Bleeding Cool big up Fist of Fun
You’re American. You like British stuff like Doctor Who, The Office and Being Human. You’re looking forward to The Fades.
But you want more. Stuff that your peers might not have heard of, so you can lord it over them, lend them the box set, and get kudos back. Stuff that even BBC America won’t show.
1. Stewart Lee and Richard Herring.
A comedy team who rose to semi-fame in the early nineties who consistently rejected commercialisation of their work – and as a result aren’t nearly as famous as they could be if they’d only done those “I’m an Apple, I’m a PC” ads. Fiercely intelligent and deconstructive, scatological and heartfelt, their separate careers still seem joined, and in their solo stand up work, they still appear to impersonate each other when they need another voice to challenge them.
Their far-too-young show Fist Of Fun has a huge box set for its first series, in that it includes all the rushes from every take of the show, as they were recorded. That’s fan dedication. The second series and their subsequent live show This Morning With Richard Not Judy is to come, but their solo work is stellar.
Richard Herrings’s Christ On A Bike is my own personal favourite, tackling Richard Herring’s atheist relationship with Jesus, but Hitler Moustache, Oh Fuck I’m 40, The Headmaster’s Son, Menage A Un, Someone Likes Yoghurt and The Twelve Tasks Of Hercules are still some of the best themed standup shows around and just the kind of thing to dazzle and excite the person who thinks Eddie Izzard and Ricky Gervais is as far as you can go.
While Stewart Lee, gaining a criticial revival of late, provides some of the most nihilist self examination and despair in the name of comedy around, as he takes apart your very expectations of a joke. Don’t worry, it should still make you laugh. 90′s Comedian, If You Prefer A Milder Comedian Please Ask For One and 41st Best Stand Up Ever are gems as is his new show Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle Series 1 and Series 2. You may also know him from writing Jerry Springer – The Opera, now at a ludicrously low price.