'You sexist bunch'

Sayle slams younger comics

Alexei Sayle has branded a generation of younger comics as cynical misogynists who set back the anti-sexist cause he pioneered.

He said stand-up today survived in a ‘negative atmosphere’ and bemoaned the lack of political material of the type that made him and Ben Elton rich and famous.

Sayle, the first resident compere at the Comedy Store in the early Eighties,  says his Marxist routines were sincere in their angry hatred of the Tory government .

But writing in London’s Time Out magazine,  he complained: “In this century, the situation seems very different” – even though he admits going to few gigs these days.

Sayle added: “It appears political comedy could not be more out of fashion and the advances my generation made,  particularly in rolling back sexism, have been partly dismantled by the instinctive misogyny of many younger comedians desperate to make it using any means possible.”

However,  he cited Mark Steel, Mark Thomas, Jeremy Hardy and Robert Newman as carrying the political torch and being ‘more personally courageous than I ever was’.

Sayle was writing to coincide with the publication of his new book, Overtaken.  Click here  to buy

Published: 17 May 2004

Today's comedy-on demand picks

NICK HELM: ALL KILLER SOME FILLER

This is the show that celebrated the launch of Nick Helm's album in 2016, and has previously been unseen by anyone who was not in the O2 Forum Kentish Town that night.

With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

Click for more suggestions

... including Al Murray headlining a Just For Tonic gig and the launch of Free Festival's virtual comedy programming.

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