You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged every episode of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle. This isn’t because they weren’t enjoyable, but because even if I could do justice to his humour, it would ruin the show for me to quote every funny line here.
This week’s episode, however, shows him at his very, very best and I would hate for you to miss out just because BBC2 is putting him on well past bedtime (well, well past my bedtime anyway).
He takes two underlying themes (musical comedy and how comedy now is different from in the ’80s) and weaves an utterly magical 30 minutes from them.
No one dissects comedy as intelligently and as funnily as Stewart Lee. His conversation between imaginary librarians, with them arguing over whether he is or isn’t a funny librarian is a work of art: “I think he is a funny librarian actually. It’s just that you have to have seen a lot of other librarians to realise what it is he’s doing.”
His destruction of lazy observational comedy is a joy to behold, and his meander into consumer advice is rather sweet. As is his dealing with someone who walks out of the recording halfway through (frankly he wasn’t hard enough on the one who followed suit with only 30 seconds of the show to go).
His Daily Mail-baiting IRA/Al-Qaeda comparison is brilliant, playing on exactly the sort of contradictions that the Fail displays on a daily basis: “The thing about the IRA , right, is they were decent, British terrorists… They didn’t want to be British. But they were.”
His comedy song was not just funny and musical, but also paid off on most of the earlier threads. And while I think the man who ruined the song is a total twonk, he did at least provoke an excellent final joke from my comedy hero.
Posted by Jo the Hat