Stewart Lee is a 'comedy snob'

...Says a Cambridge-educated Tory

Stewart Lee has been accused of being an ‘unbearable snob’ – by a Cambridge-educated researcher for the Tory party.

Guy Stagg, who is also ‘online lifestyle editor’ at the Daily Telegraph has revived a month-old debate, by accusing Lee of sneering at the ‘unsophisticated’ fans of Michael McIntrye.

In an article published today, Stagg wrote about ‘obstinate’ and ‘inappropriate’ comedy snobs who tell other people what they should be laughing at – saying Lee was the worst of them all.

Calling Lee’s sets ‘a blend of cynicism, vanity and unbearable snobbery’ and ‘a glittering rant against all the pet hates of the Left-wing elite’, Stagg claimed that comedy snobbery is just a vehicle for other, ‘more poisonous’ forms of discrimination against people seen as inferior.

And he used the McIntryre row to complain about a story Lee tells about David Cameron acting selfishly when they were both at Oxford – which the comic admits is Completely Made Up but claims, with tongue in cheek, that it nonetheless indicative of the Prime Minister’s character.

Stagg wrote that the routine meant: ‘Stewart Lee is telling us, “My prejudices are OK. My hypocrisies are OK. My hate is OK.” And the comedy snobs applaud.’

Stagg – who while at Cambridge was described as ‘wearing white tie with the air of a 1920’s gentleman out to enjoy an endless night of champagne and waltzing’ – has written previous articles in praise of Cameron. Earlier this year he was mocked for giving a ‘top ten’ list of tips for festivals such as Glastonbury to take a pen and paper – but not wellies.

Published: 17 Aug 2011

Today's comedy-on demand picks


Stephen Fry, Marcus Brigstocke, Lucy Porter and Rachel Parris are taking part in a showcase from the Oxford Playhouse, alongside performers from other genres.

Not just a gig, the event has been written by comedian Kevin Day and directed by Simon Evans (not the comedian, but the man who directed David Tennant and Michael Sheen in BBC One’s lockdown comedy Staged).

Click for more suggestions
... including another episode of Comedians: Home Alone and the full Carol Burnett Show back catalogue on Amazon Prime.

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.