Comedian gets in a stew about nothing for his latest show

Stewart LeeStewart Lee
Stewart Lee
Stewart Lee is confused. He is a “classic textbook middle class Guardian reading liberal” and yet his audiences these days are very different to what he is used to seeing at his shows.
 “There are now, well, 
‘shirted lads’ who are 
hanging around wanting 
their photos taken with me after a show. 
 “There are old people, teenagers, the audience is really mixed racially, it’s changed an awful lot. I don’t really know why.”
 The reason it seems odd 
to Lee that this greater mix 
of people are coming to see his shows, is because 
it shouldn’t really be happening. 
 He is considered the sort of comedian that the comedy purists would enjoy – the sort of folk who wouldn’t be found dead at a Michael McIntyre gig. 
 He even made a joke of it himself in his last show, Carpet Remnant World, splitting the audience in 
two, talking conspiratorially with one section of the audience, suggesting the 
other sections were there to see him because he had been ‘on the telly’. 
 “I think I’m going to have to stop doing that now really,” concedes Lee.
 “It was a useful device, 
it made both sections of 
the audience feel like they 
had been singled out for 
some kind of special treatment, but there 
comes a point when it 
just doesn’t work any more because the audience is so diverse.”
 Perhaps one of the reasons Lee is being discovered by a wider audience all the time is because of the success he has enjoyed with his most recent television show. 
 Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle was lapped up by comedy afficionados after its first series, but Lee reveals it nearly didn’t get re-commissioned.
 “TV often makes patronising decisions about what it does. The show went out at 11.15pm – it was an odd 
thing really and they didn’t want a second series,” says Lee.
 “It was only when it 
won Baftas and was nominated for British 
Comedy Awards that they said they wanted to re-commission it.”

Stewart Lee will be appearing at St George’s Hall, Bradford, September 26 and Harrogate, October 12.