Sure, Alexei isn't always spot on, and sure, he's much easier to follow if the viewer is at least a little drunk (the more the merrier). Nevertheless, the way he opens his shows alone is worth the price of admission, whether it's the small children singing "Who's an ugly bastard and as fat as he can be..." a la The Mickey Mouse Club, or whether a handsome man with a glamorous woman drives up in a Jaguar convertible, walks in, and transforms himself into the familiar Alexei we all know and love only to have the receptionist ask in amazement, "Who's that fat bastard?!"
This is the 80s at their best, or perhaps their worst. Unemployment, political turmoil, pointless angst in a world where superpowers are still pointing ICBMs at one another, Thatcherism... it's all enough to drive one insane, and maybe in Mr. Sayle's case it did.
Funny and irreverent in its own right, Alexei's "Stuff" is even funnier to me since I had to watch on PBS, the local public TV station in California that at the time prided itself in its "open-minded" attitude and was mostly patronized by affluent, upper-class, left-wing "intellectuals." Picture these people sending in money in the name of art and enlightenment, only to have Alexei come on screen and announce he's fond of writing the numbers from the front of buses on small pieces of paper before crumbling them up and inserting them in his rectum! It still gives me a chuckle.
"Stuff" isn't for everyone. Between the gems there are, frankly, some moments where Alexei is off on some tangent or other and despite his best intentions it just doesn't always translate well to today's audience. Kids will love it though, as there's always a funny outfit and a silly song to chant, and Alexei does dance quite well when he initially comes out in a suite 2 sizes too small.
If you would like your kids to share the memories with you, and to be able to recite things like "Is it fat, bald, and Jewish in here or is it just me?" and of course "Who *IS* that fat bastard?!" then get the DVD release and indoctrinate them as early as possible. Alexei Sayle gets my vote over The Wiggles any day!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?