Al Murray: Comedy is good enough on its own without needing an Oscar

The comedian said he was fine with people viewing comedy as the ‘poor relative' of the arts.

Al Murray has lamented the fact many people view comedy as a “poor relative” of the arts.

The stand-up comic, who is best known for his Pub Landlord alter ego, said he felt the form was often “bumped to the back of the queue”.

But Murray added that he was content because comedy is “good enough on its own without needing an Oscar”.

Dunkirk World Premiere – London
Al Murray stars in the Great British Pub Quiz (Lauren Hurley/PA)

He said: “The thing I have always felt about comedy is that it’s an end in itself. It’s perfectly respectable as an art form.

“It gets seen as a poor relative. It gets bumped to the back of the queue.

“At the Oscars, I think Caitlin Moran made this point, she said at the Oscars they always get a comedian to host it, but a comedy could never win.

“I’m fine with that. I don’t mind. Comedy is good enough on its own without needing an Oscar.

“It doesn’t need to be regarded as an art to be good.”

The 50-year-old returns as host of the Great British Pub Quiz, which sees him discard his alter ego for the first time on a comedy show.

Al Murray visit to Kent
The comic appears on a comedy show without the Pub Landlord guise for the first time (Leigh Dawney/PA)

He said he had been forced to discover his own comedy reflexes after becoming accustomed to performing as the Pub Landlord, who he has described as a “know-all know-nothing blowhard”.

He said: “I’ve done documentaries as myself and I’ve presented the One Show as myself but I’ve not done anything as me that’s an entertainment thing.

“Figuring out what I’m like as a performer has been an interesting thing, which I’ve had to just get on and do instead of getting hung up about.”

He added: “The thing with the Pub Landlord was all the comedy reflexes. The things he would definitely do are all really well worked out, and very natural.”

“The difference is not doing any of that and finding out what my comedy reflexes are.”

Al Murray’s Great British Pub Quiz airs at 10pm on March 7 on Quest.

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