Stewart Lee Press
WORKING IT OUT : STEWART LEEStewart Lee is a writer and comedian. His debut novel, The Perfect Fool, is out now Interviewed by Hamish Mackintosh
Thursday August 2, 2001
Is all your writing done on computer now?
Yes. I fill up notebooks when I'm on the move but I couldn't imagine working without a computer now. I wrote most of The Perfect Fool in motel rooms on a laptop while touring stand-up. After my electric typewriter I got an Amstrad word processor in 1991 and a computer finally in 1997. I spend so long at the screen I dream in blocks of text and click on links to my next chain of thought!
Is there any good comedy on the net?
Yes, but it's mainly websites of already existing magazines and people, like The Onion. I don't know if there's an internet comedy brand that has succeeded in its own right, apart from TVGoHome, which is funny. There are loads of sites that are funnier than the things that are supposed to be funny, the Menstrual Hut, for example. That said, there's lots of good information about comedy on the net.
Would you ever consider writing something solely for the net?
I worked out that if we 'nobbled' everyone who has ever visited www.leeandherring.com for a small donation, Richard Herring and I could easily raise a bigger budget than those offered by BBC TV for the kind of shows we like to make. You could stream it and people could put in credit card details to access it.
Any favourite gadgets?
I have a 1972 Wurlitzer jukebox. It's analogue, contains valves, and works by scraping a needle across small round pieces of black plastic. It's not easily portable and actually had to be winched into my flat by a crane. It's unlikely to replace the MP3 player, which is 1,000 times smaller and contains significantly more music, but the jukebox is beautiful and I love it. Still room for love in the technological world, isn't there?
Do you think the net will continue being unregulated?
I think certain servers will regulate, others won't, and there will be a split between customers who want different things from the net. Personally, I like being able to visit sites by the IRA, Militant Muslim Black Power Groups, and Christian Sado-Masochists and would be sad to see access denied.
What technological advance could make your life as a writer easier?
A robot which looked like Jane Root, controller of BBC2, but which was programmed to help advance mankind's intellect and creative ambition, rather than run it into the ground!
Any favourite websites?
www.notbbc.co.uk/corpses/ (note - this has since changed) for comedy news. I often sit and stare at this Turkish animation and www.freedonia.com/7Ejeff/fall has the lyrics to all The Fall's songs.
Source - Guardian Unlimited