Comedians you've changed your tune on?

Started by Mobius, November 23, 2021, 09:19:11 PM

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Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

Bill Hicks was a giant of comedy in my younger years. My friends and I would sit around listening to his shows and laugh ourselves silly (it may not surprise you to learn that we were a bunch of pothead students).  Watching one of his shows on Netflix recently, however, barely prompted more than a light chuckle. It wasn't even the dodgy material (although that certainly doesn't help). It just wasn't that funny. To be fair, that could just have been a poor performance.

Back when Hicks was a sacred cow, I considered Trey Parker and Matt Stone to be his heirs apparent, but I went off them big time after Team America. I do still love the early years of South Park prior to that though.

I went off Louis CK, for obvious reasons.

On a more positive note: James Acaster didn't make a good impression when I first saw him on some panel show. I was convinced to check out his standup though and liked that a whole lot more.

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on November 24, 2021, 02:23:24 PMOn a more positive note: James Acaster didn't make a good impression when I first saw him on some panel show. I was convinced to check out his standup though and liked that a whole lot more.

I saw Acaster by chance in 2013 when I went to see a Tony Law Edinburgh preview and he was doing one as well, and I walked away thinking he was fine but nothing special, and Law had been on such top form that night that he paled in comparison. Whereas now I struggle with Law, but think Acaster is one of the best in the country and Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 really blew me away.

Gurke and Hare

Quote from: BeardFaceMan on November 24, 2021, 01:26:44 PMThat's the thing that always gets overlooked with Hicks, his material about his goober dad, getting stuck at traffic lights, moths liking light bulbs etc, he was a lot more than the preacher man he's usually tiresomely portrayed as.

He had a pretty high degree of self-awareness too - often, what appeared to be a preacher man bit would reveal itself to be a bit of whimsy, such as the bit in which he's doing a JFK assassination rant, and then says that the pigeons on Dealey Plaza were possibly pro-Castro pigeons, because they were heard saying "Coup! Coup!" and then when the audience groans he goes off at them for thinking they're too good for puns.

I don't think he'd have become any kind of pro-Trump guy either - the things he most seemed to hate Republicans for, such as opposition to drugs or abortion were things Trump was strongly in favour of.

I quite liked Andy Parsons in the early days of MTW too, have been on a panel show free diet (except WILTY) since '09 so no idea what became of him.

Quote from: Small Man Big Horse on November 24, 2021, 02:38:48 PMI saw Acaster by chance in 2013 when I went to see a Tony Law Edinburgh preview and he was doing one as well, and I walked away thinking he was fine but nothing special, and Law had been on such top form that night that he paled in comparison. Whereas now I struggle with Law, but think Acaster is one of the best in the country and Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 really blew me away.

If this was at the Invisible Dot then I was also at that gig and you've echoed my thoughts exactly.

Quote from: Rolf Lundgren on November 24, 2021, 01:30:10 PMI've definitely been won over by seeing comedians I've never particularly rated by TV appearances (Phill Jupitus, Bill Bailey, Nish Kumar) but been impressed with live. It's a reminder that they must have some talent to get to the position they got to.

same thing for me with Sarah Millican, who I saw on the bill of one of Nick Mohammed's Laugh for Leukaemia shows at Kings Place and she completely owned the room

Yussef Dent

Quote from: TheGingerAlien on November 24, 2021, 02:15:33 PMYou never hear much about Doug Stanhope these days... did he get 'cancelled' for saying something appalling or perhaps his liver packed in or something?  Seem to remember thinking he was great years ago but I suspect the material hasn't aged that well (as per observations about Hicks above etc.)

Hasn't he had a bit of a change in his politics in being a bit more outwardly to the left? I seem to recall when he last toured over here somehow he'd ended up with EDL types at his gigs. I don't know why exactly and it's even more baffling when probably his most famous piece of comedy is a takedown of nationalism, but he was very adamant on social media that these people were not at all welcome at his shows.

