REVIEW: Stewart Lee closes Bristol Comedy Garden with hilarious set

PUBLISHED: 21:00 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:00 11 July 2019

Rosie Jones (left) and Stewart Lee (right) performed at Bristol Comedy Garden. Picture: Bristol Comedy Garden

Rosie Jones (left) and Stewart Lee (right) performed at Bristol Comedy Garden. Picture: Bristol Comedy Garden

Bristol Comedy Garden

Stewart Lee closed out The Bristol Comedy Garden on Sunday evening with a hilarious set that had this cynical old critic crying with laughter.

The night of superb comedy in Queen Square was hosted by New World Order regular Kiri Pritchard-McLean, who warmed up the crowd between each act by bantering with the crowds and explaining the trouble with having big boobs, her views on pretentious jam-jar weddings and irritating gender-reveal videos.

First of the main acts was Welcome to Night Vale's Desiree Burch, who regales the audience with her dating struggles now she's hit her 40s.

She's found internet dating, which leads most men to being a 'disappointment' when she finally meets them, and she is aware her biological clock is ticking and that it is now starting to sound like the last minute before completing a Mario Bros level.

Ultimately, all she wants to do is meet a kind man who maybe plays guitar but waits until he's asked.

After describing her mystery bunker for the surviving 1980s celebrities who haven't been tried with some crime, she makes one simple plea to the audience - if you have a girlfriend, say so at the start of a conversation. She doesn't want to go through another 45-minute chat about the Legend Of Zelda before she finds out.

Next up was alternative comedian John Kerns, whose act is hard to describe but hilarious.

Best described as a down-and-out Alan Bennett who mixes odd short stories and one-liners, topics include a trip to Italy, a failed joke about Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci's best picture of a man being measured for a suit, and his neighbour giving him a microwave possessed by the devil.

Then it was Rosie Jones' turn, the '71st most powerful lesbian' in the country.

Jones speaks about how she likes being disabled because no one ever asks her to babysit.

Finally, Lee takes to the stage and reads his now infamous comment from a 2016 Observer editorial in which he claims Theresa May is merely a palette cleanser to prepare the electorate for Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister.

Lee says he's had a tough time recently. After 16 months on tour with his last show Content Provider, he goes into hibernation on a bed of shredded bank notes.

Recently diagnosed with high blood pressure, Lee tells the crowd of a doctor's appointment in which a well-meaning nurse suggests he join a chair-based exercise group. An incensed Lee replies: "I literally stand up for a living."

Feeling down, he decides to Google himself only to find that the Netflix description of his BAFTA-winning series Comedy Vehicle has mistakenly had the synopsis for Sharknado attached to it for two years.

Undeterred, he decides it best to see if he can turn the situation to his advantage and create a new form of shark-based comedy.

While looking into it, he emails the Hippodrome to be told a show involving live sharks will fail even the most cursory of risk assessments, but this may change post-Brexit.

Lee then decides he will instead explore the roots of Sharknado, only to find it already started life as a short pulp novel written by Alan Bennett in the 1960s.

Miraculously, he tracks down a copy, finishing his set by reading an extract before bringing the house down with a tear-inducing parody of one Britain's best loved playwrights.

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