Happy birthday, Groucho! | Today's best comedy on demand

Happy birthday, Groucho!

Today's best comedy on demand

Here's the last of Chortle's daily round-up of new comedy to watch at home. As the number of streaming gigs goes down and the live circuit limps back to some sort of life, we will now return to offering a weekly round-up of those, alongside podcasts and comedy on-demand from the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, iPlayer and NextUp.

You can search our listings for a list of online events using the blue box at the left or top of this page. Or if you're a promoter wanting to add an event, details are here.


Friday October 2

AN EVENING WITH GROUCHO: He is the face - or at least the spectacles - of Chortle. And today would be Groucho Marx's 130 birthday. Tonight at midnight UK time, actor/director Frank Ferrante, who has created a hit one-man show about the comedy icon, will be marking the occasion with a two-hour celebration featuring phone-in interviews with an array of Groucho's family members, friends and experts. Those taking part include film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, Harpo's son Bill, Gummo Marx's son Bob and more. Watch on Ferrante's An Evening With Groucho Facebook page.

 THE BEST OF GROUCHO: Marx showed his quick wit on the game show You Bet Your Life from 1947 to 1960, initially on radio but then on TV. It became the first game show to have repeat episodes shown in syndication, where it was entitled The Best of Groucho – a collection of which is available to view for free to Amazon Prime subscribers.

GROUCHO MARX ONE MAN SHOW: Recorded sometime in the lates 1960s, this late-career oddity has Marx deliver a monologue and answer questions posed by the audience. It, too, is on Amazon Prime.

GREAT LIVES: GROUCHO MARX: Documentary filmmaker Roger Graef champions the acerbic comedy star in this 2008 episode of the Matthew Parriss-fronted Radio 4 show, available on BBC Sounds

MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE: All seven series of Malcolm in the Middle, the comedy about the reluctant child genius and his dysfunctional family, have landed to All 4 today.


Thursday October 1

HAPPY HOUR Q&A WITH Iain Stirling: In the latest in the series of interviews to aid the Leicester Comedy Festival, its director Geoff Rowe talks to the stand-up and Love Island voiceover guy about his career in comedy. Tickets, priced from £5, are available here. It starts at 8pm.

'BUT IS IT FUNNY THOUGH?’: Comedy writers Joel Morris – Cunk, Paddington, the Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups and a hell of a lot more - and Neil Webster - Semi-Detached, Morgana Robinson’s The Agency - share the secrets of their craft in this session at 7.30pm tonight, part of the ongoing Laughter Lounge virtual festival. It's followed by a virtual gig from stand-up Jess Fostekew. Tickets are available here.

MO’ FUNNY: BLACK COMEDY IN AMERICA: The start of Black History Month might be an apt time to rewatch this 1993 HBO documentary about the history of black comedians in the US, from blackfaced comics in vaudeville to the Def Jam generation of the 1990s, featuring the likes of Redd Foxx, Whoopi Goldberg, Dick Gregory, Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, who was one of the executive producers. It's been put on YouTube:


Wednesday September 30

BIRTHDAY GIRLS HOUSE PARTY: Sketch trio Beattie Edmondson, Camille Ucan and Rose Johnson return with a third series of their podcast, which started life on BBC Sounds but is now an independent release through Josh Widdicombe's Keep It Light Media. Each episode is based on a certain party theme, starting with 'back to school'. Listen on Apple Podcasts and other platforms.

LOVE LIFE: All ten episode of this HBO Max anthology romcom series have arrived on iPlayer today, which each episode about a different relationship in the life of lead character Darby Carter, played by Anna Kendrick. Leslie Manville, from Mum and countless other things, including the forthcoming series of The Crown where she plays Princess Margaret, narrates.

#FUNNYNOTFUNNY: Advertising agency Ogilvy is staging its first comedy gig tonight. The online show will be MCed by Esther Manito and feature Jen Brister, Sukh Ojla, Jordan Gray and Russell Hicks. It's free to view from 6pm, but you need to register here in advance. The company says the gig will tackle'so-called "awkward" topics, destigmatise key issues and celebrate everyday inclusion with laughter'.

GOD ONLY KNOWS: A second series of the podcast with a focus on philosophy, spirituality and religion launches today. As before, host Matt White, a TV producer, meets the guest at as they enter the afterlife, to learn how they died and submit three questions to God. The first guest of the series is Hugh Dennis and later episodes feature comedian Rosie Jones, comedy producer Ash Atalla and others. God Only Knows is available on Acast and elsewhere.

