Although Michael McIntyre is one of the UK’s most famous comedians, he’s come under fire from fellow colleagues he’s met and worked with over the years. McIntyre is currently not only the highest-earning comedian in Britain but also, throughout the world – yet, this hasn’t stopped him from getting ‘bullied’ by others in his industry.
A large number of high-profile comedians have openly admitted to feeling a sense of dislike towards McIntyre and he himself, has been made aware of it after reading up on interviews in the press.
Back in 2011, McIntyre discovered that a few well-known TV comedians had ‘made fun’ of him at the British Comedy Awards and although you may think that stand-ups can handle the stick due to giving it out themselves, it seems McIntyre’s confidence was shattered by the negativity he received. He claimed that upon attending the awards ceremony, he was made to feel like an outsider by other comics.
“I think it comes with the territory. I’m sure it does, actually. And I can’t say, it’s water off a duck’s back and I’m so thick-skinned, I can’t just say that,” he said.
“I can say it now because I’m getting used to it. but it did come as a shock at the beginning I can’t deny that.” he went on to say. “I would never be rude about somebody else in my profession because we all do this same thing. We’re just trying to make people laugh. I have my audience – other people have their audience.”
Michael hits back at criticism!
After facing a great deal of criticism throughout his lengthy career, McIntyre responded to criticism from the media and fellow comedians, after learning of their snide remarks.
In an interview with Sunday Times Culture Magazine, McIntyre said: “They’re doing everything except make people laugh, and that is actually the hardest thing to do. I work really hard at it. I don’t know what they’re trying to do”.
He added that he has just as much right to be in the successful position that he is in, due to working hard and gaining his own fan base.
“I worked with a lot of these comics, they seem to have forgotten. I was on the circuit, I was doing all right. It’s not like I came from some talent show on the TV. I did it with them, and I got more laughs, so they don’t like it.”
He stated that ever since he made his first appearance on stage 12 years ago back in 2006, he has faced a great deal of backlash which has made his self-doubt even worse.
“I go to the British Comedy awards and, you know, quite a few people were making jokes at my expense” The Guardian reported after an interview with McIntyre.
“It just made me feel awful, because I am there with my wife and she has gone out and bought a dress. And it is my big night and I won, and yet the overriding experience was that of nastiness. For what reason, I don’t know.”
“I would just be a physical and emotional wreck leading up to a gig, then it would go badly. It was really, really tough,” he spoke of his nerves. “But I just felt I could see this person in me, and I think he’s funny, he’s just got to get out.”
He told The Mirror, that after one particular performance, he got himself so worked up over the fact that he had made a shambles of his performance, that he approached fans to ask whether he had made them genuinely laugh: “Did you laugh? How much did you laugh? Did the person beside you laugh?” he was reported to have said.
According to Chortle, McIntyre admits that his privileged upbringing may have made him less likeable than other comedians on the circuit, which is perhaps one of the reasons why other comics choose to pick faults in his material.
‘If I’d had a more troubled upbringing, maybe I’d do more edgy material, but all that happened was some people came round for pasta, so I talk about pasta. Lots of people have that life. You can’t criticise people for that.”
‘If all comics did the kind of material I do, it would be pretty boring. You need me and you need Jimmy Carr and you need Frankie Boyle.” he added.
Which comedians have slammed Michael McIntyre?
4. Stuart Lee
Stuart Lee compared McIntyre’s jokes to ‘warm diarrhoea’ – charming.
In an interview with Chortle, Lee told the publication: “The case is overstated, for comic effect. I’m not going to pretend I like McIntyre’s work in of itself, and would hate this piece to be misconstrued as an apology, though I do find much to admire in him as a comedian, and the phenomenon of the stadium-sized observational stand-up is, to me, both a fascinating and an amusing oddity. But the way the diarrhoea line was presented to him, shorn of set and setting, does make it read rather differently.”
After Lee’s quote hit the media, the Metro newspaper came up with the headline: ‘Michael McIntyre has told of his upset after fellow comedian Stewart Lee insulted him at the British Comedy Awards.’, therefore it seems McIntyre himself and the whole of the British public were aware of the incident.
As the news hit the headlines, many were divided in opinion; with some supporting McIntyre and others joining the comedians in slamming the 35-year-old.
“Aw, poor Michael McIntyre,” one Tweeter said, however, another indirectly commented: “try being funny, maybe they won’t take the (mick) then”.
Back in 2009, Vic Reeves claimed that McIntyre’s style of comedy is now slightly outdated, adding that his material has already been done many times over by others in the past: “I could have been watching this new crop – Michael McIntyre and people – 20 years ago. It doesn’t feel like there has been that much new.”