RFT

At the risk of this becoming a Bill Hicks thread, then i do think you can see him evolving across the 4 official albums. (Though - the last 2 were recorded knowing he was dying)

But who knows what 30 years would have brought? Maybe he'd have got full TERF, maybe he'd have held true to "love all the people", maybe all the bitterness of 80 US circuit contemporaries like Leno's success would have got to him, maybe he'd have sold out and done a sitcom or voice acting.

I was, 15-20 years ago enough of a fanboy that my son was named after him. I must have listed to the big 4 albums hundreds of times each between 1997 and 2006ish, but I think the last time was 2013-ish. But I always got the impression that his heart was in the right place, and someone willing to learn and change. So I guess I haven;t really changed my opinion on Hicks the person (as far as I can tell) but I have changed my option on a good slice of the material.

Juan K Perros

Quote from: Yussef Dent on November 24, 2021, 03:17:57 PMHasn't he had a bit of a change in his politics in being a bit more outwardly to the left? I seem to recall when he last toured over here somehow he'd ended up with EDL types at his gigs. I don't know why exactly and it's even more baffling when probably his most famous piece of comedy is a takedown of nationalism, but he was very adamant on social media that these people were not at all welcome at his shows.

I saw him in Fort Lauderdale...I wanna say 6 years ago? They'd got a couple of local boys in as support and the one immediately prior to Stanhope had a few fairly awful rape jokes, which depressingly enough got a better reaction than I'd have expected in that city. I don't remember much of the rest of the set but I do remember Stanhope coming on and eviscerating both the guy for his act and the venue for booking him.

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: Stone Cold Steve Austin on November 24, 2021, 03:05:47 PMIf this was at the Invisible Dot then I was also at that gig and you've echoed my thoughts exactly.

It was the Invisible Dot, yeah, small world and all that!

Brundle-Fly

I went off Eddie Izzard slightly when she turned into a sort of pop star at the peak of fame. I used to see Izzard perform at the Raging Bull in the late eighties and missed the vulnerable misfit in the crap Top Man suit who discussed the different ways to eat Custard Creams for an hour.

However, I have the utmost admiration for everything she has achieved and thought Abel Gideon from the TV series Hannibal is one of the greatest TV villains ever. I saw Eddie eating a sandwich outside a cafe in Edinburgh, a couple of years ago, and I couldn't resist to lean in and whisper in a clipped Californian accent, "My compliments to the chef".

Virgo76

It's always astonished me that Jerry Seinfeld is the richest (and thus by that measure) most successful comedian in the world.
His material and delivery always seemed feeble in the extreme.
But I've definitely warmed to him and the sitcom, Seinfeld. Still not absolutely convinced of his talent but some of his routines have been great and I do seem to be hopelessly addicted to watching/re-watching Seinfeld the sitcom on Netflix recently.

The Mollusk

Going to cheat a bit here and say Jerry Seinfeld, in his television show Seinfeld, starring Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld.

I've been having a bash at trying to "get" Seinfeld for maybe 15 years now, every couple of years chucking a random episode on from the first handful of seasons and just not clicking with it at all. I knew there was something in there for me since I adore Curb Your Enthusiasm and it was frustrating that I couldn't find the spark. Maybe I'd just missed the cultural boat, it was too long since its incarnation for someone of my age/generation to connect with it. I honestly did not find it funny in the slightest and found the dynamic boring.

A few weeks ago before I'd cancelled my Netflix, ([tag]The Mollusk mentions being stoned[/tag]) a friend came over and we had a smoke and he goes "ahh mate stick a Seinfeld on" and I figured now's as good a time as any to give it yet another shot. In my hazy goofy state of mind it resonated with me immediately and I found myself enjoying it a lot. I suddenly understood one of its greatest traits - the art of conversation, how characters can be having two or three different chats all at one time, weaving in and out of one another brilliantly. I also observed the wry hilarity the show so wonderfully extracts from the mundane, the everyday, and the foibles of the individual which can easily blur into the background of life but here they're cherry picked out and pushed under your nose, and it's so fucking funny.

I'm overjoyed that I had this revelation and at every opportunity (not often, since my partner isn't a fan and I don't want to force her to try and enjoy it like I suddenly am) I stick a couple or three episodes on back to back and laugh my head off.

