Ref NoBSUCA/OD/1/43
CollectionOliver Double Collection
TitleStewart Lee interviewed by Oliver Double
Name of creatorDouble, Oliver, 1965-
Date25/02/2012
Duration57 min. 07 sec.
Extent1 sound disc (MiniDisc) (80min)
1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF)
DescriptionStewart Lee interviewed by Oliver Double at Patisserie Valerie, Canterbury high street, 25th February 2012. This interview was conducted by Double for his book 'Getting the Joke: The Inner Workings of Stand-Up Comedy', 2nd Edition (2014) .
[Interview summary]
[0.30] Olly asks about the difference between offstage and onstage persona [1.00] Lee answers saying that the difference between himself and his "Character" [2.50] Lee writing in columns and articles in his personas [4.35] Lee discusses the attitude his character has towards Russell Howard and his charity credits. [5.55] Lee talks about his series and how his character affects real-life. [6.33] Talks about acceptability in comedy. [9.45] Lee talks about his process of comedy. [11.00] Frank Carson and one-line comedians. [13.22] What is truth and mother-in-law [17.00] Privacy and public becoming merged. [18.22] Acting and Stand-up being spliced. [20.22] Emotional representation on stage. [23.40] Stadium comedy. [25.21] Acts trying to put themselves into hard positions onstage to see how they work themselves out of it. [26.30] Pushing the edge of form with Stand-up. [27.40] The Carpets of Carpets Remnants World. [29.07] Exploring Stadium comedy. [30.00] Discussing house music. [32.01] Delivery onstage. [34.45] Long conceptual shows and Dave Gorman. [39.28] Form. [42.54] The politics of stand-up. [46.09] Playing with what is acceptable to say. [52.02] How to manipulate the audience and to divide them simultaneously. [56.00] Interview ends.
[Analysis by Matthew Hoss]
- Lee comments that though he is at some level doing a character when he is onstage, the feelings the character demonstrates must not be false. This is why Lee changes his attitude in the last previous years as to account for his success.
- Lee thinks of himself differently from the onstage self so much that he calls the performer "he". This shows that there is a big difference between onstage and off. However he does go onto say that they share some of the same ideals, but the character is much more amplified and vicious. He says stuff which it is "true to the character".
- He also would act in that way of his character would do in real life, as seen with the Sky vs BBC decision. He acts the way the character does because he does not feel wanted. He acts in this way for some comedic "perverse pleasure".
- Comedy allows you to revel in the miniscule taboos and make them big things. This links to the relief theory. Lee states that he hates his children onstage, but obviously does not mean it, however everyone has have been in the position has felt this in a very minor way. Comedy clubs are safe way to vent these feelings.
- Lee flips comedy. He gives away the surprise ending and then he lets the audience enjoy the process. This is very Brecht (but Lee seems a little surprised about this). The journey is interesting.
- Lee changes names to spare people's feelings. It affects people in a real-life. It is a "modern dilemma". He also asked people not to write about his wedding for privacy.
- Some comedians do shows about life experiences and other projects whereas Carpet Remnant World (Lee's 2012 show) is all about trying to get material with the underlying themes of mortality.
- Lee explores a very strange area of comedy within stadiums- in a very mind-blowing way.
- The house music is about what the character wants onstage and what the character thinks the show is about - but the show is a little different to that. Offstage Lee controls on-stage Lee.
- Lee discusses the diversity of comedy. "If you are looking for three things to use in an argument you can find them in comedy". There are enough comedians to prove anything.
- Lee discusses the arts cuts - they arts are needed to support the "Josie Longs" who cannot chop up their set for a comedy store 20 minutes.
- The politics of stand-up changes according to society's consensus change. This can be represented by the Frankie Boyle- as he was a hero and now on "the fringe on crisis".
- There is no consensus - You do not have to play everyone.
- You have to persuade the audience that it is okay to say certain things. You have to gradually get there.
- Lee ultimately controls his audience like a juggler does, he shows him that he is human and he can mess up - even though it is rigged - and in that way he can keep control.
Notes1 MiniDisc, digitised to LPCM wave 24 bit 44.1kHz. Digitised using Sony Minidisc Deck MDS-JE53; Roland Edirol UA-25; Audacity 2.1.0. 2015-05-20.
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. Access is available via digital listening copies. The University of Kent acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors in this recording and the rights of those not identified.
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