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Stewart Lee! The 'If You Prefer a…
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Stewart Lee! The 'If You Prefer a Milder Comedian Please Ask For…

by Stewart Lee

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This book is the EP to the album that was [book:How I Escaped My Certain Fate|8538501], and contains the transcript to Stew's 2010 show If You Prefer a Milder Comedian, Please Ask for One. Not living in the UK any more, these books are the nearest I get to still watching live stand-up. Fortunately I am one of the Guardian-reading minority that thinks Stew is a meta-comedian of genius, as opposed to most people who seem to find him (to quote some of the critiques he's gathered on his website) ‘a sneering tosser’, ‘the most overrated smug twat ever’, and ‘a shit comedian doing an impression of a shit comedian’.

This one includes even more reflective introductory materials, footnotes and appendices, so the actual routine is presented alongside the convoluted thought processes of the man who came up with it, including details of where the jokes came from, what he was worrying about at the time, how he was hounded by the Mail on Sunday, and general details of what appears to be a protracted mid-life crisis for the fat Terry Christian. This routine is particularly navel-gazing because in part it's about the nature of comedy itself, and how British stand-up is becoming polarised between the extremes of Michael MacIntyre (twee, uninventive ‘have-you-ever-noticed’ style mass comedy) and Frankie Boyle (hate-filled ‘rape-and-child-abuse’ shock comedy) – although it has to be said that what annoys Stew most about these two is probably their financial success.

It's impossible to quote, because Stew's jokes nowadays take half an hour to set up and don't pay off until an hour later, but if you're interested in stand-up comedy as a form and as a social indicator, this is great. Also he makes me piss myself laughing more intelligently than anyone else I know, and he definitely doesn't ‘exude an aura of creepy molesty smugness’. ( )
1 vote Widsith | Jul 7, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0571279848, Paperback)

Following his hugely acclaimed TV come-back "Comedy Vehicle", Lee finds himself in search of ideas for a new Edinburgh show. On a long walk across London, he endures a coffee shop humiliation involving a loyalty card which suggests itself as a framing device. Later that month, thanks to Jeremy Clarkson's casual slur against Gordon Brown and the appearance of a well-meaning young comedian in an advert, a show is born. Featuring a transcript of the show fully annotated with footnotes, the "If You Prefer A Milder Comedian EP" confirms Stewart Lee as the most original, daring and brilliant comedian of his generation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:12 -0400)

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