This series has unusual insights into the craft and psyche of the stand-up comedian. Comics talk about past gigs, but specifically about gigs at Edinburgh's notorious Late'N'Live, an out-of-control 1am bearpit where acts who show any weakness are trampled by drunken hecklers. All the normal skills of the trade are useless as the comic engages in a fight to the death with the audience. Cutely, the programme plays its interviewees footage of their worst/best moments and watches as they relive them.Jake Seale, Radio Times, 4th February 2012
Imagine having your own TV series on BBC One on your birthday... well that's what happened to me this week. All went well, with friends forcing themselves to stay up later than usual on a school night. Thank God for the TV recording apparatus - so many people either recorded Late 'n' Live Guide To Comedy or watched it on BBC iPlayer.Karen Koren, The Scotsman, 2nd February 2012
The greatest hits of the legendary Fringe bear-pit makes an appearance on TV.Brian Donaldson, The List, 2nd February 2012
Once again we come across another example of a great comedy programme that is only on in Scotland (thank goodness for the iPlayer). Late 'n' Live Guide to Comedy is a six-part documentary series about the Late 'n' Live comedy show at the Gilded Balloon venue during the Edinburgh Fringe.
For those who don't know, this is a series of late night stand-up shows featuring several comedians performing on stage in front of an audience who are usually loud, drunk and willing to heckle at any given opportunity. To quote Jenny Eclair, the greatest error made when you're try to avoid heckling at Late 'n' Live is when "you make the mistake of breathing," and thus leave a short enough pause for someone to shout: "Fuck off!"
Other than learning about the history of the late-night show, the best thing about this documentary is watching some early stand-up performances by famous names. These include Johnny Vegas encouraging his audience to throw coins at him while he sang and Russell Brand in 2001, who at the time had only performed between 20-30 gigs. His stand-up involved deliberately angering and provoking the audience - what a surprise. But this lead to a storm of abuse and Brand getting an encore.
During the encore someone tried to throw a glass bottle at him. It missed Brand, but a shard landed in the leg of the next act, Fiona O'Loughlin, meaning she was bleeding when she went on stage...Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 31st January 2012
Russell Brand says a chaotic Scots gig helped him to quit drugs and make it as a stand-up.Rick Fulton, Daily Record, 20th January 2012
It's the toughest comedy gig around. Now the comics who played there and lived to tell the tale reveal their harrowing stories in a four-part TV documentary.Mark Fisher, The Scotsman, 19th January 2012
Over a quarter of a century, the Late 'n' Live stage has welcomed those brave enough to accept its challenge. A new BBC Scotland series entitled The Late 'n' Live Guide To Comedy begins a four-week run on BBC One from next Monday.The Scotsman, 17th January 2012