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Alexei Sayle

  • British comedian
  • Born August 7, 1952

Alexei David Sayle (born 7 August 1952) is an English stand-up comedian, actor, author and former recording artist, and was a central figure in the alternative comedy movement in the 1980s. He was voted the 18th greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-ups in 2007. In the updated 2010 poll he came 72nd.Much of Sayle's humour is in the tradition of Spike Milligan and Monty Python, with riffs based on absurd and surreal premises. His act is noted for its cynicism and political awareness, as well as physical comedy.


It seems easier to make a career out of comedy now than it was in the 1980s.




I wanted to write about how people's beliefs shift.




If I won the lottery I'd start a charity that helped little family hardware stores, cobblers and fruit shops open in city centres.




Recently, my personal advisors have been telling me to go to America. Actually, people have been walking up to me in the street and telling me to sod off, but that's the same thing, isn't it?




If sitcoms were easy to write, there'd be a lot of good ones, and there aren't.




Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, may have had his charms, but he really couldn't be considered hip.




I've been going to Granada for many years and 12 years ago bought a house a few miles outside the city.




People aren't universally heroic.




Most of the Communists I knew were nice people.




Now, as a comic, if you're vaguely amusing you can go straight into TV, then you play the O2 and then everyone's sick of you.




However, my problems with my memory are further complicated by the fact that while I don't have any recollection of things I have actually done, I have very vivid recollections of loads of things that I haven't done.




I've accentuated the look over the years. As a comic, you try something and if it works you go with it and grind it to death.




I'm still fiercely ambitious.




I have a lot of nice Italian winter clothes that make me look like a sophisticated Lebanese professor, so my friend Robert and I go around pretending to be experts in Arabic politics. It doesn't work in the summer though. I don't have the right clothes.




Americans have different ways of saying things. They say 'elevator', we say 'lift'... they say 'President', we say 'stupid psychopathic git.




First off, I have to mention what is undoubtedly the greatest phenomenon of the modern era: All You Can Eat Buffets.




I liked 35 and in both my novels that is the age of the lead characters. I tried making them my age but they just seemed to keep moaning about stuff.




People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it's safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.




I did six series for the BBC and that was enough. I've been writing for ten years, which is more challenging artistically.




I'm fascinated by comedy.




I like the south of Spain, notably for the Moorish influence and the weather.




Dire Straits is a great band. Someone tells you they like 'Brothers in Arms' and immediately you know they're a stupid annoying git.




For me, the showbiz memoir is uninteresting - you want to tell people something they don't know about.




You can't do comedy with a beard.




I don't think people were that interested in what I was doing for the most of the 1990s.




A lot of those comics can't hold down relationships and they've got no other life apart from performing. They sleep in their Jags and a lot of them can't even talk. All they can do is tell gags.




I'm distinct, really.




I don't think I'd ever get thin, but I don't see why I should necessarily think that I couldn't... You can't live your life for your routines.




I suppose the common idea of me is that I'm going to be someone who's hyper and cracking jokes all the time, but people who meet me are soon disabused of that notion.




The optimum frequency with which comedians should do a series is every year. I do one every three years. My audience is literally dying off.




But as in all cults, what's central to the Communist Party is the belief system and the elimination of nuance. From there you're very slowly led down the road to fanaticism and mass murder.




People used to think I was just a shouty comic but I was doing stuff about Sartre.




I feel sorry for many politicians... we expect them to be completely consistent and moralised when we're not.




Despite its flaws, Marxism still seems to explain the material world better than anything else.




I think that my ideas of the world are that it's random and cruel but kind of quite comical really, and therefore the humour, in a sense, springs from that.




If you travel to the States... they have a lot of different words than like what we use. For instance: they say 'elevator', we say 'lift'; they say 'drapes', we say 'curtains'; they say 'president', we say 'seriously deranged git.'



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