Rob Hawkes, 'This isn’t a mistake, this is my act: Uncertainty, Authenticity, and Trust in Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle'
For some, Stewart Lee's comedy performances amount to little more than self-indulgent, postmodern navel-gazing while others accuse Lee of elitism, intellectual snobbery and exhibiting contempt for his audience.
This paper will argue on the contrary, that the complex self-reflexivity of Lee's stand-up, focusing particularly on his BBC2 television series Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle (2009–2016), dramatises a set of pressing contemporary concerns surrounding questions of uncertainty, authenticity and trust while also offering a powerful critique of both reactionary and liberal political standpoints.
Dr Rob Hawkes is a Senior Lecturer in English. He is author of Ford Madox Ford and the Misfit Moderns (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and co-editor of three volumes of essays on Ford’s writing. He is co-founder of the Cultures of Trust research network and is currently writing a monograph on literature, trust, money, and modernity.