DVD Review: 90’s Comedian

Chris Evans (no not that one, or that American actor one) made this happen. The first DVD release of his independent production company, Go Faster Stripe, came about because Chris wanted a copy of a 90’s Comedian DVD for his birthday. And it didn’t exist.

So some of those of a Christian or religious bent may find this DVD blasphemous. The rest of us are grateful that we can retain some semblance of freedom of speech.

So Chris emailed Stewart Lee to ask when the DVD was coming out. Stew replied that it wasn’t - as for whatever reason, the usual companies that produce comedy DVD’s didn’t want to know. Chris replied in turn that he had access to a venue and knew a mate who could work a camera.

I enjoyed the critically acclaimed 90’s Comedian live, during its sell out Edinburgh Fringe run in 2004. What we see here is the very last performance of the show in 2005 from an arts centre in Cardiff.

Proudly wearing the popular ‘Hated by The Daily Mail Badge’ he weaves in and out of routines that are always very funny and often deeply personal, satirical, and/or caustic. Stew enjoys a bit of celeb bashing, and Jim Davidson and Jimmy Carr get dishonourable mentions, though Jo Pasquale comes off far worse.

As usual Stew splits the room. He cajoles and berates and encourages the few that aren’t laughing, demanding that they keep up. Fans of his Comedy Vehicle TV show will notice an early use of Stew’s talking straight into camera technique.

All this soon makes way for what many perceive as his most challenging, nay blasphemous, material to date. Stewart Lee had been previously hounded by a group of Christian idiots, with repeated homophobic attacks against his West End musical, ‘Jerry Springer the Opera.’ After it was screened on BBC2 it got so bad that the musical had to close. It was as Stew was reflecting on this, that 90’s Comedian was written.

So some of those of a Christian or religious bent may find this DVD blasphemous. The rest of us are grateful that we can retain some semblance of freedom of speech.

Extras

There’s an interesting fifteen minute chat between Stew and Chris about how the DVD came about, what the show is and what Stew planned to do next. There’s a two minute grainy intro to the show delivered by Stew, a brief shot of Stew ironing and twenty seconds of Chris in a trademark lovely patterned shirt. There are also a few still photographs.

£12 - physical version/£5 - instant download. Available from www.gofasterstripe.com

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