Last night’s TV – The Omid Djalili Show vs Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle

Well, last night we had ourselves a good old North-South divide – not to mention BBC1 and 2 divide – in the form of these comedy shows, and even though Lee’s theme last night was religion, and Omid’s sketches and jokes last night were very often about religion too, for me, Omid won the battle of the laughs, hands down.


In an interview with the Radio Times, Omid said of his style of comedy, “I play on stereotypes. I do lots of silly ethnic voices. People with Middle England sensibilities might think, ‘Are you crazy? How can you find this funny?’”

Well, I know a lot of people don’t, but I find him very amusing whereas I just haven’t been able to get into Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle; I find Lee extremely funny as a stand-up comedian in other settings, but not in this show. It, and he, just seem to try too hard whereas, even though Omid’s skits and stand-up are of course just as scripted, they don’t feel that way…

I was falling about laughing at Omid’s sketch with the recycling bins and Sheikhs and the City – even though I must admit to feeling a tad uncomfortable about the whole Muslim joke issue – but nothing in Lee’s show made me similarly laugh out loud last night, or indeed on the other occasions I’ve watched Comedy Vehicle.

His whole religion-isn’t-really-about-religion theme last night was without Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicledoubt true as a concept, but his attempts at mockery of modern day society, religion included, just smack of political sarcasm rather than comedy per se. And even when he’s just attempting a comedy sketch without political overtones, it’s still mostly not funny.

For example, one of Stewart’s pieces was this; “I woke up last Sunday morning at 6.30, when there was a knock on my door … and there was one of those born-again Christian Evangelists there, and he said to me ‘Sir! The answer is Jesus, now what is the question?’ And I said, ‘Is the question: for which role was Robert Powell nominated for a Bafta?’”

Erm, what?? I mean if you’re going to take the mickey out of doorstep religion vendors, at least make it realistic.

So as Omid’s show began a new series on BBC1 last night and Stewart’s Vehicle came to a halt on BBC2, we’d like to know which you think is the better show?

Would you prefer to have continued a weekly outing in Stewart’s Vehicle and are you therefore sorry to see it go, or in a time-slot head to head, would you choose to watch the Omid Djalili show? Let us know if you please 🙂

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.