I live in Leeds at the moment. Leeds isn’t the biggest city in the country, but at the moment it’s one of the most exciting. Why is it one of the most exciting? Because, it’s recently exploded with a wealth of stand-up comedy that is trying to be as different and unique as possible.
Stand-up comedy doesn’t seem as popular in the UK as it should be. Yes, we have television programs like Live at the Apollo, QI, and anything else on the BBC, but they’re not entirely representative of actual stand-up comedy. In music terms, those programs are like Top of the Pops, and a lot of live comedy is like Bad Brains: Bad Brains and Top of the Pops would never work well (I just had to Google to make sure that hadn’t happened, because that would be AWFUL). This means that many people might watch these programs, not like what they see, and then decide they don’t like comedy. How stupid would it be to judge music from Top of the Pops alone?
That’s what the main driving force behind the recent comedy scene in Leeds: many comedians breaking out or emerging now, feel what we have on TV here is stale. Instead, many of them have been influenced by US comedians such as Dave Attell, Patton Oswalt, Louis CK, Eddie Pepitone, Louis CK, and many more that would take too long to list. They want to take things into their own hands like a punk or DIY music scene.
So why Leeds? Well, Leeds has a strong history of interesting music and culture, and people in Leeds seem to really care about creativity. That’s why I originally got an apartment in Leeds. I came for the Art, and stayed for the comedy.
That’s not me in the picture by the way, that’s one of my good friends Michael Sterrett, playing at a monthly night in Leeds which is called HOWL. I would have used a picture of me, but I am very ugly. HOWL is only one of the many exciting nights that take place in Leeds and if you’re a fan of comedy you should definitely start to explore what is on offer. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.