Live At The Electric - In The Press

Main News Stories About 'Live At The Electric':

It seems safe to say the short-lived glory days of the series are already behind us, seemingly in favour of the producers tilting the Hoxton branch of Toni & Guy and employing whoever tumbles out. For those comedy fans who wouldn't know Stewart Lee from Kristen Stewart, Russell Kane discovers that people from different regions of the UK are different, Marcel launches his smut-drenched autobiog and half of Totally Tom embraces his Scottish side in a typically overblown manner. Live at the Appalling, more like.

Mark Jones, The Guardian, 14th February 2014

Live at the Electric is neither live nor, I suspect, filmed at 'the Electric', but a studio-bound attempt to recreate the atmosphere of a late-night comedy club. It mixes stand-up, filmed excerpts, sketches, musical turns and character comedy, with the occasional Muppet Show-inspired glimpse backstage to witness techies exchanging banter.

The quality of the material was very patchy, but no acts outstayed their welcome, the bill was eclectic and the overall impression left was a positive one.

Emcee Russell Kane delivered a caustically funny routine about his late, testosterone-filled father - a man who would shout "wanker!" at any fly with the temerity to land on his dinner - but the show was stolen by Roger Showbusiness, a stage hypnotist too paralysed by nerves to perform. It is an experience many Stage readers will have suffered, but few will have eaten a block of Red Leicester cheese at the same time.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 5th February 2014

Russell Kane returns for a third outing of the series filmed in front of a live audience at the fictitious venue. Once again, his stand-up is interspersed with sketches and films from up-and-coming acts, with Totally Tom returning as the inappropriate backstage crew, and Joe Wilkinson and Diane Morgan launching an unusual anti-smoking product. There are new additions, too, as selected via an open call. Luke McQueen stands out with his attempts to woo his ex with battle rap and James Blunt-alike Alex Smith serenades Middle England.

Hannah J Davies, The Guardian, 10th January 2014

The idea of Live At The Electric is perfect on paper. But upon watching the show, the hope that it could be anywhere near as good as it seemed on paper floats further and further into the realms of fantasy.

Written by Conor Macgregor. On the Box, 5th July 2013

The BBC must've been delighted with the first series of Russell Kane's Live at the Apollo-for-yoofs - a third season is already in production, before the second batch has even aired. The format remains largely unchanged for Live at the Electric 2.0: Kane introduces a mix of character comics and sketch acts with a younger, trendier edge than McIntyre's relatively geriatric affairs.

But, wisely, most of the pre-edited VTs that lead the first series have gone, replaced by greater focus on the 'live' part of the title. Welcome new additions to the line-up include suave French misanthrope Marcel Lucont (the character creation of Alexis Dubus), who dishes out some inventive sex advice, and weirdo Northern Irishman Paul Currie, who silently, and absurdly, recreates the iconic Russian roulette scene from The Deer Hunter with the help of a monkey puppet and some theatrical gestures.

Not all the skits hit the mark, though. YouTube star Chris Kendall (know as 'Crabstickz' on the interwebs) spoofs Robert Pattinson's Twilight turn about five years too late, and Kane's own The Only Way is Shakespeare sketch has one joke: saying rude words in a thespian tongue. But the rotating cast make this well worth sticking with, and there are some cracking acts to come later in the series.

Ben Williams, Time Out, 4th July 2013

Russell Kane is rushing about BBC schedules with the same camp mania as he does his standup stage. Not only did he do Britain Unzipped and How To Win Eurovision, he's now the self-styled "fluffer" for a series of new-school sketch comics on Live At The Electric. There's "France's premier misanthropist and lover" Marcel Lucont, sharing his sex advice (drinking wine in a turtleneck, natch), slightly stale faux review show Film Fizz, and Joe Wilkinson and Diane Morgan doing their shambolic savant thing as Two Episodes Of Mash.

Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian, 4th July 2013

If you get aroused at sketch and character mirth, Russell Kane tells us, you're in the right place (actually he puts it in a more sexual way) because this show is a platform for fresh comedy talent. We're at the puerile end of the humour scale here, with some skits so surreal as to be almost pointless. But there are flashes of wit and the occasional gem.

YouTuber Chris Kendall's Film Fizz celebrity interview is very clever, while Kane's attempt to take the Bard to Essex in The Only Way Is Shakespeare (Sharonetti and Daveutio speak in Shakespearean blank verse) is ingenious.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 4th July 2013

Russell Kane talks about Twitter sex, falling in love with a fan and a funnyman's best friend: Colin the pug.

