I had to pull this one out the archive, as it was a special moment for me. It’s not often that you get to talk to your heroes, and its especially weird when it’s your first professional journalism assignment.
I had actually spoken to Lee a few months earlier, very briefly, at the Montreal comedy festival, Just For Laughs. By some ridiculous arrangement the festival were offering VIP passes which worked out cheaper than not getting a VIP pass. (This is the days before I knew how to blag a press pass for everything). Expecting to be lumped together with the other comedy tourists savvy enough to work this out, my friend and I found ourselves in amongst the great and the good of the world comedy scene. When I plucked up the courage to approach Mr Lee in a bar, I attempted a joke, saying his 90s Comedian show wasn’t enjoyable, but was hilarious, or something rubbish, and he laughed politely and offered me a jelly baby. I took one and ran away before he could ask me what show I was with, because that’s all everybody wanted to know, having not realised that due to a quirk in the exchange rate and their pricing system the festival was letting nobodies into exclusive areas to mess about.
Anyway seven months later I got this dream assignment, and Stewart Lee cancelled the show. But importantly, he didn’t cancel the show before the article was published in the Skinny, so it still counts!