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51
4.6 out of 5 stars
Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle - Series 2 [DVD]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2011
If you like Stewart Lee, then this is for you. If you don't it's probably best to avoid it.

Series 2 retains most of the elements from Series 1. There is the occasional 'illustrative' sketch and the talks with Armando Iannucci that provided most of the 'red button' extras in the first series now punctuate Lee's stand up; but for the most part, it's Stewart Lee performing stand up in a room. Where it differs from Series 1 is that it lacks the opening titles and has far less sketches so you won't see the likes of Paul Putner, Simon Munnery, Kevin Eldon and Tony Law popping up. This isn't neccesarily a bad thing - I complained that the sketches really just acted out what Lee had just said, but there does seem to be a sketch-shaped hole if you've grown used to them. With essentially 3 hours worth of comedy, some of the material is recycled from his stand up shows (also available on DVD), some of it may have been viewed live on last year's Vegetable Stew tour (which was explicitly promoted as being a testing of these shows) and some it just feels familiar. There are probably better places to start if you haven't seen him before, but this does a good job of setting out his approach, philosophy and, self-proclaimed, short-comings.

A slightly disappointing thing, for me, was the lack of 'red button' extras. These featured stand up and music from Lee's support acts. One has been included - Lee performing 'Russell Brand's Wedding' with Nick Pynn - and there is an extended version of Lee and Alan Moore looking around Churchill's secret bunker, but it's a shame they couldn't have put more on this disc or included a bonus disc. Maybe we've come to expect too many extras with our DVDs, but it seems a shame to have wasted them.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
I'm going to write a review of that series two of Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle that they have now; you know, not like the old Stewart Lee that they used to have, who would crack jokes about grass being greener, lengths of string, or visits to the pool with his nephew; but an older, wiser Stewart Lee, who cracks jokes about ... well, crisps and vomit and that stand-up comedy that they have now, that's all made out of Michael McIntyre and Frankie Boyle and endless, endless charity gigs.

It shouldn't need stating at this point, but Stewart Lee is simply the finest comedian of this generation; he's definitely not an easy one to get into, definitely not one that your mum is going to like, but if you allow him to absorb you into his world - a 'Doctor Who'-like world where it seems natural for a forty-plus comedian to dress up as Godzilla and repel Mothra - you won't be disappointed. Each episode is a well-honed, lovingly-crafted thirty minute set piece punctuated by Lee's laconic delivery, frequent fourth-wall breaks, and plenty of jibes at his audience for laughing at the wrong bits. (Or walking out entirely, despite the tickets being free.)

If you view stand-up comedy as an art-form, then enjoy the work of the master of the craft.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The shows are great, possibly even as good as series 1.
Several moments had me absolutely in stitches.

There are some notable format changes compared to series 1:
1. The intentionally disparaging Armando Iannucci interviews are included within the show itself.
2. Gone are the cut-away sketches with the likes of Kevin Eldon and Paul Putner.
3. The opening titles and theme music are gone. The show just starts with Stew on stage.
4. Each show ends with a filmed sequence punctuating one or more of the ideas in the show. These are often quite dark.

The DVD menu is strikingly sleek and professional; much love has gone into this.

But where are the wonderful red-button extras?

When broadcast, each episode show-cased a different underground act in a ten-minute show as Stewart Lee Presents...
I was really looking forward to being able to watch these again, especially the Nick Pynn and Kevin Eldon ones.

In the way of DVDs extras there is only a single Nick Pynn/Stewart Lee collaboration and an extended version of the Allan Moore scene from one of the episodes. The first series of this show included all six-episodes plus all the red-button stuff spread across two disks. Shame on you, BBC.

PAL UK: Region 2 & 4. SUBTITLES: English for the Hard of Hearing

NB. The missing Kevin Eldon set was recorded at a show in Cardiff and released as Kevin Eldon is Titting About by GoFasterStripe. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2011
Stewart Lee is a comic genius. He just gets better and better. Series 2 is more cerebral that Series 1 and features Stewart being grilled by Armando Iannucci about the content of each show. This introspective conversation is extremely clever and amusing.
'Are there many jokes in this show?' he's asked by IA; 'No, not exactly, I used all my 'three' jokes in the first episode' replies SL.
'How much would it take for you to switch to ITV?' asks IA. 'That would depend on how much ITV are willing to offer' replies Stewart. 'No, it's the BBC who want to know!' says IA. 'Oh!' says Stewart with a look of quiet resignation.
Self-deprecating and very funny! JP.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2011
I was a huge fan of the first series of Comedy Vehicle and series 2 is certainly very good as well, though I would argue it is very much a different beast.

The series overrall feels more improvised and less structured than s1, with the appearance that Lee is working things out as he goes along. This is most likely because s1 drew heavily on his excellent repertoire of existing stand-up material, whereas there is noticably less of it in s2.

