Archive for the ‘Stand-up Comedy’ Category

James Acaster – stand-up comedian

March 10, 2014


James Acaster is a very funny English stand-up comedian.

His comedy is light and whimsical, but it also addresses serious issues.

James began performing stand-up comedy in January 2008.

James took his first full solo show Amongst Other Things to the Edinburgh festival in 2011.

In 2012 he took his second solo show Prompt to the Edinburgh festival where it was nominated for Best Comedy Show at the Foster’s Comedy Awards.

In 2013 he performed at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival where his show was nominated for Best International Show.

In 2013 he took his third solo show Lawnmower to the Edinburgh festival where it was nominated for Best Comedy Show at the Foster’s Comedy Awards.


James Acaster has appeared on the following shows:

Never Mind the Buzzcocks:

Russell Howards Good News (BBC Three):

Dave’s One Night Stand (Dave):

and Chris Addison’s Show and Tell (E4).

He has his own Radio 4 series James Acaster’s Findings and regularly features on The Josh Widdicombe Show on XFM.

James Acaster is from Kettering in Northamptonshire, and he can play the drums.

James Acaster’s website:

James Acaster on twitter:

James Acaster on facebook:

James Acaster on Wikipedia:

Bill Hicks (1961–1994) – stand-up comedian

December 3, 2008


Bill Hicks was the funniest and profoundest stand-up comedian ever.

Since his death on February 26th, 1994, there has been no other comedian to rival his incisive wit, his cutting, analytical insights and his incredibly funny delivery. He was compared to Lenny Bruce, mostly because his material seriously challenged accepted conventions and mores. He wasn’t really like Bruce at all; Hicks was original and unique.

Several of his live performances are available on DVD. The best one is Revelations, followed by Relentless and One Night Stand.

Here is an edited version of One Night Stand, which will give an indication of Hicks’ stand-up style:


If you want to listen to a CD performance, then the best one is probably Philosophy: The Best of Bill Hicks, because it does actually contain the best material from several CDs.


Dangerous (1990)

Relentless (1992)

Arizona Bay (1997)

Rant in E-Minor (1997)

Philosophy: The Best of Bill Hicks (2001)

Love, Laughter and Truth (2002)

Flying Saucer Tour Vol. 1 (2002)

Shock and Awe (2003)

Salvation (2005)


Sane Man (2005)

One Night Stand (2002)

Relentless (2006)

Revelations (1993)

Totally Bill Hicks (UK Only) (2002)

Bill Hicks died of pancreatic cancer and his untimely death left a void in the comedy world that no one else has ever been able to fill.

There is a new Bill Hicks documentary, American: The Bill Hicks Story, out now. Here’s the official trailer:

If you’re not familiar with Bill Hicks, then check him out. He’s funny and profound – a winning combination.

© R J Dent (2010)


Russell Brand: self-obsessed introverted extrovert?

October 22, 2008


Russell Brand

He’s a comedian/ actor/ TV and radio presenter-host/ author/ columnist, and he’s one of England’s funniest men. He is, of course, Russell Brand.

Here he is performing a Tamara Beckwith routine on his live DVD:

and an Ian Huntley/Sun newspaper routine at The Secret Policeman’s Ball . He was – and is – hilarious.

Since then I’ve watched his stand-up (live and on DVD); I’ve watched all available episodes of RE-Brand; I’ve also watched (and loved both series of) Ponderland; and I’ve read My Booky Wook and Articles of Faith – and I’ve just finished reading Booky Wook 2: This Time It’s Personal.

I enjoyed St. Trinians (a little). Here’s the trailer:

I enjoyed Forgetting Sarah Marshall (a lot). Here’s the trailer:

and Bedtime Stories (a little). Here’s the trailer:

and I’m looking forward to him playing Arthur in Arthur. Here’s the Arthur trailer:

and to him playing Trinculo in Julie Taymar’s version of The Tempest. (Note for trivialists – in the BBC version of The Tempest, Trinculo was played by Andrew Sachs). Here’s the trailer to The Tempest:

 I’m also looking forward to Hop. Here’s a Hop promo trailer:



And here’s the trailer for Get Him to the Greek (a sequel of sorts to Forgetting Sarah Marshall):

He’s recently been in (with Alec Baldwin) the film version of Rock of Ages:

He also voiced Dr Nefario in Despicable Me:

I’ve watched everything he’s in on Youtube; and I’ve listened to him on TalkSport, and to every podcast of his Radio 2 Russell Brand Show (Saturday 21-23.00), a show I enjoyed very much.

Here are the podcasts:

What I like about Brand is his intelligence, his wit, his use of language to make valid points about us and our world, his (former) use of a camp persona as a strategy to seduce women, and his unflinching use of his own (often painful) experiences for his comedy.

Many don’t care about his seedy past; hopefully he does. He must realize that the moment he stopped the drugs/alcohol, his career sky-rocketed and he became world-famous.

His acting/film career is blossoming; hosting the controversial (2008) and relatively incident-free (2009) MTV VMAs raised his profile; his television career in the US and the UK is going from strength to strength; he’s just signed a very lucrative book deal; the podcasts of his TalkSport radio show attract million of listeners, as do his BBC radio show podcasts; his newspaper football column is popular and widely read; his stand-up shows sell out – not bad for someone who could be described as a self-obsessed introverted extrovert from Essex.

As Russell Brand thrives on controversy, it looks as though he is going to have a long and successful career – and as long as he stays funny, I’ll continue watching him and listening to him.

Here’s a clip from the 2009 DVD Russell Brand in New York. It’s a perfect example of Russell Brand’s intelligence at work, particularly towards the end of the clip (at 6.20) where Brand makes a reference to Michel Foucault’s refutation of the ‘repressive hypothesis’; a theory Brand uses in relation to the media image of the Jonas Brothers.

And here’s Russell Brand being interviewed (in 2010) by Jeremy Paxman:




And here’s Russell Brand offering his thoughts on politics after guest-editing The New Statesman in 2013. Here he talks again to Jeremy Paxman:


It seems that there’s more to Russell Brand than just being a clown.



Russell Brand: self-obsessed introverted extrovert?

Text © R J Dent (2014)