Comedy

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…

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

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

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…

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…

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…

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…

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

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

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 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…

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.…

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…

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

burlesque

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

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…

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…

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.

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