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My Favourite Comedian,
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This review is from: Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Stewart Lee occupies a position relative to the rest of comedy that is analogous to the position I feel I occupy relative to the rest of society as a whole. It isn't a position of reaction exactly - not an entirely antagonistic relation. It can best be described as 'troubled' - or more analytically as 'critical'.
In an ambient atmosphere of personal pessimism and disillusionment, we enjoy more acutely the angry absurdities we find, the gentle silliness of things, or the outright self-celebrating stupidities. It's easy to see why there is such disapproval of Mr Lee in places like the Mail and the Sun, and why he values that disapproval so highly as to wear it like a badge of honour.
Having watched many of his recorded perfomances, I enjoy a feeling of immediate and instinctive personal identification with Mr Lee; I understand instantly Where He Is Coming From. Having reached an unglamorous middle age after an energetically idealistic youth, Mr Lee is confronted by entrenched and aggressive right-wing idealogues of sickening popularity, by the fading and weakening of what we might call the progressive project, and by disappointments and failures on every side. His is a plight and viewpoint I instantly recognise, and with which I sympathise very strongly indeed. The authenticity of his comedy makes it especially powerful, I think - this is him - his act being 'him' taken to the extreme. That's why there are such powerful opinions about it in favour or against.
He's brilliant, I think. I can't wait to go and see him live. Check out his website for tour dates - [...]