Written by Jasmine Gardner. Evening Standard, 12th June 2013

Lady Garden have caused a stir at the BBC with a sick Nazi sketch. Shocked bosses re-edited the programme at the last minute to tone it down before it goes to air tonight on BBC Three.

The Sun, 21st June 2012

Russell Kane is not afraid to commit - so he has committed himself to sleeping around and avoiding serious relationships for six months.

Written by Jen Blackburn. The Sun on Sunday, 17th June 2012

BBC Three has launched a new comedy show starring a comedian called Russell, to go alongside its other big comedy series, also starring a comedian called Russell.

Live at the Electric is a show which mixes stand-up from Russell Kane with sketches and songs from a huge range of different performers: Humphrey Ker, Nick Helm, and American Hari Kondabolu, as well as sketch troupes Two Episodes of Mash, Jigsaw, Wittank, Lady Garden and Totally Tom.

As with any show featuring so many acts, the quality varies from skit to skit. However, you can almost find something you like. For me, my favourite moment was Wittank's sketch in which a man finishes a job interview, only for his suitcase to open a huge torrent of porn mags falls out of it.

If I were to criticise anything it would be the camera work, mainly duringl Kane's stand-up. I don't mind it if it cuts to Kane talking to camera, but often it would cut to a shot from the back of the stage, filming through a broken window for the supposed purposes of being cool. No, just stick to Kane, or the audience reaction. Don't cut it so you can't actually see anyone.

I would urge readers to give Live at the Electric a go, partly because it's highly entertaining but mainly because it attracted less than half-a-million viewers when it went out on Thursday. So it will only be a matter of time before Zai Bennent, head of BBC Three, axes this along with the rest of the channel's comedy output...

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 4th June 2012

Russell Kane introduces the stars of BBC Three's sketch and character gangshow.

Written by Ben Williams. Time Out, 31st May 2012

Fed up with the same old comedy faces on TV? Well here's wittily coiffed funny man Russell Kane to guide us through a showcase of rising talent.

It's a mix of stand-up, sketches and the occasional bit of music, with tonight's highlights including a chance to sample the oddball humour of Joe Wilkinson, best known so far as Russell Tovey's bonkers upstairs neighbour in Him & Her.

Metro, 31st May 2012

It's Live at the Apollo for the stroppy teenage children of the nation's league of Michael McIntyre fans, basically. Corralled by Russell Kane, a series of young comedy pretenders jostle for attention with inevitably variable but sometimes amusing results. It's pretty hyperactive stuff - nothing's on for more than a couple of minutes, so if one sketch or routine doesn't float your boat, there'll be another one along in a minute. Highlights include duo Two Episodes of Mash (featuring the wonderfully lugubrious, occasionally slightly unnerving Joe Wilkinson) and Nick Helm who closes the show with a song. Hopefully this series will keep the cast rotating - it's a potentially decent showcase for the next comedy generation, with no time for anyone to properly die on their arse.

Phil Harrison, Time Out, 31st May 2012

Russell Kane presents the sort of show we've all been crying out for: a showcase for various up-and-coming comedians.

Kane introduces sets from Joe Wilkinson (the scruffy oddball upstairs in Him & Her), Diane Morgan, Nick Helm and the Helmettes, and Totally Tom. We're promised music, short films and sketches as well as stand-up, with sketches tonight from Lady Garden, Jigsaw, WitTank, Humphrey Ker and Hari Kondabolu. That's a lot of names to squash into half an hour, so the pace should be quick.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 31st May 2012

I wouldn't suggest you watch it with your gran, but BBC Three's new comedy series Live at the Electric (9.30pm) is easily worth half an hour of your time.

It's not really live - it couldn't be, I've already watched tonight's episode, they must think we're idiots - but recorded at TV Centre in front of an audience crammed with Russell Kane fans.

At least, I hope they're fans of his, seeing as Russell hosts the whole thing and also does a sizeable chunk of his stand-up.

Mind you, there's plenty more on offer, sketch-wise, from a whole bunch of comedy's rising stars.

Mike Ward, The Daily Star, 31st May 2012

Stand-up comedy is having a moment. You can spot it by the volume of stand-up shows nestling in the grown-up slots of TV programming. BBC3's latest offering grapples for a new take on the usual concept, with the self-coined "third Russell of comedy", Russell Kane, heading up a convoluted sketch-show-cum-stand-up fest. He's joined by the likes of Joe Wilkinson (the creepy one off Him And Her), Nick Helm and Totally Tom in a melee of stand-up, quick-fire sketches and behind-the-scenes skits.

Clare Considine, The Guardian, 30th May 2012