Stewart Lee at The Stand, Glasgow

My favourite stand-up comic is Stewart Lee, and one of his funniest routines is this one in 2005 at The Stand in Glasgow, where he takes on Braveheart and the full might of Scottish myth. For a long time I didn’t know where or when the performance took place, but through the magic of Youtube I found a video of the full set, of which the Braveheart segment is only a clip.

So here’s the Braveheart clip, as a taster in case you’ve never heard of Lee, followed by a complete video of the set. He’s a bit like Marmite, people tend to either love or hate him.

Missing the Point by a Mile: Stewart Lee and the Observer Commentariat

Stewart Lee, stand-up comedian, has been writing an Observer column for the past few months. Part of the pleasure is seeing how many of the commentariat think he’s serious. He does make serious points, but they’re cloaked in absurdist humour that makes categorical statements appear as if he actually believes them. Some readers get extremely offended and even try to correct his mischievous misinformation. I think he understands this and consciously writes his material as a snare for the ones who won’t get it.

This week’s article by Stewart Lee – Shame on you, Alex Salmond, for selling us out to the Bullingdon Club – is subtitled, The loss of 5.5 million Scots would mean 5.5 million fewer voices to say no to Cameron’s cronies. Fair point, now that Scottish independence is front and centre of the political parade ground. Bit of a back-hander, though, implying as it does that the English are so thick they’ll vote against their own interests every time. To be fair, he also attacks Alex Salmond and makes surrealistically egregious slurs against Scotland. I particularly enjoyed, “It was that treacly Scottish heroin that finally freed my imagination to make me the important artist I am today.”

Some of the material in the article is a retread of this video of Stewart Lee talking about national identity. The article’s brilliant, as much for some of the baffled, spluttering responses as for the content. And the video is hilarious. His Glasgow nightclub audience has a sense of humour, unlike some of the people commenting on the article.