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4.8 out of 5 stars
Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle - Series 1 [DVD]
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2009
The episodes are all excellent, and I enjoyed each one when they were broadcast. Top work, Mr Lee.

However, it is the extras supplied that enticed me into buying this 2 disk set.

Commentaries on each episode (Stew plus support), interviews with Armando Iannucci, and a 16 minute documentary about the making of the series.

I must warn Daily Mail readers against purchasing this DVD though. You may insult its intelligence.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2010
In a world that celebrates idiocy and allows certain people the chance to make a comfortable living out of having no talent whatsoever, its comforting to know that someone as funny, cynical, and - damn it- intelligent, as Stewart Lee is fighting the corner for us non-morons. It saddens me that the likes of Lee Evans and Michael Macintyre (as nice to their mothers as they surely are) have become superstars with their safe, banal comedy while Lee and other luminaries e.g. Peter Serafinowicz seem constantly overlooked. (Nobody I know had heard of Stewart Lee or Serafinowicz's gem 'Look Around You' till I spread the word, unless I was just unlucky to work in a cultural desert.) What draws me to Lee is that he is unashamed about being clever, or being cynical. And in this X Factor/Britain's Got Talent culture where no one dares to criticize any more (I mean, look at Stavros Flatley; their awful, pointless act would have been laughed off stage 20 years ago) it is so refreshing to finally have someone see things the way I see them. His routine about celebrity books and celebrities in general is without doubt the funniest piece of stand up I have ever seen. I guess the best way to describe his humour is to descend into cliche: it's funny because its true. He sees things for what they are, and not how they would like to be seen. Anyway, buy this, discover there's more to 'alternative' comedy than Jimmy Carr and maybe one day soon there'll be a Stewart Lee Comedy Roadshow in a prime time schedule rather than a wonderful but unseen Vehicle tucked away in a graveyard slot.
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on 9 January 2013
I must clarify that I haven't followed Stewart Lee's comedy since his early prime unlike many of his avid fans. Yet, I found buying this DVD, a very enticing experience and this has widened the horizons of subtle comedy for me. I also find Mr. Lee's diggresion from the "comedy world" limelight appealing (Who needs to make cameos on futile television gameshows on a frequent basis in order to be appreciated?). Quite frankly speaking, I've never came across his comedy routine before as it is barely advertised, or is being done poorly at that! I blame the beeb for that.

However, far behind the norm, I've just been watching the first superb series of "Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle", with his rather distinctive chalk on a blackboard slick deadpan delivery and hilarious observations and disgruntled overlook, irony induced tirades fueled with alecky madcap feuds and hilarity. Lots and LOTS of hilarity!

Stewart Lee is not afraid to mock those below him, many of whom are loved by the nation (Not me for sure!), and for what reasons are these? I have not the faintest clue why, but what I do know is, most talented authors have the ambition that is to not primarily thrust in the ilk of writing tacky "toilet books".

I'm just glad there's a second series available as I'm still obliged to feed the desperate demand that is my Stewart Lee fix. Even better for the fans, that the BBC have done the right thing for once and commissioned two more series for 2014 and 2015.

I therefore rank (and rate this DVD!) the rather maverick Stewart Lee as one of my most contemporary cherished comedians. So, if you're into raw comedy, or genuinely top of the class lampooning of favourable hot topics including, celebrities, religion, the parasites that are estate agents and not forgetting those rappers that they have now, on the top of the pops.

A class act to say the least.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I have been a fan of Stewart Lee since the 90's when he was in "Fist of Fun" and recently found his newer stand up DVD's on Amazon so soon had them all and was refreshingly suprised by the amount of material he has been busy making in the mean time. SO I typed his name into google and found this series was being filmed in London and that if you lived far enough away you could even apply for free tickets! Well before I knew it id recieved a very appreciated Email and was on my way to see him. It was a night I will never forget, he was even more witty and insightful than I remebered or had seen on his DVD's.
Brave, masterful, and subtle with surgically accurate sarcasm.
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on 23 January 2012
First up, Stewart Lee isn't your three minute stand-up but somehow he still highly listenable and delivers the punchline from a lenghty monologue in a kind of take it or leave it sort of away. I got this DVD on Monday and by the Friday I had watched all the episodes and the commentaries. Normally I don't watch the commentaries on a DVD as they can be a bit tedious, but in this case it's actually very interesting stuff. Iy's Lee with two actors (who are obviously his mates too) from the series. It works well because you get actors perspective and that of the stand-up comedian. You also get to see the vulnerability of the comedian as he questions his performance quite mercilessly. It makes for a compelling watch and gives you a great insight into how they put the thing together and how complex it all is.

