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09 Mar 2011

Stewart Lee is a very nice man (and knows his boxes)

Gallery snapshot. View gallery of Stewart Lee is a very nice man (and knows his boxes)

We went to see Stewart Lee at the weekend. It's not habitual for us to write about our private, social outings, but this was a special evening and there's a strained tie-in with War on Terror, so bear with us.

We grew up (read: "distracted ourselves at university when we should have been studying") with Stewart Lee's comedy as a persistent background, kind of like a funny wasp. These days he is known by many for writing and directing Jerry Springer the Opera (check out this great documentary on the fall-out of that) and also for his highly crafted stand-up routines. So it was a moment of great excitement to actually get to see him perform live. To mark the occasion we decided to leave Mr. Lee a gift of War on Terror at the venue as a token of admiration and respect for the funny man.

After the show, we lined up to get our "merch" signed. We introduced ourselves and the lovely man responded by insisting on returning our money. He thanked us for our random present and said he'd been chuckling at the box and was looking forward to playing it. The exact words were, "It'll make a welcome change from playing Risk with the wife". We thought about using this as an official quote, but he did tell us this in the course of a private conversation and we didn't want to breach his confidentiality. And anyway, something even better landed in our lap ...

"It'll make a welcome change from playing Risk with the wife" - Stewart Lee When it came to getting his book signed, Andy S, sensing a golden marketing opportunity, cheekily asked Stewart Lee to make it out to "War-on-Terror-is-the-best-board-game-in-the-world-ever". Amazingly, he happily obliged but changed the wording ever so slightly, to be more epistemologically valid:

'War on Terror is the best board game's box I ever read' - Stewart Lee, board game box expert
"War on Terror is the best board game's box I ever read" - Stewart Lee.

You're probably thinking that we were disappointed by Stewart's redacted version. You're probably thinking that his unshakable integrity thwarted our PR coup and that, being the owner of the "best board game's box" is unmilkable in terms of publicity value. BUT YOU'D BE WRONG. Because Stewart Lee told us himself that his dad used to package board games and that he often brought home the spoils of his job to a young Stewart, who then became unusually familiar with board games and their boxes. In fact, it wouldn't be too great a leap of logic to call Stewart Lee an "expert in the boxes of board games". For the hard of reading, what this means is that we are now in possession of a rare and excellent endorsement from one of the greatest stand-ups (and board game box experts) in Britain. Result!

Also, quick "life hack" for you. If you want to get free stuff from your comedy heroes, it transpires that all you need to do is leave them a present earlier in the day - preferably something that you've made yourself, that unwittingly ties into their childhood in some way, like a board game. Best to mass-produce the game too; you'll want to keep costs down. Then you just need to market and sell it for a few years to make sure it is something that is vaguely familiar when your "target" sees it. Then, bingo! Free booty.

Incidentally, I thoroughly recommend reading Stewart Lee's collection of bad reviews (you need to scroll down a bit). Favourite line: "Everyone was laughing at him, and I hated his guts".

Also, not worth a blog post to itself, but too good to simply not mention, here's a great little story about someone trying to take War on Terror on a plane with them to Israel and Ewe of the Falklands has been reviewed in "PC Gamer" magazine!

Posted by TerrorBull Games on 9 March 2011 - 4 comments

Comments so far:

  1. I was there too! Great gig.Dan Brown from Cambridge - 9 March 2011
  2. Haha! Love it! You are very lucky to meet him. And Stewart Lee has great taste (in boxes).Sara - 14 March 2011
  3. Very good. You guys really are masters of spin.Itchy - 3 April 2011
  4. Loved this. Excellent advice.Justin from Countryside! - 13 May 2011

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