In the mid 1980s, long before the days where Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer became the well-known and much-loved surreal comedy duo they are today, Jim Moir was making a name for himself performing one man comedy stage shows in London. Such a name for himself, in fact, that he chose not to stick with his own. While Moir enjoyed varying his moniker frequently, he eventually settled on ‘Vic Reeves’, originally naming his show Vic Reeves Variety Palladium.
The show was a parody of the variety showcases so popular in prior decades, with Vic assuming the role of host (referring to himself as ‘Britain’s Top Light Entertainer’), introducing a variety of absurd characters (often also played by Reeves) and obscure performances. Reeves was often joined on stage by Fred Aylwood, playing his mute, eccentric, lab coat-wearing assistant, Les.
This stage show eventually evolved into Vic Reeves Big Night Out, which Reeves performed at The Goldsmiths Tavern in New Cross, south east London. It was here that he caught the imagination of a young Bob Mortimer, who was working as a solicitor at the time. It is told that Mortimer was transfixed by Reeves’s high-octane character comedy, going to see the show every week, and eventually taking part in the action himself.