The Alternative Comedy Experience is important because it aims to show what intimate comedy gigs are actually like so for people who don’t see a lot of live comedy, or only have experience of big arenas, it really shows a whole new world. The show consists of a whole load of individual stand up sets that have been chopped up into small sections and made into thirty minute episodes with as many as four or five comedians featuring in each one. The premise of the show was thought up by the genius that is Stewart Lee and features snippets of interviews conducted by Lee with each comic. The general criteria for the comedians is ‘alternative’ with some being more commonly known than others and I was drawn to the show because many of my favourites feature such as Paul Foot, Tony Law, Henning Wehn and of course, Stewart Lee.
Programmes like this are great because they introduce a whole range of new comics to the viewers. For example, I fell in love with David Kay’s down beat tone which had everyone laughing in the breaks between talking, which is a talent. I had only ever seen Josie Long on panel shows before but I adored her brilliant political views that were hilarious and not too heavy. I think it’s important for comics to discuss politics in their material because young people especially need to be more familiar with things that directly effect them. And Britain’s politicians are laughable in themselves, lest us forget.
I only own series one of The Alternative Comedy Experience and know a second series was released early this year so need to get myself a copy of that. From what I did see though, I definitely wish there could have been more of Paul Foot in particular as I know he is a genius but he didn’t seem to get much stage-time. There were others who I would like to have seen more of also, including Bridget Christie, Robin Ince and David O’Doherty (I have many of his weird songs on my iPod- he’s fantastic, like the love child of Tim Minchin and a child? a chimp? I don’t know).
Tony Law got quite a lot of time which was brilliant because as you know, he’s one of my all time favourites. I worship that guy, seriously- his material is quick, insane and SO surreal which is everything I could want. Henning Wehn was also on top form as usual (he is rapidly becoming one of my favourites) and I can’t wait to watch the DVD I have of his latest stand up tour: No Surrender.
I am looking forward to series two of this show but in the meantime, I will be looking out for names like David Kay, Alun Cochrane and Bridget Christie in particular as these new names stood out for me. Also, I have an important query- HOW ON EARTH IS BRIDGET CHRISTIE 42?! She must be a time traveller or something, she looks wonderful.
I don’t really know anyone who watches this show, so let me know if you do and restore my faith in humanity thanks!
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