The Alternative Comedy Experience. Image shows from L to R: Josie Long, David Kay, Stewart Lee, Henning Wehn, Simon Munnery, Paul Sinha, Phil Nichol, Tony Law, Paul Foot. Copyright: Comedy Central
The Alternative Comedy Experience

The Alternative Comedy Experience

  • TV stand-up
  • Comedy Central
  • 2013 - 2014
  • 25 episodes (2 series)

Stewart Lee curates a series of stand-up nights featuring alternative comedians. Recorded for Comedy Central.

Press clippings Page 2

Radio Times review

What does it take to get up in front of a crowd of strangers and try to make them laugh? Getting over "the fear" is one of the toughest parts of being a stand-up, but this line-up all manage it with aplomb. From Susan Calman's sparkly enthusiasm to Josie Long's aw-gosh awkwardness to Kevin Eldon's utter mania, each has his or her own coping technique.

The material is brilliant, but so too are Stewart Lee's backstage interviews. Unguarded and perceptive, they show how hard it is to make comedy look effortless. Keep watching through the credits for some insight into whether Dutch courage or a full roast dinner is better at steadying the nerves.

Jonathan Holmes, Radio Times, 29th July 2014

Radio Times review

Analysing comedy, according to the cliché, is like dissecting a frog: no one laughs and the frog dies. One thing that distinguishes comedians from television critics is that they are above using clichés. Another is that they can talk about the craft with authority, and make it funny, too.

This episode of the excellent stand-up showcase gets into the nitty-gritty of how comedy works: compering, writing new jokes, getting over "the fear" and trying to make strangers laugh. From Susan Calman's sparkly enthusiasm to Josie Long's awsh-gosh awkwardness to Kevin Eldon's utter mania, each has their own technique. The material is brilliant, but so too are Stewart Lee's backstage interviews. Keep watching through the credits for the answer to whether you should drink before stepping on stage.

Jonathan Holmes, Radio Times, 22nd July 2014

Stewart Lee interview

The comedian on positive discrimination, causing offense, and who he currently rates on the stand-up circuit.

Charlotte Philby, The Independent, 19th July 2014

Stewart Lee leaves his Comedy Vehicle outside Edinburgh's Stand Comedy Club for a second series of his personally curated stand-up showcase. Familiar faces from the first series set to return for the new run include Simon Munnery and Josie Long, along with a chance to enjoy the fresher faces of Lou Sanders and Nish Kumar. Tonight's series opener features Edinburgh comedy award-winner Bridget Christie, long-time Lee conspirator Kevin Eldon, and the sumptuously surreal Tony Law.

Mark Jones, The Guardian, 15th July 2014

Radio Times review

"It's just like Live at the Apollo isn't it?" No, it's not, and that's the point. Far from the shiny floors of Hammersmith, deep in the basement of Edinburgh's Stand Comedy Club, this is more chaotic and much closer to attending an actual night of live stand-up with the likes of Tony Law, Bridget Christie and Kevin Eldon.

Except it's not, it's a TV show, and that's also the point. Despite some smart backstage interviews with Stewart Lee, the bill of not-quite-household names never let you forget it's all a wee bit fake: obsessing over catchphrases, lighting rigs and the other trappings of stand-up on TV. It's all very self-referential and very, very funny. As the dawdling Paul Foot puts it: "This sort of thing I'm doing now, it entertains people, but it's catastrophic for television. I am committing career suicide."

Jonathan Holmes, Radio Times, 15th July 2014

TV preview: The Alternative Comedy Experience

The return of The Alternative Comedy Experience has got to be a Good Thing. Even though maybe its job is already done.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 15th July 2014

Simon Munnery interview

From the mid-1990s on, Simon Munnery has intrigued and innovated. Ahead of his spot on Stewart Lee's The Alternative Comedy Experience, Digital Spy got on the phone with Simon to talk singing Kierkegaard, "fylm" and whether or not we'll ever get Attention Scum! on DVD.

Mayer Nissim, Digital Spy, 15th July 2014

Line-up for The Alternative Comedy Experience 2 announced

Kevin Eldon and Susan Calman are amongst the comedians involved in the second series of The Alternative Comedy Experience, which starts on Comedy Central in July.

British Comedy Guide, 11th June 2014

The Alternative Comedy Experience

I am looking forward to Series 2 of this show but in the meantime, I will be looking out for names like David Kay, Alun Cochrane and Bridget Christie in particular, as these new names stood out for me.

Becca Moody, Moody Comedy, 18th April 2014

DVD review: The Alternative Comedy Experience, Series 1

A treat for aficionados, and a fine toe-dipping exercise for the dilettante, this is bound to tickle your fancy in one way or another.

Nic Wright, Giggle Beats, 17th November 2013

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