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James Acaster: where do I start?

Started by Ferris, May 24, 2022, 08:10:09 PM

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Ferris

He's one of those new comedians they have now, and seems to have joined the circuit around the time I left the UK so never really had a chance to see him. I knew he did some food podcast thing and goes on panel shows so I thought "ah, not for me cheers".

Anyway, I watched a section of his stuff via another thread on here, and it was good. Angry and funny and self-deprecating and I thought "yeah ok, maybe". I had a look around and found some clips (some of which look properly good) and I thought ok, no spoilers, this looks like a great comic with a big back catalogue for me to delve into. He must just do the commercial stuff to fund his stand up (fair enough).

So where do I start? Is he on Netflix and all that? Can I give him money directly for streaming shows? And also, I know nothing about him or his material really - are there any live shows/specials/bits of material I should seek out ahead of the rest?



Tl;dr - tell me of Acaster. Teach me your ways.

I'm new here and my opinion counts for the square root of fuck all but HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION anyway for his standup special, Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999.

Poobum

Repertoire (is on Netflix) is one of the funniest things I ever did watch, so that.

#3
Watch Repertoire on Netflix. All four in order. All brilliant.

Then watch Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999, which is very different. Less surreal, more personal. But also brilliant: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/coldlasagne

There's a bonus show at the link above too called Make a New Tomorrow, made up of material that ended up being cut from Cold Lasagne. It's good, but it's not essential.

If you've been underwhelmed by him on panel shows and podcasts, don't let that put you off. He's one of the greatest standups we have.

mrpupkin

Yeah watch all the Netflix ones in order, to start with.

Captain Z

He has a 4-part Netflix stand up thing called "Repertoire", which is almost as good as his most recent "Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999" special. Those are the only two stand up things of his I have seen, as I'm a relatively recent convert too. Repertoire is probably the one to watch first.

CLHM1999 is fantastic, and look out for the 40 minute bolt-on to the main show that has some great material too.

He was also pretty funny on Taskmaster. Just received his book "James Acaster's Classic Scrapes" as a present, not started it yet but looking forward to it.

Poobum

Classic Scrapes

Random little stories that are up there with Bob Mortimer in delightful surrealness.

Oh and he's got two books. One is Classic Scrapes, which I found absolutely fucking hilarious in parts but is definitely an easy read aimed at the panel show/podcast audiences.

The other one is Perfect Sound Whatever. It's a strange read: stories from his life interspersed with album reviews. I enjoyed it, but I doubt anyone who isn't really into music would get anything out of it. Certainly don't read it before watching Cold Lasagne as I think it features some of the same stories.

Has anyone read the Perfect Sound Whatever book? It's in the unread pile. Do I need to bump it up the list?

Edit: Wayman pretty much answered it

bgmnts

Never really been arsed by newer standups who do panel shows to be fair. Ruins it for me.

When Coogan retires Partridge and Stewart Lee generally retires from comedy it's going to be a very bad time.

amateur

Quote from: dontpaintyourteeth on May 24, 2022, 08:14:56 PMI'm new here and my opinion counts for the square root of fuck all but HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION anyway for his standup special, Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999.

Yep, this. It's the best stand up special I've ever seen (yes, it's better than that one).

jobotic

Cold Lasagne is brilliant but there are bits that drag for me whereas when I watched the first Netflix show I was in pain with laughter.

Say your prayers.

poodlefaker

Ah ok, I've been mixing hime up with Joe Lycett for 3 years, for some reason. ok cheers

Repertoire. They're good and easy to get hold of.

up_the_hampipe

Quote from: jobotic on May 24, 2022, 08:44:01 PMCold Lasagne is brilliant but there are bits that drag for me whereas when I watched the first Netflix show I was in pain with laughter.

Say your prayers.

I was never a big fan of his more whimsical stuff from his earlier shows. He was always very good at what he did, he did construct some very funny routines during that time, but Cold Lasange was a true ascension.

notjosh

I didn't really like him getting all angry and ranty in Cold Lasagne; it stressed me out. I preferred his earlier, more whimsical stuff, when he was more into Chilean miners and loss-leading honey scams.

