99 Club Comedy: Ruby Blue, Leicester Square, London, 2017
Film: The Oldest Comedy Club in Britain Q & A: Art House Cinema, Crouch End, London, 2023
Jewish comedian Joe Bor compered at the 99 Club Comedy showcase that I saw in London in 2017. Bor has a natural charm on stage which drew the audience in and immediately got them onside. His larger-than-life persona together funny anecdotes in between introducing the acts made for an engaging comedy host.
Comedian turned film maker Bor made a film documentary The Oldest Comedy Club in Britain, celebrating 40 years of Downstairs at The Kings Head comedy club that I watched in April 2023. The film charted the history of the club from humble beginnings in 1981 when owner Peter Grahame and co-founder and compere Huw Thomas opened the club. The film featured major contributions from Grahame, Thomas, Seann Walsh, Stewart Lee, Stephen Carlin Alan Francis and many more comedians who have played at the club over the years. A question and answer session followed the screening of the film, with director Bor and comedians Jenny Collier and Josh Howie, who also appear in the film; I asked how they thought comedy had evolved over the last 50 years and their answers all focussed on freedom of speech. Bor’s film is a fitting tribute to an iconic comedy club.