The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...
Stand-up comedy is a comedic art form. Usually, a comedian performs in front of a live audience, speaking directly to them. Their performances are sometimes filmed for later release via DVD, the internet, and television...
, actor and author. He was a central part of the alternative comedy
Alternative comedy is a term that originated in the 1980s for a style of comedy that makes a conscious break with the mainstream comedic style of an era, and typically avoids relying on a standardised structure of a sequence of jokes with punch lines. Patton Oswalt defines it as "comedy where the...
circuit in the early 1980s. He was voted the 18th greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...
's 100 Greatest Stand-ups in 2007. In the updated 2010 poll he came 72nd.
Much of Sayle's humour is in the tradition of Spike Milligan
Terence Alan Patrick Seán "Spike" Milligan Hon. KBE was a comedian, writer, musician, poet, playwright, soldier and actor. His early life was spent in India, where he was born, but the majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom. He became an Irish citizen in 1962 after the...
and Monty Python
Monty Python was a British surreal comedy group who created their influential Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series...
, with riffs based on an absurd and surreal
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....
premise. His act is noted for its cynicism and political awareness, as well as physical comedy
Physical comedy, also known as slapstick, is a comedic performance relying mostly on the use of the body to convey humour.Physical comedy, whether conveyed by a pratfall , a silly face, or the action of walking into walls, is a common and rarely subtle form of comedy...