Ref NoBSUCA/Events/1/6
CollectionBritish Stand-Up Comedy Archive Events
TitleSteve Bennett in conversation with Oliver Double
Name of creatorBennett, Steve; Double, Oliver, 1965-
Duration1 hr. 13 min. 07 sec.
Extent1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF)
DescriptionSteve Bennett, editor of the Chortle website, in conversation with Oliver Double, recorded at the Aphra, University of Kent, Wednesday 1 June 2016, as part of the Centre for Popular and Comic Performance (University of Kent) events 2016.

Track 1 [1:13:00]
[00:00] Recording starts. [00:01] Applause from audience. Pre introduction discussion between Steve Bennett [SB] and interviewer Oliver Double [OD]. [01:05] OD introduces SB. Remarks on SB’s website ‘Chortle’ as main theme of interview. [01:53] OD asks about work prior to ‘Chortle’ SB describes working as journalist and editor. Describes comedy coverage in journalism. [3:59] OD asks about starting ‘chortle.’ SB anecdote on initial writeups. Further story about dotcom startup ‘comedy star’ [defunct website]. [05:38] discussion about dotcom bubble of early 2000’s. [06:58] SB describes making ‘Chortle’ profitable. Mentions advertising and sponsors. OD remarks about selling DVDs versus downloads. [03:25} discussion about comedy listings in magazines/newspapers. [09:00] discussion about comedy website discussion predating ‘chortle.’ OD story about show with Steve Gribbin [English satirist] and Roger Monkhouse [English Stand-up comedian]. [09:58] OD mentions copyright issues. SB discusses workarounds. [11:15] SB describes how ‘Chortle’ became popular. [11:57] OD remark on ‘chortle’ popularity in 2004. [12:10] OD asks, “what made Chortle different?” OD remarks on running ‘Chortle’ out of the bedroom. Mentions turnover. SB describes employee structure. [14:15] discussion about managing time away from the site. [14:57] SB further remarks on economics of running ‘Chortle.’ [16:30] OD remarks on lack of comments on website. SB clarifies comment system. OD anecdote on inability to find comments. [17:00] discussion on negativity and internet culture. [17:55] OD remarks on audience reactions in comedy. Access through recordings. [19:20] OD questions TB about viewership of ‘Chortle.’ Mentions importance of website to comedians. SB mentions reasons for website success. [21:00] discussion returns to positives of Chortle. [21:40] OD further discussion on preceding attempt at comedy website. Mentions deadpan [defunct website]. SB describes problems with small fanbase. Discussion around attempt to create alternative comedy agency. [24:02] Conversation returns to readership of ‘Chortle. OD mentions agents and comedians as readership. SB anecdote about impact on comedians. [25:35] SB mentions centrality of internet for information. OD discusses comedy archives as source of information versus internet. [26:48] OD remarks on SB reputation as failed stand-up. SB mention skillset as journalism and presenting information. [28:10] discussion on qualities of review. SB remarks on authenticity, intangible quality. [30:10] Discussion on qualities of a “one-star” review. [30:40] SB anecdote about artistic laziness. [31:20] OD questions SB on enjoyment of bad comedy. SB remarks on ease of reviewing negatively. [32:29] Discussion about comedians lashing out at SB. SB anecdote about circuit comedian’s reception to reviews. [33:50] OD mentions quote from SB about role of critic. SB remarks about being on side of the audience. [35:15] Od tells story about review from a Bristol [City in West England] magazine. Further discussion on audience reception. [37:20] OD asks what qualifies SB as critic. [38:15] SB remarks on criticism of comedy versus film. OD describes emotion context of comedy. [39:05] OD anecdote on audience response in comedy. [39:30] discussion about Sam Friedman’s book ‘Comedy and Distinction’ [Routledge, 2014]. Concerning cultural capital of comedy. [41:58] OD comment upon effect of racism in comedy. [42:50] further discussion regarding cultural capital. Comparison of Seinfeld [American Comedian] and Michael Mcintyre [English comedian and writer]. [43:40] further story about Mcintyre’s stand-up from OD. [45:53] OD questions SB on state of comedy. SB describes television versus live comedy. [47:50] OD asks what attracted SB to Stand-up comedy. [48:50] further question about social importance of stand-up comedy. [49:30] Further question to SB about the most important modern comics. [50:25] Audience questions for SB. [51:47] Question one: Audience member asks SB to clarify website rating system. [53:30] Question two: Does SB overhype certain shows based on preference? [54:50] SB remarks on dislike of a five-star rating system. Discussion with audience member about recommending “cultured” comedy opposed to “lowbrow.” [59:50] Question three: Will an influx of professional women comics change the gendered discrimination on the open mic circuit? [1:01:25] Question four: Is satire in decline? Discussion on American late-night shows. [1:07:10] Question five: To what extend does stage presence influence appreciation of a live comedy show? Follow-up question: Does SB know of any comedians with quality material but have failed due to poor presentation? [1:09:10] audience member remarks on storytelling as an alternate motive for watching stand-up. SB discusses. [1:11:48] Question six: Does ‘Chortle’ let featured comics change their profile photograph? [1:12:53] Applause and closing remarks. [1:13:00] Interview ends.
PhysicalDescriptionAudio file WAV LPCM 44.1kHz 16 bit stereo
CategoryAudio recordings
Access conditionsAvailable for consultation at the University of Kent's Special Collections & Archives reading room, Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NU.
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