Comedy

Entitled white men won't like it – which is why I did: Late Night reviewed

8 June 2019 9:00 am

Late Night is a comedy starring Emma Thompson as a chat-show host in America whose ratings are in decline and…

Lusty, roistering Suranne Jones as Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack. Image: BBC / Lookout Point / Jay Brooks

Sunday night on the Beeb was an orgy of virtue-signalling

25 May 2019 9:00 am

After its new costume drama You Go, Girl! (Sundays) about how amazing, empowered and better-than-men women are, especially if they…

Chris Lilley as Quentin, the real-estate agent with an improbably huge arse who dreams of becoming a famous DJ

Gloriously un-PC: Chris Lilley’s Swiftian, scabrous, gleefully misanthropic Lunatics reviewed

11 May 2019 9:00 am

‘Unfunny, boring and utterly unrelenting,’ says the Guardian’s one-star review of Chris Lilley’s new sketch series Lunatics (Netflix). And if…

Frankie Boyle's New World Order, on which the comic is paid to say the totally and predictably sayable. Image: BBC/ Endemol Shine UK/ Brian J Ritchie

Why has Frankie Boyle gone so soft?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

‘I spend a lot of time helping teenagers who’ve been sexually abused…’ — beat — ‘…find their way out of…

Netflix’s ‘Our Planet’

If you liked Triumph of the Will, you'll love Our Planet

13 April 2019 9:00 am

If you liked Triumph of the Will, you’ll love this latest masterpiece of the genre: Our Planet. The Netflix nature…

It’s time to revive Communist literature - it’s never been more relevant

6 April 2019 9:00 am

I was surprised to learn that the novelist Milan Kundera celebrated his 90th birthday on Monday. I had no idea…

It’s shocking how many Michael Jackson fans are still determined to take his side

14 March 2019 9:00 am

Halfway through the first part of Channel 4’s extraordinary documentary Leaving Neverland (Thursdays), I flicked through the comments on social…

Sian Clifford as Claire and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag

Promising but, compared to the first series, short of laughs: Fleabag reviewed

9 March 2019 9:00 am

BBC2’s MotherFatherSon announced its status as a classy thriller in the traditional way: by ensuring that for quite a long…

Second coming: Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge

I’ve never seen Coogan better or Partridge funnier: This Time with Alan Partridge reviewed

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Steve Coogan is back as Alan Partridge but frankly who cares? Like Ali G, I’ve long thought, he’s one of…

Rupert Graves and Colin Mcfarlane in Pinter's 'hilarious sketch' Victoria Station. Photo: Marc Brenner

One masterpiece, one dud and one interesting rediscovery: Pinter Five reviewed

19 January 2019 9:00 am

One masterpiece, one dud, and one interesting rediscovery. That’s Pinter Five. Victoria Station is a hilarious sketch which might have…

Divine comedy: Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel and John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy

The best tribute possible to the greatest comics ever: Stan & Ollie reviewed

12 January 2019 9:00 am

You mess with Laurel and Hardy at your peril. Their fan base is essentially the entire world. Samuel Beckett adored…

Doors drummer John Densmore and Police percussionist Stewart Copeland. Photo: BBC / Somethin’ Else Sound Directions Ltd / Nico Wasserman

According to BBC4, what was one of the 'most important inventions in modern music'?

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Here’s a tricky quiz question for you. What word completes this sentence from a BBC4 documentary on Friday: ‘The world…

I can stand up for myself

1 December 2018 9:00 am

­From fixing Ed Miliband’s make-up to touring her own comedy show, Ayesha Hazarika is good at seeing the funny side, says Melissa Kite

My one-night stand-up hell

17 November 2018 9:00 am

My awful maiden stand-up gig

Radio 4 treats its radio listeners as second-best in favour of those who listen to podcasts

13 October 2018 9:00 am

How very odd of Radio 4 not only to release The Ratline as a podcast before broadcasting it on the…

Self-Help goes mainstream – can Marianne Power survive her own quest?

29 September 2018 9:00 am

Is there anyone left who’d still be mortified to have it known that they’d purchased, or maybe even benefited from,…

Rory Bremner: Why comedians are getting political

25 August 2018 9:00 am

The brilliant Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell describes doing stand-up at the Edinburgh Fringe as ‘exams for clowns’, and even though…

Rob Auton (Chris) in Frank Skinner’s Nina’s Got News

Is Frank Skinner the new Alan Bennett? Edinburgh Fringe round-up

25 August 2018 9:00 am

For recovering teetotallers, like me, Thinking Drinkers is the perfect Edinburgh show. On stage, two sprucely dressed actors perform sketches…

Full of bog-standard, if annoyingly effective, emotional manipulation: The Foreign Doctors Are Coming reviewed

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Surprising I know, but judging from The Foreign Doctors Are Coming (Channel 4, Tuesday), Britain mightn’t be such a bad…

Robert Redford turns his hand to radio

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Much ado is being made of the latest listening figures, which have suggested that the percentage of those aged between…

Why do comics bother with Edinburgh?

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Edinburgh. Why do comics do it? We almost invariably lose money. Even if you don’t pay for your venue, the…

Sacha Baron Cohen isn't funny – especially when he's mocking the powerless

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest series Who Is America? isn’t funny. But then, nor was his terrible 2016 movie The Brothers…

Life is a cabaret: Barry Humphries and Meow Meow

Barry Humphries on Trump, transgender ‘rat-baggery’ and causing maximum offence

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Lloyd Evans talks to Barry Humphries about Brexit, transgender ‘rat-baggery’ and pre-cataclysmic art

Why has the National given over its largest stage to one of the nation's smallest talents?

16 June 2018 9:00 am

The National has made its largest stage available to one of the nation’s smallest talents. If Brian Friel had been…