LUISA OMIELAN: The comic is gigging from home in the ongoing Laughter Lounge virtual comedy festival from 9pm, following a 7pm panel discussion about going viral with Laura Lexx and Bilal Zafar. Tickets.


Tuesday September 29

AL MURRAY'S BLOODY BIG QUIZ: The Pub Landlord comic loves a quiz - so what better way to raise awareness - and money - for blood stem cell transplants, a cause that's close to his heart since his young nephew Finley was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of childhood leukaemia. The interactive quiz is live on the channels of charity DKMS (including YouTube, below) from 7pm. It's free, though donations are obviously encouraged - here - and have already achieved £4,000 of the £5,000 target.

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TRADING SONGS: Boothby Graffoe describes this new Zoom show, starting at 8pm tonight, a musical conversation in which he swaps songs and chat with a fellow performer, starting with Kevin Hearn from the Barenaked Ladies, a band he's often supported on tour. Tickets, priced £10, are available here.

LAUGHTER LOUNGE: The ongoing on-demand festival features Bec Hill and Micky Overman talking about life on the road at 7pm, followed by a comedy gig from the homes of Geoff Norcott and Sarah Keyworth at 9pm. The shows are £10 each. Details and tickets.

MICHELLE BUTEAU: WELCOME TO BUTEAPIA: Host of the US version Of The Circle and star of the US comedy series based on the film First Wives Club, recorded this hour-long set in New York just before lockdown. In it, she discusses parenthood, cultural differences and short men. According to Netflix, which is steaming the special, 'Her refreshingly honest approach reminds us to appreciate government workers named Otis and, most importantly, that character counts.'

LADYHD: Applause for the punny name of this podcast about women with ADHD. Brooklyn-based comedian Jenn Welch launched it last week with three episodes, including one dedicated to the 500 windows she has open in her iPhone Safari app... New episodes will come out every week on Apple podcasts and elsewhere.


Monday September 28

SLAPSTICK'S BIG NIGHT IN: Robin Ince last night hosted this VERY star-studded event to bolster the Bristol festival which celebrates all manner of vintage comedy. The calibre of guests who dropped in shows how much it's loved, including Sir Michael Palin, Rob Brydon, Stephen Merchant, Jo Brand, David Mitchell, Harry Hill, Jack Dee, Lucy Porter, Lee Mack, Graeme Garden, Stephen Fry, Jess Robinson, Tony Hawks, Richard Herring and Frankie Boyle. It can still be reviewed over the coming week or so for anybody who makes a donation - of any size - to the festival here

LAUGHTER LOUNGE: Comedy-on-demand streamer NextUp and the British Comedy Guide website today launch this virtual festival, each night featuring a comedy panel at 7pm and a virtual gig at 9pm. Tonight it kicks off with a Q&A with Mark Watson followed by a show with Tom Allen. Shows are £10 each or £79 for a pass for the full week. Full details are here

FRANK SKINNER'S POETRY PODCAST: The Absolute Radio podcast returns for a second series, with the comic introducing, reading out and analysing poems from poets both past and present, including William Wordsworth, Alexander Pope, Rita Dove and Liz Berry. He said: 'I really feel the need to share this stuff. If it wasn’t for this podcast, I’d just be stopping people in the street and reading out loud to them – from at least one metre away, obviously.' It's available from all the usual podcast outlet, including Planet Radio.


Need more suggestions?

• Click here for those from the week starting September 20
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Click here for those from the week starting September 13
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Click here for those from the week starting September 6
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Click here for those from the week starting August 30
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Click here for those from the week starting August 23
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Click here for those from the week starting August 16
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Click here for those from the week starting August 9
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Click here for those from the week starting August 2
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Click here for those from the week starting July 26
• Click here for those from the week starting July 19
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Click here for those from the week starting July 12
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Click here for those from the week starting July 5
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Click here for those from the week starting June 28
• Click here for those from the week starting June 21
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Click here for those from the week starting June 14
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Click here for those from the week starting June 7
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Click here for those from the week starting May 31
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Click here for those from the week starting May 24
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Click here for those from the week starting May 17
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Click here for those from the week starting May 10
• Click here for those from the week starting May 3
• Click here for those from the week starting April 26
• Click here for those from the week starting April 19
• 
Click here for those from the week starting April 12
• Click here for those from the week starting April 5
• Click here for those from the week starting March 29
• 
Click here for those from the week starting March 22
• Click here for those from the week starting March 15

NOTE: Sometimes links and videos of live events expire after the event. All were valid at the time of publication

Published: 2 Oct 2020

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