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Stewart Lee is described as the comedian’s comedian. He is a man whose comedy derives from the fact that he realises and highlights what is wrong with what we find and don’t funny. The second series of his critically acclaimed TV show Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle is came to its end on Wednesday, which will result in an ironically post-modern and satirical hole in my life.

Almost everything to do with Stewart Lee‘s Comedy Vehicle is something to make you think about: how much of the comedy we watch, read and listen to is just the same things being endlessly recycled.

Almost everything to do with Stewart Lee‘s Comedy Vehicle is something to make you think about: how much of the comedy we watch, read and listen to is just the same things being endlessly recycled.

The themes of each show mock the idea of even the show itself, having different themes for each episode. Two of which in the six part series are themed on charity. The second was due to the fact that the first Charity episode ended up being almost twenty five minutes on an old man who liked crisps. Crisps ended up being mentioned so many times that all meaning was lost, this was of course intentional and very clever though it did confuse me a little when the BBC iPlayer came up with an episode of the show I was sure I had seen when I sat to watch it.

Each episode explores a common style of comedy we are all used to. For example the first Charity episode is really about comedians such as Ross Noble and Billy Connollywho just drift into their own thoughts and never really go anywhere with their comedy sets.

Stewart Lee has the ability to perform high quality stand up in any style. Yet he uses this ability to perform in a style that no other comedian could get away with, the style of mocking all comedians for what they talk about and how they choose to convey their thoughts. He stays so serious during his ranting and rambling, as well as never actually mocking himself that everything he says feels as if it is gospel.

He is also master of the very risky form of comedy whereby he talks about something that is not funny until it becomes funny through repetition. Though repetition is one of the shows flaws, even though I love the show and shall miss it when the series has finished, I feel that it could actually become a little stale and boring beyond six episodes, without the show having a little overhaul before a possible series three.

My favourite episode of the series has to be the episode themed on stand up, during which Stewart Lee sits on a stall for twenty-five minutes with a guitar on his lap before playing a song about comedians, which he cuts short because he gets distracted. Lee’s ability to pick apart a joke into so many pieces that you have no idea why it was ever funny is funnier than most jokes could ever be.

Lee has moved away from lots of sketches that he had during the first series of the show, though I do still find them unnecessary. It’s not that I don’t find these funny, the Godzilla sketch in the first charity episode and the sketch about Winston Churchill being a pig in a hat during the Identity episode are both incredibly funny, and they however feel grossly out of place during the show.

I would rather Lee had a completely separate sketch show and had him concentrate purely on the stand up during his Comedy Vehicle. I did enjoy the sections in which Lee spoke to someone shady about his shows though, these were much more effective than the sketches and felt more at home in the show’s style, these should replace sketches completely if the show ever comes back again.

Overall I thoroughly have enjoyed Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle second series, I’m hoping that third series of the show, if it happens, is held off for at least a year so that Lee can again bring some interesting and fresh ideas to the table, hopefully next time without the sketches, but instead putting them into another show altogether.

Contributed by That Daryl Smith.

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