John Coltrane is to a kid with a kazoo. And what that kazoo-playing kid is to Kenny G.

His latest DVD, 41st Best Stand Up Ever is not quite as great as his previous one, but still most enjoyable. But the first half is so funny I’m actually too exhausted to laugh by the end, whereas I always find the necessary energy to laugh at his Standup Comedian DVD. However, it does feature a wonderful bit about the Celebrity Big Brother racism scandal, and the absurdity of light entertainment stars trying to make a serious statement.

When Martin Luther King saw racism in 1960s America, Martin Luther King called it out in the strongest, most visionary, eloquent terms possible. Martin Luther King said;
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King.

And when Russell Brand saw racism in his place of work, Big Brother, Russell Brand said;
“Oooh! There’s been some bad racism and stuff going down today, and no mistake, my liege. It’s made Mr. Winky go right small it has. Oh yes it has, oh yeah. And my ballbag, my old ballbag, has only gone up my bum. Here’s H from Steps.”

Ideas, Reviuku and Updates

Posted in Nothing Really with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 23 September, 2008 by Ally

Firstly, a couple of reviuku (haiku reviews).

At the Circus
The great Marx Brothers
In a not-so-great movie
With sporadic mirth

Sullivan’s Travels
Preston Sturges says;
“Laughter, that’s all some folks have”
But then offers more

Secondly, another idea for a line in the screwball comedy I’ll never get around to making.

X: Haven’t I seen you someplace before?
Y: Maybe it was at the Natural History Museum…
X: That’s it! Were you a tour guide or an exhibit?

Thirdly, I’ve been writing a script with my friend Dan. He did most of the nitty-gritty actual work, I just injected some extra jokes. He submitted it to a Channel 4 talent comepetition, and it has been shortlisted as one of five pieces of comedy writing – one of twenty categories, so there’s one hundred entrants overall. The other four shortlisted comedy writers are published professionals, which is funnier in itself than anything anyone could ever have written.

Withnail and I

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12 September, 2008 by Ally

Written and directed by Bruce Robinson, 1986

Withnail and I is the tragicomic story of two unemployed actors struggling to survive in the London of 1969. Their dilapidated surroundings and constant drug abuse sees them “drifting into the arena of the unwell.” Desperate for a change of scenery, they holiday in a Cumbrian cottage owned by Withnail’s uncle Monty, which turns out to be a site with fresher air but equal squalor. And unbeknown to Marwood, he has been promised to Monty in exchange for the cottage.

It is the very definition of a cult film. Its fans are not as numerous as those of the Stars (Wars and Trek) but they are just as dedicated, and able to recite screeds of the endlessly-quotable script. They are known to make pilgrimages to Penrith to find the grotty little cottage; to find potatoes in the mud, and see the front door now bearing a plaque reading “Here Hare Here”. Many have even died playing the drinking game in which viewers match either of the title characters drink-for-drink. Well perhaps not died, but wished they had. Either way it is not recommended to drink as Withnail, who at one point resorts to downing a canister of lighter fluid. Continue reading