Tuesday, March 17, 2009

stewart lee on bbc2

Just watched the first episode of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, which aired on BBC2 last night. It’s a sign of how poor a lot of television comedy is that, although I knew already that Lee was my favourite stand-up, I was genuinely taken aback by the gulf of glass between him and pretty much everyone else I’ve seen telling jokes on TV in the last five or six years. One thirty minute episode devoted to books, which took in wonderful linguistic jokes, high-brow cultural references, a sustained, pitiless attack on Chris Moyles and an energy and curiosity absent in most of his peers. Best of all was a long, rambling skit on "rap singers" which was, I think, the most satisfyingly slow-paced and uncompromising joke I've seen on the BBC; not because it was awfully funny (it wasn't), but because Lee insisted on telling it his way and not dumbing down for television. The whole show was a masterclass in intelligence.

So happy there are five more episodes to come. Bringing Stewart Lee back to terrestrial television is probably the best decision that the comedy folk at the BBC have made in recent history. Make sure you catch up with it on iPlayer.

1 comment:

Bloggers4Labour said...

I managed to let this pass me by, but look forward to catching it on iPlayer tonight, now I have decent broadband again.