Always Be Comedy (2 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2018
Al Murray: Landlord of Hope and Glory: Assembly George Square Gardens, Edinburgh, 2019
Always Be Comedy Christmas Show: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2019
Always Be Comedy Online (3 shows): Online: 2020
#SaveLiveComedy: (3 shows): The Clapham Grand, London: Online: 2020
Always Be Comedy: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2020
Just The Tonic Working From Home – Good Riddance 2020 New Year’s Eve Special: Online: 2020
Always Be Comedy Online: Al Murray’s Lockdown Lock-in: Online: 2021
Leicester Comedy Festival: Happy Hour Q & A Interview with Al Murray: Online: 2021
Al Murray made a very welcome special appearance at Always Be Comedy in March 2018. As he bounded onto the stage, beer swilling in hand and spilling the alcohol onto me and the rest of the front row as he went, one of the greatest and funniest things Murray did was skilfully incorporate audience interaction. The responses he gave to each audience individual after a brief interaction he had with them was outstanding and consistently funny. Murray is one of the best and funniest acts I have seen play at Always Be Comedy and the forty-five-minute set he delivered at the club was a comedy masterclass and worthy of my standing ovation which when it happened, he gave me a very funny look of bewilderment.
He returned to Always Be Comedy in October 2018 billed as a special guest where the audience were treated to over an hour of him on stage. He proved again to be the greatest audience banter character comedian by playing the perfect comedy room and by the end of the set after sitting in my usual front row seat, I was exhausted from crying with laughter.
Since making his debut in 1994 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Pub Landlord has gone on to enjoy incredible success, including selling out some of this country’s biggest venues. It was therefore an absolute joy to see Murray once again return in August 2019 at the Edinburgh Fringe where he effortlessly remonstrated on subjects including Brexit, politeness and decency. All the trademarks that have gone into making the Pub Landlord a much-loved British comedy institution returned in this latest show. Murray was still matchless in audience interaction and having a young band on stage with him gave the ability for crowd sing-alongs.
In December 2019, Murray starred in the Always Be Comedy Christmas Charidee Show (in aid of www.dkms.org.uk) where once again he had the audiences in stitches. Whilst Britain was waiting for the results of a major general election. Murray gave his intelligent and hilarious view and prediction of the state of the country. His ability to make ridiculous points seem disturbingly believable was as commendable and unsettling as ever.
Murray headlined Always Be Comedy Online for two shows in June 2020. He delivered an inspirational speech on how to cope with lockdown during the worldwide pandemic and was thoroughly engaging and extremely funny with the virtual front row ‘audience’.
Due to the coronavirus epidemic in 2020, the future of live stand up comedy is in grave doubt because of social distancing rules. In August, three massive comedy shows – #SaveLiveComedy featuring a wealth of comic talent were streamed live from The Clapham Grand in London to help raise money to keep live stand up comedy from non-existing and Murray, together with Jayde Adams co-hosted all three events. For show 1, the acts who appeared on video link were musical comedian Lorraine Bowen, London Hughes, Jessica Fostekew, Tim Vine and Louisa Omielan. Acts live on stage were Naomi Watanabe, Garrett Millerick, Eleanor Tiernan, Charlie Partridge, Thanya Moore, Nigel NG, Josh Jones, Rich Wilson, Sindhu Vee and Fern Brady. For show 2, the acts who appeared on video link wee Aisling Bea, Nish Kumar, Sarah Callaghan and Joe Lycett. Acts live on stage were Kerry Godliman, Dane Baptiste, Kwame Asante, Helen Bauer, Carl Donnelly, Rosie Jones, Don Biswas, Mawaan Rizwan, Ed Gamble, Shappi Korshandi, Sue Gives A F*ck and Nathan Caton. Murray exceled in audience participation of the lucky interactive Zoom audience and was hilarious through the proceedings.
Murray was also wonderful to watch live again at a social distanced show for Always Be Comedy in September 2020. His rants cheering everyone up during a very difficult year were inspired as ever.
In December 2020, Murray headlined the Always Be Comedy Online Christmas Charidee Special (once again in aid of www.dkms.org.uk) where he cheered the audience up with Christmas songs and comedy in his own inimitable way. He appeared again at the Just The Tonic Working From Home – Good Riddance 2020 New Year’s Eve Special looking back on a horrible year and looking forward in his unique style.
In January 2021, Al Murray’s Lockdown Lock-In was a new weekly show for Always Be Comedy Online. Murray delivered a quiz in his unique style – brilliantly interacting with the virtual front row and where different prizes each week included a Fray Bentos Chicken Pie.
I watched an interview with Al Murray for the Leicester Comedy Festival which took place online because of the Coronavirus epidemic in February 2021. Murray talked to founding director Geoff Rowe about his comedy career, his highlights and views on the future of live comedy.
In my view, The Pub Landlord is currently the greatest character comedian and a brilliantly executed comedy staple who is extremely popular with audiences and long may he continue.