The sketches from before are also gone, replaced by conversations with an unseen Armando Iannucci, which I personally found preferable as I thought the majority of the sketches in s1 fell rather flat and generally only served to visually illustrate something he'd talked about minutes before.

Nonetheless, in spite of the more unstructured approach and more rambling nature (even to, what some might call, excess). Lee remains consistently funny, with the London and Stand-up (or is the Sit-down?) episodes being the highlights.

It may not be as good as the first series (absence of sketches aside) but Lee is still one of the best alternative comedians out there.
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on 22 August 2012
Firstly, the service received from Amazon was first rate again. Very fast delivery and good SMS text communication re order confirmation and delivery time etc every step of the way. The DVD was well wrapped and in perfect condition on receipt. Very happy.

Now the product itself. I am a huge Lee fan and had seen both series of 'Stewart Lees Comedy Vehicle' when they were first broadcast on TV. If you know and like his comedy already, then rest assured, this is some of his best stuff.

Which style of comedy one finds funny is such a personal, individual, thing that reviews shouldn't really be allowed to influence the decision, being as they are, written for general and anonymous consumption. His style could be described as clever social commentary, done in a sarcastic, but extremely intelligent and sometimes aloof and superior way. He enjoys slaying sacred cows, mocking mainstream comedians, even dishing out withering put downs to his own audience. If you're unfamiliar with his work, i say give it a try anyway. He is the best there is at what he does.

No red button extras on this DVD. The Ianucci interviews are present but in this series they are cutaways interwoven through the main stand up routine. No sketches either, which in my opinion is a very good thing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 30 June 2011
I didn't LOL. My chest contracted involuntarily and real noises came out of my mouth (and occassionally more embarrassingly my nose). Given that I was watching this on screen at work with headphones on pretending to be doing something else this was problematic.

Stewart Lee is brilliant. His aloof style, combining a degree of self-deprecation with that sense that maybe he should be more successful than he is perfectly suits his musings on the world and especially on comedy. There's one episode where he improvises a conversation between two librarians for whom he worked (as unsurprisingly a librarian) imaging how he would turn out as a comedian. "He'll talk about comedy but in a style that suggests it's beneath him." "So he'll have his cake and eat it?" "Yes!" He has detached rambling and forensic dissection of comedy and his unbounded contempt for people like Michael McIntyre and unlike anyone else on the comedy scene at the moment. And somehow this self-analysis, bile and resignation is just very, very funny. There aren't many people who can say "All the flavours of crisps" over and over again and actually make people laugh but he manages it.

But if you are reading this you probably already know that. You probably already know his backstory and you probably already have a lot of his DVDs and CDs. And that may be an issue. This series consists of six half hour episodes shot in the same style and (I think) location as the first series but with slightly fewer but more elaborate sequences outside the studio. The interviews with Armando Iannucci which were used as extras in the first series are shot through the episode but are quite short and are not intrusive. But if you are a fan you may have heard the material before. The epsidoe on identity includes his William Wallace routine. The episode on democracy includes a reworked version of his why I hate Richard Hammond routine with David Cameron as the subject. The journey is different but the destination is the same. And there are a fair few sections of "47th best standup" and "If you prefer a milder comedian.." in this. That siad everything is reworked and it is as much about how he delivers the lines as the lines themselves which makes them funny so it's not a huge issue.

There are two extras. The first is a song about Russell Brand's wedding - which is good. The second is Lee and Alan Moore (the comic book writer) breaking into a WWII bunker to uncover a national secret - which isn't so good.

Overall I loved this but, given Lee's status and following, I suspect any positive review is preaching to the choir.
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on 27 March 2014
Stewart Lee is extremely watchable and fascinating, and most of the episodes on this DVD rate alongside the excellent first series. But - I did find a couple of monologues disappointing. Dare I say it - boring. Particularly in the last episode when he's describing his first 'meeting' with David Cameron. It's not that funny, even in his usual 'not-funny' style, but where-as other non funny items are thought provoking or interesting, this monologue is neither. I almost someone wish he'd been told, it really is not that good.. Stew.. Anyway. that quibble aside, the rest is mostly brilliant and dullingly inspiring!
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on 10 December 2013
Lee has been called "the comedian's comedian" but I very much doubt that the majority of other comedians appreciate just how good he is. He's so good at stand-up that he can convince you that he's no good at it, which he boasts about shamelessly. He tells us that giving a joke to him is a waste of time and then deconstructs the art of stand-up pitilessly. Widely reviled by those who just don't get it. Loved by the smart-arsed cynics like me. Too clever for his own good? Maybe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2013
This product was ordered at the beginning of December and arrived within a couple of days. No problems and very good service.
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