Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle

television series

Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle is a television comedy series written by Stewart Lee. In each episode, Lee performs a stand-up comedy act at the Mildmay Club in north-east London. Each act has a particular theme, and some of the topics that Lee discusses are elaborated in comedy sketches enacted by guest comedians (such as Kevin Eldon, Paul Putner, and Cathryn Bradshaw). At various times, the show cuts to segments from mock interviews, in which satirist Armando Iannucci asks Lee about the show's alleged failings.

Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle premiered on BBC Two on 16 March 2009. Since then, four six-episode series have aired, concluding with the episode "Childhood" on 7 April 2016.

Series 1 edit

Toilet Books [1.01] edit

Stewart Lee: The world of publishing is in crisis: Publishers sell hot titles at massive discounts to supermarkets, driving independent publishers out of business. I remember when the last Harry Potter title came out, I think it was Harry Potter and the Crock of Shit. Remember that? Or Harry Potter and the Mitten of Wool? Or Harry Potter and the Stick of Wood? Or Harry Potter and the Forest of Embarrassment? …

Anyway, I was in Tesco's, and they were literally delivering the new Harry Potter books on forklift trucks, on pallets, into the supermarket. "Get your books! Pile up the books! Get a multi-pack of books! Why not take an extra book home, put it in the freezer?"

… Those Harry Potter books, you know they're for children, don't you? They're aimed at children. People do that to me. "Have you read the new Harry Potter book, Stew? It's good. Have you read it?" No, I haven't read it, because I'm a forty-year-old man.

"You should read it, Stew. It's about a wizard in a school." I'm not reading it! I'm a grown—I'm an adult! "Have you read Harry Potter, Stew, and theand the Tree of Nothing?" No, I haven't. I haven't read it; but, I have read the complete works of the Romantic poet and visionary William Blake, so fuck off.

Stewart Lee: It's no coincidence that the worst published writer in the world today is also one of the world's most successful writers: Dan Brown. Now, Dan Brown is not a good writer; The Da Vinci Code is not literature. Dan Brown writes sentences like, "The famous man looked at the red cup."

… And it's only to be hoped that Dan Brown never gets a job where he's required to break bad news:
"Doctor, is he going to be alright?"
"The seventy-five-year-old man died a painful death on the large, green table. It was sad."

Stewart Lee: The eighteenth-century polymath Thomas Young was the last person to have read all the books published in his lifetime. That means that he would've read all the Shakespeare and all the Greek and Roman classics and all the theology and all the philosophy and all the science. But, the same man today, a man who had read all the books published today, would've had to've read all Dan Brown's novels, two volumes of Chris Moyles' autobiography, The World According to Clarkson by Jeremy Clarkson, The World According to Clarkson 2 by Jeremy Clarkson, The World According to Clarkson 3 by Jeremy Clarkson …. His mind would be awash with bad metaphors and unsustainable, reactionary opinion; one long anecdote about the time that Comedy Dave put a pound coin in the urinal. In short, the man who had read everything published today would be more stupid than a man who had read nothing. That's not a good state of affairs.

Series 2 edit

Indentity [2.05] edit

Stewart Lee: In 2008, 427,000 people emigrated—left the country—for quality of life. … And if there's one thing I can't stand, it's emigrants. … Always the same places, isn't it? Former British colonies: New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United States of America. …

And they ring you up, don't they, the emigrants, from their new home in New Vancouverzealandfrisco. They go, "We love it here, Stew, in the former British colony. Quality of life."

"What quality of life is there, emigrant?", you must ask them, "in your former-colonial home? … Is there any good news coverage there?"

Emigrant: Oh, no, there's nothing like that here, Stew. We don't know what's going on. Has there been a war?
But the quality of life here, Stew, is superb. You can't put a price on it.
Stew: What do you mean … "quality of life"? Is there any … cultural stimulation? Is there any good documentaries or theatre or anything like that?
Emigrant: No. There's nothing like that here, Stew. It's like having your brain cut out and flung into a swamp.
But the quality of life here, Stew … you can't put a price on the quality—.
Stew: What do you mean, emigrant? What do you mean "quality of life" in your former-colonial home? Is there any … intellectual or social pleasure for you there of any form?
Emigrant: Oh, no, there's nothing like that, Stew. It's like being dead.
But the quality of life here, Stew, in the former British colony, it's fantastic! You can't put a price on it.
Stew: What do you mean, emigrant? … What do you mean by "quality of life" in your former-colonial home?
Emigrant: I'll tell you what I mean, Stew. I'll tell you what it is here in the former British colony …: There's massive prawns, Stew.

Democracy [2.06] edit

Stewart Lee: I used to sit down, and he (David Cameron) used to stand behind me … in a kind of encouraging way. … It seems funny now, but imagine being eighteen and never having even imagined that people like that existed, and then meeting them, and then being within their circle. And it was an amazing thing … to have someone like David Cameron's arm around [you]. But I don't feel like that any more, because I've since seen David Cameron on the news when he walks into Number Ten with his arm 'round Nick Clegg. And it's not friendly, is it. It's like a bloke who's bred a prize pig.

Series 3 edit

England [3.02] edit

Stewart Lee: A protest vote for UKIP is like shitting your hotel bed as a protest against bad service, then realising you now have to sleep in a shitted bed.

Satire [3.03] edit

Stewart Lee: I'm surprised she's friends with the Tories, Helena Bonham Carter, because she's an artist. And I'm not saying it's right or wrong. Artists do tend, historically, to be on the left. People on the right tend to be practical, level-headed, capable, unsentimental realists; people on the left tend to be people with dreams, hope, vision, imagination. You have to have imagination on the left, don't you? You have to be able to look at Ed Miliband and imagine that he represents anything other than the death of the post-war socialist dream. Ed Miliband: How did he manage that? How did he make the Labour Party less popular than under Blair? That's like catching a baby that's been thrown out of an aeroplane and then tripping up and dropping it in a gutter.

London [3.05] edit

Stewart Lee: It's not possible to buy drug's ethically. There's no fair-trade cocaine, is there. If you buy drugs, you're connected to a supply network that links you to slave labour and violent death. And in that respect, drugs are the same as all Apple products.

Stewart Lee: Venetian canal: A beautiful young man's punting you along in a gondola, isn't he, past all these cathedrals; and you're eating a coronetto, and he's singing a Verdi opera. That's Venice canal. Birmingham canal: A little old man in a green wooly hat is floatin' along in a bin.

Series 4 edit

Islamophobia [4.02] edit

Stewart Lee: Like all reasonable people, I hate all Muslims. Except for the ones I've met, who seem fine.

Death [4.04] edit

Stewart Lee: Of course, if one of these comics … had been adopted by goldfish you'd never hear the fuckin' end of it, would you? They'd have written a depressing, award-winning, serious one-man show about it. Depressing, award-winning, meaningful stand-up shows: that's the new trend in stand-up. But not on BBC Two, obviously. By the time any comedy's on BBC Two it's of no artistic value.

External links edit