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Five questions about British comedy—Quick Quiz answers

We asked you five questions about British stand-up comedy and comedians. Here come the answers!

  1. The Comedy Store opened in London in 1979 and was the focus of the boom in alternative comedy. Who was its first compère?
    Alexei Sayle, who replied to an advert looking for “would-be comedians”. Performers were invited on stage and allowed to perform until Sayle judged the audience had had enough of them, at which point he would bang a gong to bring their performance to an unceremonious close.
  2. Can you name all four of the Young Ones, the popular show which was first broadcast in November 1982?
    Adrian Edmondson (“Vyvyan”), Rik Mayall (“Rick”), Nigel Planer (“Neil”) and Christopher Ryan (“Mike”). The first three were all regular performers in the The Comic Strip Presents… series of comedy one-offs; originally fellow Comic Strip performer Peter Richardson had been cast as Mike, but he clashed with producer Paul Jackson.
  3. What did Paul Merton work as before he became a comedian?
    Clerical officer in Tooting employment office, where he spent seven years after leaving school. Despite the running gag on Have I Got News For You that he left school with a CSE in metalwork, he achieved A-Level passes in English and History.
  4. In 1997 Frank Skinner broke the record for the largest ever comedy solo gig in the UK. Where was the show held?
    Battersea Power Station. The show came just a month after Skinner (real name: Chris Collins, although his parents always used his middle name of Graham) had completed a 100-gig tour of the UK covering 11,400 miles.
  5. Who acquired the early stage name the Sea Monster?
    Jo Brand. She started performing in 1986 after taking a joint degree in Social Science and Registered Mental Nurse qualification at Brunel University.

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