DrGreggles

Repertoire (Netflix) is a great starting point.

It's so easy to lump Acaster in with all the other panel show comedians if that's all you've seen, but he's so far ahead of the rest of those that comparisons with them are pointless.

He's much closer to an S Lee than a J Widdecombe.

up_the_hampipe

He's actually quite good on panel shows too though, to be fair. And I think they helped him build his persona.

non capisco

I agree the way to go is start with the Repertoire shows and then do Cold Lasagne. I think they're all pretty much unimpeachable. 

Although my way in to Acaster was the "Alistair" bus story from his Classic Scrapes slot on Josh Widdecombe's XFM show which I found so funny I ended up listening to an hours long compilation of all of them on YouTube in one go and THEN checked out his standup.

Barry Admin

I woulda been put off by his panel show appearances too, but really like what I've seen on here so, so have been dipping in on Netflix. Damn shame that Cold Lasange doesn't seem to be on there.

A friend sent me this earlier and I loved it, there's more on YouTube too:


up_the_hampipe

Cold Lasange is on Vimeo and it's well worth the purchase.

Pimhole

Quote from: up_the_hampipe on May 24, 2022, 10:31:24 PMCold Lasange is on Vimeo and it's well worth the purchase.

Yes, definitely worth the purchase, I've rewatched a few times. There's a Baptist church at the end of my street and every time I go past it I think "Goddamn BAPPOS" and have a little chuckle.

He's a brilliant, thoughtful comedian whose manipulation of the art form is pretty much on a par with Stewart Lee. He's far better than he has any business being at his age. You would never guess this from his panel show appearances. On a tangent: it's not really modern comedians' fault that panel shows are the only way they can increase their audience and get a steady income or that there are no platforms for their work on TV if they don't fit the Live At The Apollo mould.

Barry Admin

I didn't know you could buy videos off Vimeo, I'll get it next week, thanks.

trabuch

#23
Can people stop recommending fucking netflix. (Watch Bo Burnham and Acaster and Bamford and whatever else is worth watching - and delete. And tell them why)

Ferris

Ok exciting, it seems like the consensus is that he's good and I've got lots of good stuff to get stuck into.

I've restarted my Netflix sub (but I'll cancel it immediately after) and if it goes well I'll give him he money directly for the Vimeo show.

Appreciate the recommendations, looking forward to watching it and giving my opinions (for whatever they're worth, ie nowt).

Replies From View

This is very good.


His second appearance is boring though, for some reason.

Twit 2

A friend of mine can't stand him because he saw a total car crash show of his where he had a full-length, audience-berating meltdown of the type that Stewart Lee does ironically, but for real. Said it was awkward as fuck, one of the worst gigs he's ever been to, and hasn't been able to look at him since.

Replies From View

Quote from: Twit 2 on May 25, 2022, 07:23:38 AMA friend of mine can't stand him because he saw a total car crash show of his where he had a full-length, audience-berating meltdown of the type that Stewart Lee does ironically, but for real. Said it was awkward as fuck, one of the worst gigs he's ever been to, and hasn't been able to look at him since.

Is it possible your friend got the wrong end of the stick?  I'm not defending a show being dreadful, but some people are staggeringly dull when it comes to perceiving irony, and will always claim "it wasn't ironic" when it wasn't accompanied by obvious indications from the performer.

phantom_power

Quote from: Replies From View on May 25, 2022, 07:33:22 AMIs it possible your friend got the wrong end of the stick?  I'm not defending a show being dreadful, but some people are staggeringly dull when it comes to perceiving irony, and will always claim "it wasn't ironic" when it wasn't accompanied by obvious indications from the performer.

No, Acaster admits himself when a show goes a bit wrong he has a meltdown and starts berating the audience. Stand-up is a catharsis for him so when it doesn't work he takes it really personally and doesn't handle it well

Replies From View

That's interesting.

On the RHLSTP I shared, he says that the first standup occasion where he actually tried (rather than just relying on being spontaneous and naturally funny) went really badly, and people who were there - friends of his who are also professional comedians - remind him of it to this day.