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Stewart Lee: 41st Best Stand-Up Ever! (2008)

An extended version of sardonic Stewart Lee's acclaimed 2007 Edinburgh show, prompted by his ranking in a Channel 4 run-down.

Director:

Michael Cumming

Writer:

Stewart Lee

Star:

Stewart Lee
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Cast

Cast overview:
Stewart Lee ... Himself
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Storyline

An extended version of sardonic Stewart Lee's acclaimed 2007 Edinburgh show, prompted by his ranking in a Channel 4 run-down.

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Genres:

Comedy

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Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 July 2008 (UK) See more »

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Production Co:

Real Talent See more »
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Color:

Color
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Soundtracks

Cue #53/62 in Simple Men
Written and Performed by Ned Rifle
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User Reviews

Acerbic, dark, well structured and very well delivered
30 December 2013 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

I have never seen Stewart Lee live and I am really thinking that this is a situation I have to address. Occasionally I'll pick up one of his shows or see some of his material on BBC2 (not often though) and I will thoroughly enjoy how strong it is but also how well he makes it work. This is the case with this show – a show where the very title/premise behind it is based on his dark, cheerless approach towards the trivial and worthless aspects of live, which in this case is represented by meaningless Channel 4 list show presided over by the all knowing memory of Stuart Maconie, even though his own mother sees his brand of comedy as being less than that of the cruise-ship working Tom O'Connor.

This dark view on things is delivered with a laid back almost weary tone which is more effective at criticism than rage is – in particular his bit on Littlejohn is perfectly pitched to mock, be dark but also not justify the man with anger or energy. Through the show Lee uses repetition of phrases or ideas to draw laughs but also highlight their silliness and mostly it works very well indeed. Early in the show Lee explains that he doesn't really do jokes and makes a crack that the audience need to lift their game, and this is true because he really does tell stories or build pictures or scenarios that are darkly funny and I generally enjoy this. As you can read, it is hard to explain how he does it but fans of material that Louis CK does would surely love Lee's more subtle approach.

It doesn't all work and some of the material pushed me too far – specifically the final silent stand didn't work but also some smaller moments weren't particularly funny but generally it is a typically funny show. Next time Channel 4 do their countdown of Stand-Ups, I expect many talking head b-grade celebs will be quick to confirm just how good he is.


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