Comedy

The Separation Photo: Ed Clark

A tatty new theatre offers up a comic gem that’s sure to be snapped up by the BBC

14 February 2015 9:00 am

New venue. New enticement. In the undercroft of a vast but disregarded Bloomsbury church nestles the Museum of Comedy. The…

Leo Tolstoy

Radio 4’s War and Peace: almost as good as the book

24 January 2015 9:00 am

To have listened to Radio 4’s marathon ten-hour adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace as it was being broadcast on…

Chico, Harpo and Groucho Marx (left to right) enjoy a day at the races

What unites Churchill, Dali and T.S. Eliot? They all worshipped the Marx Brothers

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Ian Thomson celebrates the anarchic genius of Groucho and his brothers

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Fortune tellers, pound shops and Orville: why I love Blackpool

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Fortune tellers, pound shops and Orville: it’s easy to take the piss out of Blackpool, but William Cook loves it

Dapper Laughs Photo: Getty

You shouldn’t watch Dapper Laughs. But you really shouldn’t let the likes of me stop you

15 November 2014 9:00 am

As you’ll know by now, I’m big on thinking the right things. Should a thought strike me that m’colleague Rod…

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The subversive wonders of Kilkenomics – where economics meets stand-up

15 November 2014 9:00 am

‘What is a Minsky moment, anyway?’ asks Gerry Stembridge, an Irish satirist. ‘I’ve been reading about them in the papers…

Nick Hornby Photo: Getty

The greatest sitcom that never was

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Funny Girl is the story of the early career of the vivacious, hilarious Sophie Straw, star of the much-loved BBC…

Rosamund Pike and family (L-R) Harriet Turnbull, Emilia Jones and Bobby Smalldridge

Outnumbered: The Movie (But Crap)

27 September 2014 9:00 am

What We Did On Our Holiday is written and directed by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton, the pair who created…

'Outspoken' comedian, Frankie Boyle Photo: Getty

Frankie Boyle is a cowardly bully, and I’m ashamed I ever stood up for him

30 August 2014 9:00 am

‘Outspoken comic Frankie Boyle has called on the BBC to sack “cultural tumour” Jeremy Clarkson.’ Can anyone tell me what’s…

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Switching on to a new generation gap

30 August 2014 9:00 am

In the world of YouTube and Netflix, generations no longer share a culture

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Alex Salmond has already lost — if the Edinburgh Festival is anything to go by

23 August 2014 9:00 am

Lloyd Evans tours the Edinburgh Festival in search of clues about the outcome of the referendum

Pushing 70, but not very hard: Anne Archer as Jane Fonda

An innocent graduate of Operation Yewtree, Jim Davidson, dazzles in Edinburgh

23 August 2014 9:00 am

Let’s start with a nightmare. Wendy Wason, an Edinburgh comedienne, travelled to LA last year accompanied by her husband, who…

The unfortunate Manuel in
Fawlty Towers — portrayed by the similarly accident-prone Andrew Sachs

The harrowing, inspiring life of Andrew Sachs

15 March 2014 9:00 am

Comedians always like to claim that they started making jokes after childhoods made harsh by poverty; that at a formative…

The 59th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards - Ceremony

Is a new art form being born on Woman's Hour?

25 January 2014 9:00 am

In a comic-strip cartoon, beads of water apparently radiating outward from the head of one of the characters indicate embarrassment.…

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An utterly charming, totally bonkers short novel

4 January 2014 9:00 am

This utterly charming, totally bonkers short novel is something from another age. There are elements of A Handful of Dust…

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Don't flog a dead parrot - leave Monty Python in the past

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Monty Python was funny once. But a revival is a dreadful idea

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Burlesque is not as bad as stripping. It's far worse

13 July 2013 9:00 am

A sense of irony doesn’t make stripping feminist. It just makes it worse to watch

A Memorial Is Held On The 20th Anniversary Of The Murder Of Stephen Lawrence

The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson, edited by Harry Mount - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

It’s just a guess, but I suspect that the mere sight of this book would make David Cameron gnash his…

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The man behind Eric and Ernie

9 March 2013 9:00 am

It takes a special sort of talent to turn a good act into a great one, and without John Ammonds,…

Life imitates art

19 May 2012 11:00 am

The other evening my wife came home to find me watching re-runs of Steptoe and Son. The washing up had…

A bit of slap and tickle

14 April 2012 9:00 am

Hard on the heels of the ecstatically received London revival of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off (currently playing at the Novello…

Deviation and double entendre

17 March 2012 10:00 am

If there’s anything full-time novelists hate more than a celebrity muscling in on their turf, it’s the celebrity doing such…

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Bookends: The showbiz Boris Johnson

29 October 2011 11:00 am

Amiability can take you a long way in British public life. James Corden is no fool: he co-wrote and co-starred…

Bookends: Laughing by the book

13 August 2011 12:00 am

Laughing by the book.

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An existential hero

16 April 2011 12:00 am

Sam Leith is enthralled by a masterpiece on monotony, but is devastated by its author’s death