Stewart Lee hates dogs. Hates them he does. Dog excrement is the bane of his life and he lives in fear of his kids smearing it in their faces and getting “dogshit eye blindness disorder”. A conflicted relationship with the canine world runs in his family – his uncle used to groom dogs “on the Internet”, visiting websites frequented by dogs pretending to be a much younger dog. He speaks of his delight when the first dog in space was incinerated alive on re-entry. Laika was a stray wandering the streets of Moscow before commissars plucked her out of her meaningless existence to guarantee her immortality, roasting her to a crisp in the process. She was a shitty astronaut but an excellent example of rotisserie cuisine as the scientists who feasted on her smoking carcass attested. “Laika? We certainly did – she was delicious!”
He concedes to Chris Morris that the talking directly to a camera lower than him and literally talking down to it represents the “air of condescension that comes off everything I say”. Few comics welcome the widely circulating criticisms of them as warmly as Lee – just as with London’s taxi drivers without them his act severely diminishes.
He gets onto the proposed high-speed link to Birmingham. No one wants to get to Birmingham any quicker than is necessary is his thinking. “Canal barge in, ejector seat out” he says – fair enough really.
He imagines what his stand-up routine would be like if he tailored it for the oligarchs who now own and run London. It’s niche but he manfully begins with “you know how it is when you’re an oligarch…” following up with observational material about disposing of the severed body parts of murdering business rivals. If he’d stayed in Birmingham he could have just done an entire routine about Carson Yeung and not change a word.
The verdict: You ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine..
Marks out of 10: 7.5