British Comedy Guide

Live At The Electric. Russell Kane. Copyright: Avalon Television.

Live At The Electric

BBC Three sketch show / stand-up. 24 episodes (3 series), 2012 - 2014. Stars Russell Kane, Joe Wilkinson, Diane Morgan, Naz Osmanoglu, Kieran Boyd, Mark Cooper-Jones, Tom Palmer and others.

Press Clippings

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

Review: Live At The Electric - Series 2

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.

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: I had a year of partying. It was souless

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

Jasmine Gardner, Evening Standard, 12th June 2013

Live At The Electric given two more series

BBC Three has committed to making another 16 episodes of Live At The Electric, the programme which showcases sketch comedy, short films and musical comedy.

British Comedy Guide, 23rd August 2012

Lady Garden sketch featuring Nazis edited

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

Share this page