Want to Hire Al Murray?
Now, we don’t want to sound like snooty comedy snobs, but we are SO glad that Al Murray ditched his original act, which included sound-effect impressions of guns, animals and car boots. It’s incredible to think that Al’s hugely popular ‘Pub Landlord’ character came about purely by accident: the result of a ‘give it a go, see what happens’, pre-gig moment. That was back in 1994, when Al was booked as the support act for comedian Harry Hill. Twenty years on, and comedian Al Murray is still guaranteeing a fantastic night out – winning over fellow patriots and Guardian readers alike.
Why do we love the Pub Landlord?
The Pub Landlord doesn’t sound very promising on paper – he hates anything ‘un-British’ and displays a particular animosity towards Germans and the French. In the wrong hands, this could easily take the shape of a hideous Nigel Farage-style monster, but Al Murray is a very clever comedian (he’s got an MA in modern history, you know). In fact, we honestly can’t think of any other comic who could get away with firing insults at their audience whilst maintaining a truly likeable persona. You’ve just gotta love this big, bald, right-wing xenophobe. Of course, the other reason we can’t resist him is because he is genuinely funny – just when you think he’s going for the obvious gag, he comes up with something totally unexpected (and doubly funny).
Award-winning shows, bestselling DVDs, Action Man Figures
OK, so we made that last one up, but given Al’s obsession with World War 2, we think he’d approve. Keeping with the military theme, let’s just say… book Al Murray and you’re getting a man who’s won more awards than you could fit into a Lancaster Bomber (with all the bombs removed, and no seats and no steering wheel-type handle knob thing – let’s hope Al doesn’t read this, he’d be furious at our flagrant lack of knowledge). Award highlights include: winning the Perrier Award in 1999; being short-listed twice for a fancy Laurence Olivier Award for his theatre shows; and winning a British Comedy Award in 2007 for his chat show, ‘Al Murray’s Happy Hour’. When the next series returned, Al said: ‘It goes without saying … the trouble with telly these days is that the viewer is not credited with enough intelligence and the fact I’m back on is proof they know what’s good for them’.
Find Al Murray in all good bookshops. Hoorah!
Al’s ‘Pub Landlord, Book Of British Common Sense’, was a best selling title when published in both paperback and hardback with 300,000 sales. His second hit book ‘Think Yourself British’ was published in hardback in 2009 and was followed in 2010 with ‘The Pub Landlord’s Great British Pub Quiz Book’. His latest offering, ‘Watching War Films with my Dad’, is a great read, with some lovely personal anecdotes and a chance to catch up on your history. Just don’t make us watch a war film with Al (or his Dad). ‘That’s the wrong tank!’ ‘The nose on that plane is the wrong shape!’ ‘That Messerschmitt sounds ridiculous!’ etc. etc.
What people say about Al Murray
‘I laughed so much, lager came out of my nose.’ – The Sunday Times
‘The funniest live comedy show of the decade, possibly the entire century.’ – The Observer
‘No one works a room like Murray.’ Chortle
Did you know…?
You can hear Al Murray on the radio – tune in every on Sunday mornings on digital radio station Planet Rock, he hosts a programme called ‘Defender of the Planet Rock Tradition.’ Air guitars ahoy!