What a precocious little prick I was... | Showstoppers' Pippa Evans picks her comedy favourites © Ray Burmiston

What a precocious little prick I was...

Showstoppers' Pippa Evans picks her comedy favourites

Pippa Evans is in Edinburgh as part of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, on at the Pleasance Grand at 9.10pm. Here she picks her Perfect Playlist of comedy favourites:

Lee Evans Live At Her Majesty's Theatre (1996)

I have memories of me and my brothers, sitting on our manky brown sofa, sponge spilling out of the arm, playing this video over and over again. Particularly his mime to Bohemian Rhapsody. We loved everything about Lee Evans. His physicality, constantly looking like he was having a nervous breakdown and the huge volume of jokes.

He was the first comedian I ever saw live. I couldn’t believe how much he sweat on stage. And at the end of the show, he threw his jacket into the audience and a lady caught it and was thrilled.

That lady wasn’t me but I was thrilled because I was a fan of his jokes, not his bodily fluids. 


I am rewatching all of Seinfeld for the 700th time. The jokes come thick and fast and the performances around Jerry are just to die for. Snark. This was the first American comedy show I had seen where the characters weren’t particularly wholesome. Where it was OK for people to admit they had deep character flaws and not apologise for them.

Is there anyone more spineless, more cringy than George? And don’t we love him for it? And Shut Up about Elaine. Sometimes I just watch YouTube videos of her hitting Jerry, on a loop.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

The show that got me started on the improv train. I loved this magical programme. It was particularly seeing Josie Lawrence improvise songs that made me think ‘That! I wanna do that!’ 

I remember one number, The Paperweight Song, improvised by Josie Lawrence, Mike McShane and Richard Vranch. I just couldn’t believe it was improvised. So much talent in one tiny song!

It was quite a significant moment for me when I started guesting with The Comedy Store Players and did a show with Josie, Mike and Richard. Luckily, I didn’t crumble under the (paper)weight of it all. 

Michelle Wolf

When I am doom-scrolling, about the only thing I will stop for is Michelle Wolf’s Insta account. I could watch her all day long. Especially her Lesbian Best Friend routine.  

She is so funny. I can’t think of more to say than that. I think that is the ultimate compliment for a stand-up.

‘Hey! You are so funny.’ Is much better than ‘Hey! Your routine really made me think.’ Although she does both, but without losing the first bit, Am I making sense? Just make her your new favourite.

Larry Dean

I don’t think Larry knows how much I love him, but I always take any opportunity I can to watch him. Guess what? He’s so funny! His face is funny. His physicality is funny. He is one of those people who walks on stage and you are already laughing.

Ken Campbell, who started Showstopper! The Improvised Musical with us, used to say ‘It’s one thing to be funny, it’s another thing to look like you might be just about to be funny.’ Larry is this quote personified.

The Life of Brian

Another nostalgia fest of comedy with my brothers. We watched this when I was eight and mostly enjoyed when Graham Chapman opened the shutters of his window, butt naked. We would press pause so we could all laugh at his penis. But after we got over his penis (and Sue Jones-Davis’s fanny), we then laughed at all the actual jokes.

It also led to my first ‘it’s not funny’ argument with my friend’s quite religious dad, who then revealed he hadn’t actually watched it. ‘Perhaps if you actually watched it, you’d find it funnier.’ I said. What a precocious little prick I was. 

Published: 2 Aug 2023

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