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He may be reviled, but the highest-earning comedian around is this era's Tommy Cooper or Eric Morecambe … and a class act

Title: Live and Laughing

Year: 2008

The set-up: Is it provocative to say that Michael McIntyre is a great stand-up comedian? Certainly there is a mould of greatness that he doesn't fit. The outsider, the fearless truth-teller, born brilliant, but struggling commercially and personally because he can't shake off his destiny to challenge the complacent world ... This a noble calling, but it's not his.

McIntyre is an ex-public schoolboy (albeit one who had to leave after his parents ran out of money). He is a multi-multimillionaire, now said to be the highest-earning stand-up comedian in the world. He is Mr Mainstream, famous for his (relatively) clean material, and promoted on television. This, McIntyre's first DVD, was the fastest-selling debut DVD there'd ever been. It is a rough analogy, but in »

- Leo Benedictus

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