Stewart Lee began stand-up at the age of 20 in 1988, winning the Hackney Empire new act of the year award in 1990. In the 90's he contributed to various BBC Radio comedy shows, including Fist of Fun and On The Hour, with Steve Coogan and Chris Morris, performed as a stand-up almost nightly on the London circuit, and co-created four series for BBC2 with Richard Herring.
Stewart directed the Mighty Boosh's breakthrough Edinburgh show, Arctic Boosh (1999), Simon Munnery's Golden Rose Of Montreux nominated BBC2 show, Attention Scum, (2000), and a revival of Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio (Underbelly 2007). In 2001 he was invited to help write the libretto of, and direct, the composer Richard Thomas' developing work, Jerry Springer The Opera, at Battersea Arts Centre. The show won four Olivier awards after its National Theatre run, though it was prevented from enjoying any commercial future by the pressure group, Christian Voice.
Stewart's subsequent three stand-up shows, 2004's Stand-Up Comedian, 2005’s 90's Comedian and 2007's 41st Best Stand-Up Ever, gradually built his live audience and contributed to BBC2's decision to commission his 2009 series, Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle . This was followed by a new stand-up show, If Your Prefer A Milder Comedian Please Ask For One (2009), and a new series of Comedy Vehicle is due in 2011.
Stewart is also the author of a novel, The Perfect Fool (4th Estate 2000), the stand-up treatise How I Escaped My Certain Fate (Faber and Faber 2010), and the theatre pieces Pea Green Boat (Traverse/BAC 2002), What Would Judas Do? (Bush/BAC 2007), Johnson and Boswell, Late But Live (Traverse 2007), and Interiors (Manchester International Festival 2007, with Johnny Vegas).
Stewart is a patron of the arts radio station Resonance 104.4 FM, and has written on music for The Sunday Times, The Wire, Bucketful Of Brains, and Mojo.
“One of the top three or four living stand-ups..” – Time Out
“The worst stand-up I have ever seen” – Graham Simmons, Chortle