The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups Review: Lorra Laughs

April 9, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

THE 100 GREATEST STAND-UPS: Saturday 10th April, Channel 4, 9pm ALERT ME

A countdown of the world’s 100 greatest ever stand-up comedians of all time? Ain’t I seen this before?

Well yeah, but that was for all of time up to 2006. There’s been four whole year’s worth of time since then so a revised round-up is long overdue.

Okay, maybe not, and by the looks of entries 100 to 50 the line-up hasn’t changed too drastically. But if you’ve got a four hour window to fill (it’s all being shown in one go from 9pm to 1am) there are a lot of laughs to be had.

If you’re unaware of the format, Channel 4 asked the British public (no they didn’t ask me either) to name their favourite stand-up stars. The results were ‘combined with the verdicts of a panel of comedy experts’ to produce the new list.

Each entrant is given a couple of minutes where we get an excerpt from their routine, a bit of background and the opinions of some talking heads. It’s not all complimentary, critic Kate Copstick says of stand up Shappi Khorsandi: “Female, gorgeous, Iranian. I just wish she was funny.? Denis Leary is shown up for plagiarising Bill Hicks and Jim Davidson’s fall from young star to bitter old racist is well documented.

Despite probably doing exactly the same thing when you watched it four years ago, you are sure to shout with rage at the telly at some of the positions – Graham Norton at 58?! Lee Hurst only makes 96?! But the order doesn’t really matter; it’s just a good chance to see some great comics doing what they do best.

It’s more than probable the talking head segments have been recycled from four years ago and whenever there is a new addition to the ranking the narrator makes a big deal of it. In the first fifty I counted just one – Jason Manford.

The 100 Greatest Stand-Ups gives us another chance to see great comedians at work while learning a bit about advances in the art form as well. The top ten is pretty predictable but of the rest there will be ones you’ve never heard of, one’s you can’t avoid and one’s worth getting tickets to go and see.