Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Case Study No. 1476: Staff of Unnamed Library (Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle)

Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle - Funny Librarian
Stewart Lee analyses himself as a stand up comedian in Series 2, Episode 4 of Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle (BBC, 2011).
Tags: Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle Lee Funny Librarian Library 1980s 80s London Alternative Comedian Improvisation Stand Up Live Show Humour BBC Series Episode S02 E04 Television TV Armando Iannucci Chris Morris
Added: 2 years ago
From: tk42189
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[comedian Stewart Lee is sitting on stage, as he addresses the audience]
STEWART: It was very different in the 80s, when I started in comedy. Alternative comedy, wasn't like now. Wasn't like the clubs now and gigs everywhere. Nothing like that, it was only ... Like, where I was in the Midlands, there was one gig in Coventry, there weren't really any in Birmingham. So I had to come down to London to do the alternative comedy, and I had a job for about the first eighteen months when I got going. I worked in the library at Kew Gardens, putting the books away, and after about eighteen months I got enough little gigs in pubs to become a comic. And I went in on a Friday night, and I handed my card in to the head librarian, and I said "I don't need this anymore, I'm quitting." And she said, "Why, what're you doing instead?" I said, "Well, I'm gonna become a comedian." And she said, "Oh, you never seemed very funny."
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: I know, I don't know what I was supposed to do in a library ... in silence.
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: Put the books away in a funny way.
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: Going up a ladder ...
[he pretends like he's falling]
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: "Ah help, I've put that one in the wrong bit" ...
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: Funny thing is, as I was leaving, the other librarian turned to her and said, "I think he is a funny librarian, actually. It's just that you have to have seen a lot of other librarians to realize what it is he's doing."
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: And the other one went, "No, you're wrong."
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: She said, "You're either a funny librarian or you're not. And he's not a funny librarian."
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: And the other one said, "Well, he is. Because he, he is a librarian ... but he also, it's like he comments on what a librarian is."
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: And then the first one, the head librarian, said, "Well maybe, but I guarantee if he takes that approach on BBC Two late at night, in twenty one years time, people will be turning off in the thousands!"
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: And the second one said, "He won't care."
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: "He'll see it as part of the process of refining the audience."
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: And the first one said, "You can't refine nothing!"
[the audience laughs, then the sound of a glass falling off-camera can be heard]
STEWART: And then the other one said, "What will he do if a glass falls over in the room?"
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: "Will he say someone's dropped their contact lens?"
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: And the other one said, "He will say that, but he'll say it as part of a quote in inverted commas."
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: "To show that he could've done it if he'd wanted to ... "
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: "But it's simultaneously beneath him."
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: And the other one, I forget which one it is now ...
[the audience laughs]
STEWART: Will say, "So he sort of has his cake and eats it, then, at the same time." And the other one says, "Yes, he does. He's gonna be the kind of act ... he does comedy, but he does it as if he's better than it."
[the audience laughs and applauds]



Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle is a comedy series created by Stewart Lee.

The BBC Two series debuted on 16 March 2009, and featured stand-up routines and sketches performed by Simon Munnery, Kevin Eldon and Paul Putner amongst others. Peter Serafinowicz recorded voice-over parts. The series is produced by Richard Webb and directed by Tim Kirkby. The programme is executive-produced by Armando Iannucci and script-edited by Chris Morris, marking a rare reformation of their creative double-act.


Season 2, Episode 4: "Stand-Up"

Stewart Lee talks about stand-up comedy while sitting down and threatens to play a guitar to accompany his routine.

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