On the back of that, I've ordered the second series DVD. Based on the reviews it appears there's not so much to back up with that package but in a way most of that is already covered here in this DVD.

This type of humour is never going to amuse the masses but if you like your comedy with a bit more substance, a bit more truth and a bit more honesty then I'd give him a go. Especially at the price Amazon is charging right now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2009
One of the best comedy series of the last ten years. Some of the sketches fall slightly flat, but the meat of this series is in the stand up routines, and they are so brilliant, the episodes can easily withstand the occasional knock.

It also worth noting that this set includes the splendid 'red button extra' interviews between Stewart Lee and Armando Iannucci. A terrific package.
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on 19 June 2011
I accidentally stumbled across 'Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle' series two recently and I thought the episode I watched, which was an incredibly subtle and funny swipe at Cameron's government, was one of the cleverest and most impressive examples of television comedy I have ever seen. Based on this experience and the excellent reviews, I decided to buy the first series and am incredibly glad I did.
This is truly one of the funniest series you are ever likely to see because the dry style laced with Lee's particularly cutting brand of sarcasm is pitched perfectly without becoming merely withering for the sake of it. And there is real energy here, too, especially when Lee talks about the comedic preferences of the general public and when he launches into audience participation.
Nothing has ever made me laugh so consistently and I'm a big fan of television comedy ranging from Monty Python to Have I Got News for You, via Mitchell and Webb. A must buy for any discerning comedy fan
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on 29 September 2010
Six episodes of fantastic standup interspersed with a couple of sketches.
Absolute comedy gold.

Effectively, the audience themselves have replaced Richard Herring as the foil to Stewart's measured delivery.
The sketches, mainly starring Kevin Eldon and Paul Putner, pale in comparison to the standup but work very well in breaking up the flow.
Fortunately this is not a sketch show [cue Grange Hill sausage on a fork].

Very occaisionally, the humour falls flat. The first episode contains a lengthy description of rappers in a shopping centre. This is better explained in the accompanying commentary. But generally the humour is side-splittingly funny.

So what's the downside? I have to get out of my chair and exchange discs halfway through. :-)

Now please release Fist of Fun and TMWRNJ!!!
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on 3 January 2010
The stand-up and the sketches were great, as they were when broadcast on TV.
However, what I really love about this are the commentaries and the interviews with Armando Ianucci.

There are also a couple of surprise items among the extras which I won't reveal here. You'll just have to buy it. And make sure you watch the extras.

Now, I'm not saying that the extras are better than the main material; you'll just have to make your own mind up about that. What I would say is that for a non-commercial entertainer, Stewart Lee knows how to give value for money.

And if you are reading this in 2010, make sure you catch one of the remainder of his "If you prefer a milder comedian, just ask for one" Tour, which is on for the next few months (see his website for dates).
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on 17 May 2013
I think Stewart Lee is a brilliant comedian and a really clever guy, so I was keen to see what this series would be like - I even bought it rather than download it, seeing as how he personally berated this practise in his show 'If You Prefer A Milder Comedian Please Ask For One...' Still, I'd heard that this series was a bit more hit and miss than the carefully sculpted masterpieces of his live acts, and I probably agree with that conclusion overall. This is worth having for serious Stewart Lee fans, but if you simply want to *become* a serious Stewart Lee fan (and who doesn't?), then check out his live shows like 'Carpet Remnant World', 'If You Prefer A Milder Comedian Please Ask For One...', and the BRILLIANT '41st best stand up ever' - You'll be hooked!
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