Putney Comedy Tree: Putney, London, 2009
Steve Best: Clicking Comedians: Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh, 2018
Steve Best: Comedians Back To Front: The Observatory Photography Gallery, Marchmont Street, London, 2020
Steve Best: ‘Comedians’ Book Launch: The Observatory Photography Gallery, Marchmont Street, London, 2022
Comedian Steve Best is exhausting to watch. He is a frantically funny and great visual comedic and his very juvenile approach to life makes time in his company pure joy. On stage, he manages to connect an overwhelming collection of jokes and devices to keep his audience enthralled and in fits of laughter. I witnessed this when I saw him perform at the Putney Comedy Tree in London in 2009.
Best is also a professional photography and has produced two books: Comedy Snapshot (2014) and Jokerface (2017). The books feature Best’s photographic portraits of fellow comedians that make up the current circuit and are both excellent reads. In 2017, when I turned fifty, I went to the Edinburgh Fringe and being a big fan of Mervyn Stutter and his Pick of the Fringe showcase, after one show Best very kindly took a picture of Stutter with me. I was extremely grateful for this and the photo is a great memory. I wish Best every success in his future endeavours.
A photographic exhibition of his photographic work called Clicking Comedians was at the Pleasance Dome during the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2018 and I went along to have a look. Best has been a funny man for many years and he has got to know hundreds of comics which has enabled him to gain exclusive access to the world of comedy. Many photos feature comedians relaxing pre and post gig. My two favourite photographs from the display were of Sarah Pascoe caught laughing and Phil Nichol in a typical manic on-stage pose.
In January 2020, I attended the Observatory Photography Gallery where more of Best’s work was on display. The exhibition entitled Comedians Back To Front featured photographs of comedians behind the scenes, in dressing rooms, walking on stage, waiting nervously. Superb shots of Barry Cryer, Jeremy Hardy, amongst others stood out as I walked around. The exhibition runs until June 2020 and is well worth a visit.
In November 2022, I was privileged to attend the book launch of Best’s new book Comedians. The book is an exclusive behind-the scenes view of the comedy world featuring everyone from Jason Byrne to Jack Dee to Bridget Christie to Harry Hill and many others: 230 pages of incredibly captured stills. At the event, it was a pleasure to meet Best himself along with John Bishop, Phil Nichol, Paul Thorne, Steve Bennett, creator of the Chortle Comedy website and Simon Randall who runs Headliners Comedy Club in Chiswick. London. The major book is available to buy at the following link and I wish Best every success with the publication:
Best has managed to capture the essence of the stand-up comedy world with his superb photography.