Frank Sinatra does stand-up... | Charlie Baker chooses a baker's dozen of comedy favourites

Frank Sinatra does stand-up...

Charlie Baker chooses a baker's dozen of comedy favourites

Max Miller Live at the Holborn Empire

Max Miller is probably my biggest influence.I love how he immediately gets the audience on his side with massive over-confidence and bravado.Gives everyone a bit of smut, a few gags some songs, a dance and then gets off. You feel like you've seen a whole show even though he's only been on 20 minutes.

He also, as far as I know was one of the first to write all his own material and constantly refresh it and put new bits in. I also like that he would close the first half rather than the whole show so he could get home early to Brighton.

Patrice O Neal: Mr P. Tolu

I came very late to the Patrice party but from the two specials I've heard and seen he strikes me as one of the best ever and an incredible loss to stand-up. He just tears the room apart and doesn't stop, its relentlessly screamingly funny. 

Peter Kay: Live At The Top of the Tower

Much derided, but much copied, this show captures a very very skilled comedian at the top of his game. His performance is immaculate.The stories and punchlines expertly crafted and the characters he inhabits (especially the women) precisely drawn.

This is the DVD that pushed me over the edge and made me do my first open spot. Sat in my mate’s flat in tears having to pause it so as not to miss anything through laughing and thinking: 'I have to get in to this'.

Morecambe and Wise with Tom Jones

Three performers being brilliant at their job.Made all the better when Tom cracks at 1.09

Frank Sinatra Live at the Sands Monologue

This is Frank in his pomp with the Count Basie Band, and the music is incredible. Halfway through he does 13 minutes of stand-up. If you want to hear something that makes no sense at all ('He couldn't hit a bull in the fanny with a bag of rice') and so horrifically of its time ('We got Sammy in here just to clean')  getting massive sycophantic laughs, then this is your thing. Many a happy evening spent quoting this with the excellent John Fothergill.

Waiting For Guffman: Midnight at the Oasis

This whole film is immaculate.Catherine O’Hara is just perfect. I watch this clip about twice a week.I think it's my favourite thing.

Dad’s Army: Keep Young and Beautiful

Has anyone ever been better in anything than Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier? The clip I really like is in this episode when Mainwaring is trying the wig on in the mirror, but I couldn't find it. This is equally funny though.You can buy the complete box set of Dad’s Army for about 25 quid and Graham McCann's book about the show is brilliant.

Live! Girls! present Dogtown: Bill and Sheila Tadler

This was a superb series on BBC 3 about six years ago before it became youth obsessed. The show was buried in the schedules but was brilliant.

Vic Reeves Big Night Out 

All of it. This is what we memorised and performed for each other at school complete with voices and actions. My generation's Monty Python.

Planes Trains and Automobiles

Do I think John Candy is a genius? Yes. Yes I do. I believe that.

Julie Walters as Mrs Overall

Seeing Acorn Antiques live felt like the closest you could get now to seeing Max Wall or Tommy Cooper live.The musical was OK, but she was amazing. ‘Have a fucking Custard Cream and shut the fuck up.’

Tim Vine Flag Hippo


If you are a parent you should buy this DVD. KIds love it, Tim is brilliant and it makes a change from Balamory on a loop.

Count Arthur Strong: The Musical. Doncaster

The most I've ever laughed in a show in Edinburgh. The wife was pregnant and nearly had the baby.

Charlie Baker: Baker's Dozen is on at Assembly George Square Three at 21:15


Published: 9 Aug 2013

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