Word In Your Ear Ep 644 - 15th June 2024

Stewart Lee – beloved writer, columnist and stand-up – was on the podcast in 2022 talking about the first records he bought, immensely funny and fascinating, and we’ve been praying for an excuse to get him back since. And it’s here! – he’s on tour again and his ‘Basic Lee’ show is on Sky/Now TV on July 20. This covers his first memories of live entertainment – in the audience and as a performer – and the people who influenced him and stops off at the following stations …

… why the Wombles were just like Crass.

… how he writes and tests new material.

… why Ted Chippington inspired his stand-up career.

… television comedy is now “two-screen TV” as the viewer’s always watching something else at the same time.

… how Lockdown made audiences forget how to behave.

… “Comedian In Bum Phone Fury”: how he stopped people filming his gigs.

… deliberately using negative reaction shots in his TV edits.

… improvisation in music and comedy and why every night should be unique.

… the tense protocol of comedians at other comedians’ gigs

…Mark E Smith doing things “out of necessity irrespective of how they were received” and his reaction to seeing Stewart in his audience.

… why festival crowds are a challenge.

… the Drifters, the Applejacks and Napalm Death and how they are related.

… the music playing when his son was born.

… arriving in full early Dexys rig – donkey jacket, woolly hat – to find they were now the “raggle-taggle gypsies”.

… the sole performance of Peter Richardson’s Mexican bandit act.

… Daniel Kitson, “the world’s greatest living stand-up”.

… plus the Nightingales, Chris Spedding, Clem Cattini, Kirk Brandon, the Bevis Frond, Geddy Lee, Throbbing Gristle and Brighton Psych Fest’s Secluded Bronte – “is it music or are they just moving furniture around?”