Reeves is known for his controversial wit and humour, but his comment on McIntyre’s fanbase left many in a state of cringe. He also went on to joke that those who find his material funny are most likely ‘X Factor fans’ – whatever that means, you can probably work it out for yourself…
“The same people who think Jedward are funny will go and see Michael McIntyre” Chortle reported in an interview with Reeves. “I haven’t seen much of him – but what I have seen I didn’t like. He points out and notices things that everyone’s noticed already.”
Reeves’ comedy partner, Bob Mortimer also told The Telegraph: ‘Michael McIntyre…”He shouts all the time, doesn’t he?’
While Reeves went on to suggest that McIntyre’s fans are often ‘spoon-fed’: “I think people have gone a bit thick…They can pat themselves on the back. We still like pointing out things that are only ever likely to occur to us.”
Yet another comedian who’s said to also have upset McIntyre is Frankie Boyle, who – let’s face it, has been known in the past to cause a stir for his thoughtless comments and controversial opinions.
During a gig, the Scottish comedian took swipe at McIntyre as part of his stand-up routine and the video clip of the dig later circulated on social media.
During his stint, Boyle makes fun of his fellow comedian’s material – the sketch where McIntyre jokes about how people on holiday struggle to carry a heavy sun umbrella over to a sunbed – with Boyle claiming that the sunbed should be brought to the umbrella, not the other way around.
“…and his fans are (laughing to) themselves,” he said. “…and i’m sitting there thinking, what else don’t they know?” – yikes.
Simon Cowell – he’s not a comedian, but still…
*Below are the comedians who stuck up for for McIntyre
It seems McIntyre’s most recent clash is with talent show judge and music producer, Simon Cowell and the pair are now in dispute over an element within Cowell’s brand-new show, which McIntyre claimed has already been done in his own TV show.
The upcoming new talent contest ‘The Greatest Dancer’ will be based on hopefuls performing in front of a row of fake judges, while professional dancers Ashley Banjo and Cheryl are hiding backstage. If Ashley and Cheryl are a fan of the act, they can opt to reveal themselves.
Unimpressed, McIntyre claims that this small element of the show has been copied from a segment from his own programme – ‘The Big Show’. In the past, he’s been known to praise up the talent show judge, but not anymore by the looks of things.
A source told The Sun: “It’s all very embarrassing. Michael knows Simon well because he was a judge on Britain’s Got Talent but now they’re at loggerheads over this. Michael was not happy. The similarities between The Unexpected Star and The Greatest Dancer are simply uncanny.
“Michael might think Simon’s show is a copy but in fact this surprise stunt is not new to telly and has been used in various shows over the years.”
Is there anyone left in the industry that McIntyre is actually on good terms with?!
Support for McIntyre
While many have chosen to gang-up on McIntyre, comedian Sarah Millican is definitely on team Michael! She stated that people are bound to be a fan of or despise his act, due to the fact that the world of comedy is so ‘subjective’ and is all based on what makes a particular individual laugh.
In an interview with Digital Spy, Millican said: “I think most comics there are people who don’t like them, because comedy is so subjective. You could name anybody and there’ll people who go ‘Oh no’. It’s just because it’s whatever tickles you. You can’t decide to like somebody.
“Whenever there’s somebody that is that big there’s bound to be people that don’t like them.” she went on to say. “If everybody liked you that would be really odd to be honest.”
Lee Hurst went on to suggest that McIntyre was being far too sensitive in response to the comments made about him: “If someone was vicious about me I would just ignore it, I find being nice to them really winds them up.” he said.
Marcus Brigstocke also stood up for McIntyre, claiming that those who had been unkind had completely over-stepped the line.
“Michael is not the sort of comedian who dishes it out,” he said.“A comedian can be too thick skinned and lack the judgement needed to appreciate the impact of what they are saying.
“Comedians will always criticise people and the danger is they won’t know where the line should be drawn and will just be the sort of comic who dabbles in casual insults.
“I am very think skinned, if people insult me or say they don’t like me on Twitter, I am devastated.”
While headlines of comics bullying McIntyre went viral, writer for The Telegraph, Dominic Cavendish retaliated to negative opinion, adding that although a comedian’s job may look easy, the truth is far from it.
Reviewing one of his performances, Cavendish stated that he has the ‘ability to time and phrase a riff’ and that although he may look to be ‘obnoxious’ whilst onstage, the opposite is the case should you ever happen to meet him.
Cavendish claims that he’s ‘extremely likeable’ and also added that his brash attitude is definitely just a front, due to the fact that in real-life, McIntyre has a nervous temperament when it comes to his own performing ability.
Ending the article, Cavendish simply stated: ‘Happy and Glorious? Yes, that sounds about right to me. Long may this capering jolly japester reign over us.’
What’s your opinion on Michael McIntyre? Let us know in the comments!