Rik Mayall is a constant reminder to never give less than everything | Robin Ince picks his Perfect Playlist of comedy favourites

Rik Mayall is a constant reminder to never give less than everything

Robin Ince picks his Perfect Playlist of comedy favourites

Robin Ince is performing two shows at the Edinburgh Fringe from next week: Weapons of Empathy at Gilded Balloon at the Museum at 1pm celebrating books; and  Melons: A Love Letter to Stand-Up Comedy at The Stand’s New Town Theatre at 8.35pm. Here he shares his Perfect Playlist of Comedy Favourites

The Jovers

I can’t remember where I found The Jovers, but I find this performance utterly adorable and infectious. The way Mrs Jover moves is effortless and yet to become that effortless must have taken years. 

They were a real husband-and-wife act - Wilfred died a few years ago, but Fe was in her 80s and living in Arizona last time I looked. Just joyful. I love finding these clips and spend many of my late nights seeking out such variety acts. 

Max Wall, Dickie Henderson and Billy Dainty 

Here are three utter pros - Max Wall’s The Fool on a Hill is one of my favourite comedy autobiographies and I am lucky to have a signed copy that I think my dad got when he saw Wall at The Mermaid Theatre . John Cleese has expressed his debt to Wall for the Ministry of Silly Walks. 

Dickie Henderson seems almost forgotten now and yet he was a truly brilliant performer, fabulous dancer, great slapstick, more should know of his work. He was a star who seemed almost instantaneously forgotten when he died (I have Denis Norden’s copy of his autobiography, as well as Denis Norden’s copy of the huge Freudian tome on the Rationale of the Dirty Joke). Dainty could be tremendously balletic. All brilliant fools.

Billy Connolly and ​Kenny Everett

Two of my favourite things in comedy - Billy Connolly and Kenny Everett. I could fill 500 Perfect Playlists with clips of each of their solo works.

Connolly’s Wreck on Tour is the comedy album that has made me laugh more than any other - tea-spittingly brilliant. Everett is someone who is so utterly loveable and the two of them together fills me with good cheer - two silly men loving each others’ silly company. 

Rik Mayall 

I presume the number of times I have watched Rik at Comic Relief is probably into four figures now.

It cannot be overestimated how giddy this made me feel. I put on a celebration of Rik at my local cinema a few months after he died and it allowed me to stand on stage and say: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage Rik Mayall!’ - the audience went wild. 

He is a constant reminder to never give less than everything you have when performing. 

The final one

Well, Chortle, you total and utter bastard, now I have to pick a final clip and there are just too damn many - Lucy Pearman Is A Lot Of Grapes, Joanna Neary doing pretty much anything, Tim Vine trying to get a pen behind the ear, Stan Laurel eating wax fruit and on and on, but I have decided to go for John Hegley.

 I can’t find my favourite rendition of Eddie Don’t Like Furniture which was from a low budget BBC Two Fringe show - so instead watch him being the loveliest teacher you can imagine on Teacher’s TV

Published: 24 Jul 2023

Live comedy picks

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