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4.7 out of 5 stars52
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 29 March 2006
I first saw Stewart Lee on 'Fist of Fun' eleven years ago. Since I've moved to the States and have been bombarded with cruddy sitcoms and revered stand ups who rely on conventional jokes and half-assed impressions it is refreshing to see a comic who derives humor from dissecting all of the monotony and hypocrisy of mainstream culture. Anyone with any degree of affection for the offbeat or the genuinely insightful owes it to themselves to buy this DVD. Even though I live in a culturally deprived country I have a fairly eclectic taste in humor and can honestly herald Stewart Lee as a comic genius above many of his contemporaries. He is the first comedian I have encountered that has genuinely brought comedy into the realm of art, and anyone who has ever heard his 'Pea Green Boat' can attest to this. Buy this DVD, you will NOT be disappointed. You will also wet yourself.
0Comment59 of 60 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
You can't judge a comedian simply by how much he makes you laugh. I've watched other DVDs which have made me laugh to the point that it hurt (or at least ached) - and once the DVD finished, that was that.

But Stewart Lee is the sort of comedian (like Mark Thomas) who will make you laugh, and then think, and then laugh some more. And once you've put the DVD back in the box, it still stays with you. You realise that you've changed the way you think, you've seen something in a different way, and for that reason - the stand-up routine you've just been watching has actually changed you.

Lee uses some of his older material here and polishes it so to feel edgier than it did when first performed. Filmed in a small comedy club, the cosy feel extends into your living room and you can practically smell the pork scratchings. The friendly environment no doubt helps when your comedy repertoire seems (on the face-of-it) to be greatly offensive, but Lee manages to turn it round, he is a man of integrity and uses challenging subject matter to test the less liberal views of others. In short, he exposes the ugly side of humanity, such as racism, so we can recognise it for what it is - silly. That may sound blasé, but it's true.

Typical of the performances on TV I've seen; Lee analyses his own material on stage, dissecting his quips to understand why they are funny. His analysis ends up being as funny as the joke itself, and inevitably results in a further understanding of the human condition.

This is a fantastic comedy routine, and although the additional features are pretty sparse - to have anything extra is a bonus. It wasn't until I read the DVD details that I realised that this is the first recorded video performance you can get of Stewart Lee. Now that's a shame, because this intelligent, political, and often 'offensive' comedy challenges beliefs and adds fire to the comedy world.
0Comment9 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 November 2005
Since his return to stand up a couple of years ago, Stewart Lee has preferred to perform to smaller audiences in independent venues. He has sold pretty much all of these out. This leads to a highly personal and memorable comedy experience and is captured beautifully on this DVD.
There aren't many punchlines and almost no catchphrases but Lee is very, very funny. He tries to do something totally different with stand-up and credits his audience with intelligence and understanding of the medium. His artful delivery and attention to detail make him hypnotic to watch.
In this show, he comes up with ideas guaranteed to alienate his Glasgow audience and yet gets away with it in style.
The only better stand-up show you are likely to witness is his new one, which will also be made into a DVD, hopefully.
0Comment41 of 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 July 2008
The transformation of Stewart Lee from a "vain, arrogant young man" (his words) to a truly brilliant stand-up is remarkable. I was never a fan of his early stuff with Richard Herring as it seemed confused and derivative. But maybe some comedians just take longer to mature because this DVD of a gig from Glasgow is phenomenal. Watch the full gig first and then compare it to his earlier style on the DVD extras and you will see the difference.

From the outset, his material is confrontational but never forced and his delivery is assured and confident. Over the course of an hour, he toys with his audience, deliberately provoking them and attacking their own identity. Far too often, stand-up comedians preach to the converted, holding viewpoints which they know that their audience share. Lee avoids the easy path; on several occasions you feel as though he has gone too far and you can see the uncomfortable looks on the faces of the crowd members in the intimate venue. There is a real sense of danger - imagine Bill Hicks combined with Jerry Sadowitz and that will give you an idea of the tension in the air.

The beauty of Lee's stand-up is that he can push the audience away and then bring them back again because his material is never less than hilarious. If you are a fan of intelligent, original comedy then you will not be disappointed with this DVD.
0Comment18 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 June 2006
I had a recent stand up comedy binge and bought this along with DVDs from Jeff Green, Tommy Tiernan and Tim Vine.

This was by far the best (with Jeff and Tommy both providing safe material with a few good laughs to come close second and third and the Tim Vine, not being a true stand up but a cheap gag merchant, coming in last)

Stewart Lee's show has, unlike the others, tempted me back for repeat viewings and kept funny. He takes risks in his choice of topics, twists language in wonderful ways and displays both natural talent and technical proficiency as a comic. Cannot be recommended enough.
33 comments39 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 November 2009
He came on stage yeah. And told told jokes. Stewart Lee, the famous comedian. He came on stage right. Stewart Lee. And told his jokes. And I laughed. I laughed at his Jokes. At Stewart Lee. The famous comedian. Telling his jokes. Stewart Lee.
11 comment34 of 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 November 2008
Stewart Lee has never really had the success he deserves. He's absolutely one of the best stand-up comedians currently working but will probably never pull in the kind of crowds that flock to see Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran or Bill Bailey, despite being better than all of them put together. His stuff is just too confrontational, clever and resolutely unreliant on safe comedy conventions - sometimes he even makes whole routines out of mercilessly mocking the safe comedy conventions of other comedians. His material drips irony and faux-arrogance. He's not afraid to speak slowly and leave long pauses. He's so determined not to suck up to audiences that he sometimes seems hostile. But - and this is important - he's hilarious. This DVD is a great example of Lee in top form; railing at the effects of 9/11, the hysterical reaction to the death of Diana, the morals of crisp-selling Gary Lineker, the gayness of William Wallace and other slightly touchy subjects. Really, if you like heartfelt, humane, fresh, cliche-free and painfully funny comedy, buy this DVD.
0Comment10 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 October 2005
I wouldn't normally force my opinion onto strangers, but I cannot recommend this highly enough.
Formerly part of the successful 90s double act Lee and Herring, acclaimed comedian/writer/director Stewart Lee's stand up DVD is genuinely engaging and extremely funny. Filmed in a small venue the performance is wonderfully intimate, a far cry from the Albert Hall routines of his (somewhat inferior) peers. It is (almost) as good as being there. The authenticity of the performance sets it apart from anything else I've ever seen in my own home.
The material is astonishingly original and thoroughly amusing: a synergy few others can match. My advice to anyone looking to add to their comedy collection is to stop looking for a substandard re-release from one of the big name comics and give this a go. Try something different. If you feel uncomfortable going out on a limb and making such a bold and important decision based on the opinion of a total stranger (me) and need some reassurance take a look at the comment from Ricky Gervais on the sleeve.
For anyone who likes stand-up this is the closest thing to being there that you are able to buy on disc. For anyone who likes to laugh at funny things I guarantee you will like this. For anyone who has seen any of Mr Lee's stuff before I seriously doubt that you felt the need to read this review.
0Comment24 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 March 2006
Absolutly brilliant. Aparently this DVD isnt selling well and for that reason Lee is finding it hard to get his other shows recorded. So buy this DVD as we need to see more of Lee.
0Comment16 of 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 July 2009
I've been to see Stewart Lee live but if you havn't this is the next best thing. Consistantly funny and inteligent and any fan of stand up comedians really should buy this dvd and see him live when you get the chance.
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