They don't make comedy like they used to . . .From the slapstick comedy of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel, the surrealism of Spike Milligan and Monty Python, and the golden age of political incorrectness helmed by Benny Hill, to the alternative scene that burst forth following the punk movement, the hedonistic joy of Absolutely Fabulous, the lacerating scorn of Jimmy Carr, Ricky Gervais, and Jo Brand and the meteoric rise of socially conscious stand up today: comedy can be many things, and it is a cultural phenomenon has come to define Britain like few others. In Different Times, David Stubbs charts the superstars that were in on the gags, the unsung heroes hiding in the wings and the people who ended up being the butt of the joke. Comedians and their work speak to and of their time, drawing upon and moulding Britons' relationship with their national history, reflecting us as a people, and, simply, providing raucous laughs for millions of people around the world. Different Times is a joyous, witty and insightful paean to British comedy.
David Stubbs is a British author and music journalist. Alongside Simon Reynolds, he was one of the co-founders of the Oxford magazine Monitor before going on to join the staff at Melody Maker. He later worked for NME, Uncut and Vox, as well as the Wire. His work has appeared in The Times, Sunday Times, Spin, Guardian, Quietus and GQ. He has written a number of books, including Fear Of Music: Why People Get Rothko But Don't Get Stockhausen, Future Days: Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany and Mars by 1980: The Story of Electronic Music. He lives in London.