‘What I brought to comedy was an authentic working class voice plus a threat of genuine violence – nobody in Monty Python looked like a hard case who’d kick your head in’

In 1971 comedians on the working men’s club circuit imagined that they would be free to go on telling their tired, racist, misogynistic gags forever but their nemesis, a nineteen year- old Marxist art student with a bizarre concern for the health of British manufacturing was slowly coming to meet them.

Through the next decade Alexei Sayle would be a student at Chelsea Art School, a clerk in a DHSS office (where nobody did any work), one of London’s bottom ten freelance illustrators, a school dinner lady and a college lecturer (who kidnapped his students), before he became the original MC of London’s first modern comedy club, the Comedy Store, and the landscape of British comedy was altered forever.

Thatcher Stole My Trousers chronicles a time when comedy and politics came together in electrifying ways. Recounting the opening season of the Comedy Store and his friendships with the comedians who, like him would soon become household names, this is a unique and beguiling blend of social history and memoir.

About Alexei Sayle
Born in Liverpool, the only child of Communist parents, Alexei moved to London in 1971 to attend Chelsea Art School. He became the first MC of the Comedy Store and later the Comic Strip. After years of stand-up, television, sitcoms, films and even a hit single, he published his first highly acclaimed collection of short stories. Barcelona Plates was followed by The Dog Catcher, two novels: Overtaken and The Weeping Women Hotel and a novella, Mister Roberts. The first volume of Alexei’s memoirs was Stalin Ate My Homework.

Duration

Approx 60 mins

Creative work details

Title: Thatcher Stole My Trousers
Date Published: 2016-03-10
Website:

Reviews

'This is an unexpected delight. All those lefty stand-up comedians who monopolise the funny stuff now: their style started with Alexei Sayle and his comrades in the 1980s.'
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