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“What I brought to comedy was an authentic working class voice plus a threat of genuine violence — nobody in Monty Python looked like a hard case who’d kick your head in.”
In 1971 comedians on the working men’s club circuit imagined that they would be free to go on telling their tired, racist, misogynistic gags forever but their nemesis, a 19-year-old Marxist art student with a bizarre concern for the health of British manufacturing was slowly coming to meet them.
Through the next decade Alexei Sayle would be a student at Chelsea Art School, a clerk in a DHSS office (where nobody did any work), one of London’s bottom ten freelance illustrators, a school dinner lady and a college lecturer (who kidnapped his students), before he became the original MC of London’s first modern comedy club, the Comedy Store, and the landscape of British comedy was altered forever.
Thatcher Stole My Trousers chronicles a time when comedy and politics came together in electrifying ways. Recounting the opening season of the Comedy Store, Alexei’s experiences with Alternative Cabaret, the Comic Strip and the Young Ones, and his friendships with the comedians who, like him would soon become household names, this is a unique and beguiling blend of social history and memoir. Fascinating, funny, angry and entertaining, it is a story of class and comedy, politics and love, fast cars and why it’s difficult to foul a dwarf in a game of football.