Ray Travez

The most dramatic one for me was Gervais, with his twitter m*ng bullshit. Won't watch anything by him now.

Pink Gregory

Quote from: Ray Travez on November 25, 2021, 12:53:24 PMThe most dramatic one for me was Gervais, with his twitter m*ng bullshit. Won't watch anything by him now.


Animals and Politics I still assert are good standup shows, if a bit dated; Fame is the fulcrum on which it all goes to his head, and Science is shite, especially when he repeats his 'lol the bible' shtick.

The man himself is your typical comfortable, frankly, bigot with an inflated sense of his own genius.  Which is a shame.

Petey Pate

Quote from: Noodle Lizard on November 24, 2021, 12:47:58 AMA fair few of those similar "shock comics" from the late 00s/early 10s have made a similar kind of transition (perhaps not quite as brazenly as Boyle has). Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer and Anthony Jeselnik are all "woke" comics now, even though they made their names doing similarly mean material.

Jim Jefferies would be another example of this.

phantom_power

I was going to mention Acaster. When I have seen him on panel shows I took him to be one of those modern comedians you get with a bit of a scruffy haircut who is wacky in an entirely dull and predictable way. It was only watching Repertoire on Netflix that made me see that he is actually the best comedian of his generation

There are plenty of comedians I haven't liked on TV who I've later seen deliver brilliant 10 or 20 minute sets in comedy clubs. You won't believe me, but Josh Widdicombe is the best example of that. Ed Byrne too.

The other way round? Alun Cochrane can fuck off swapping his dry observational stuff for anti-Muslim and anti-trans material.

timbis

Quote from: Wayman C. McCreery on November 25, 2021, 10:43:58 PMThere are plenty of comedians I haven't liked on TV who I've later seen deliver brilliant 10 or 20 minute sets in comedy clubs. You won't believe me, but Josh Widdicombe is the best example of that. Ed Byrne too.

The other way round? Alun Cochrane can fuck off swapping his dry observational stuff for anti-Muslim and anti-trans material.
;
Alun Cochrane has always been awful. The Frank Skinner podcast was my favourite thing in the world until he appeared on it. Absolutely ruined it for me.

paruses

Quote from: timbis on November 26, 2021, 04:31:40 AM;
Alun Cochrane has always been awful. The Frank Skinner podcast was my favourite thing in the world until he appeared on it. Absolutely ruined it for me.

 I started listening to it when Alun Cochrane had taken over the gig and thought he was OK in that role - neither here nor there. Then I listened to a few with Gareth Richards who really grated on me - seemed like Frank was always annoyed with him. However, I had an early-episodes binge and changed my tune completely. Frank's annoyance seems more like he's defending his position as the funniest one. I find the ones with Alun Cochrane on a bit drab now.

Tl;Dr Gareth Richards

thenoise

Quote from: Crenners on November 24, 2021, 04:31:29 AMChris Morris used to be breathtakingly funny and challenging. Now he makes well-meaning, slightly naff, forgettable TV movie farce which stinks of research. He's wasting his career.

Yeah, sadly. It's almost like he's forgotten what's good about him. He's amazingly good at thinking on his feet, improvisation and performing goofy characters. He's a warm and engaging conversationalist whether silly or serious (thank goodness he does the odd interview or i might have thought he lost it). He's a terrible director and a patchy writer.

If doing lots of research is something he enjoys, that's great - let's have a weekly podcast, or a blog at least, where he talks about what he has found and what he finds interesting about it.  Do some goofy impressions, have a chat with an old/new friend or two, done. Don't make us wait another ten years for a film about a subject that was old hat when he started researching it.

shlug

Fortunately I saw him live first and then looked at his stuff online but I feel for my friends whom I recommended Spencer Jones to.

Genuinely probably the hardest I've laughed at a stand-up gig but left me cold and a little embarrassed watching his Herbert act online. Amazing the power of the room can have and made me think twice about acts I see on TV/online that don't land with me at all, especially the more out there ones like Spencer's.

Wpuld add John Kearns, who I don't think has done any television that wasn't absolute bottom of the barrel terrible, to that.

What a stand up though.