The other day the wonderful
(a rather well-known genius of a scriptwriter responsible for the best sketch show of the 1990s as well as the best sitcom and who should be on your F-list if not already) posted a link to Joe Rogan and Carlos Mencia clashing about the thieving of stand-up material.
I’ve thought about this subject since I first attended shows on the Edinburgh Fringe in the early 1990s. Among the shows was an Australian female comic who did a routine that was a verbatim rip off of some Pamela Stephenson performed material in Not the Nine O’clock News. I irritated my then girlfriend immensely by finishing off each set with the punchline before the act reached it. I didn’t heckle, but now, probably would.
That year I also went to see Michael Redmond, a lugubrious Irish comic (Father Sloan in Father Ted); Stewart Lee; and Bruce MOrton. Each was outstanding with individualised well written acts. Lee has appeared ona radio show I was listening to at the time called Lionel Nimrod’s Inexplicable World, and was the one name I really recognised.
Morton used a joke I’ve heard many times subsequently (delivered by other lesser comics) . Morton was bald, and midway through the set said,
“I went to the hairdressers the other day. I asked for highlights. They showed me action replays of previous haircuts.”
Which was funny because it was delivered deadpan, a propos nothing at all, and he was bald. When used by a snub nosed mainstream comic with lots of hair – it loses rather a lot.
Redmond in particular had a brilliant opening. He stood on stage with his sunken eyes, mad hair, and large drooping moustache, and said after a couple of minutes, “People often say to me, “Hey you. Get out of my garden.”" which was the most perfect opening I’ve heard in a stand up show. I’ve even referred to it here on this LJ.
‘s posting some of the comments referred to Joe Pasquale and referred to Stewart Lee. A quick google search revealed the following video – showing Lee at his best, and based around the great Michael Redmond line referred to above.