Like latter-day Pie J Starvey this week’s Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle fixates on England and as he has ofen done in the past he relates a tale of an experience with a cab driver. “These days” the cabbie tells him “If you say you’re English you get arrested and thrown in jail”. This remarkable claim is put through Lee’s repeat-until-funny wringer until the last drop of comic juice drops out and the hapless driver quietly admits that no, it is not true that you will be thrown in jail if you say you’re English. Back in the interrogation chamber Chris Morris point out to Lee that this bullshit conversation never actually happened and that he is merely making play from his audience’s expectations of “folk bigotry”. Lee stonewalls. His truth is a better truth. They agree to differ and move on.
And of course you can’t discuss England without discussing UKIP. No really, if you try you get thrown in jail. He cites Paul Nuttall of UKIP (hereafter known as Paul Nuttalls of the UKIPs for reasons best explained by the second verse of Half Man Half Biscuit’s Shit Arm Bad Tattoo) and his suggestion to the Bulgarian immigrants entering the city that the best and brightest of them stay at home and make their own country economically prosperous. What sane man could argue with that?
Chris Morris interjects to point out that Lee’s stand-up is never actually funny but rather only makes people laugh through fear, awkwardness and confusion. “That’s quite a complicated brew because I’m not sure if that’s smug or psychotic”. I have that exact same thought about Clare “horse Bundy” Balding.
“I’m not sure if that’s smug or psychotic”. I have that exact same thought about Clare “horse Bundy” Balding.
But as you must with any political idea you take it to its logical/absurd conclusion and Lee goes on a lightning tour of Britain’s immigration and invasion right back to the second century BC, where he tells beaker folk to make their own land economically prosperous; then 4500 BC and the Neolithic people where he derides their “primitive farming innovations” and finally 400 million years ago as sea creatures blindly crawl up onto land for the first time. “Get back in the sea you finned cunt” his greeting. Well, when you put it like that…
We finish on the actor Kevin Eldon as early amphibian slithering his way out of the primordial ocean only to be confronted by a time travelling Paul Nuttalls (Paul Putner) of the UKIPs and battered back into the ocean. Life on Earth is ended by Paul Nuttalls in this odd little morality tale and it’s another win for Mister Stew who is still probably Britain’s finest working stand-up now that Jethro has retired to support the UKIPs.
The verdict: England’s reaming.
Marks out of 10: 7.5