Pat Condell

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Pat Condell
Condell in January 2006.
Condell in January 2006.
Pseudonym Eddie Zibin (used in 1980s)
Birth name Patrick Condell
Born 1 November 1949 (1949-11-01) (age 59)
England, UK
Medium Stand-up, writer
Nationality British
Years active 1980s–present[1][2]
Genres Topical comedy/satire
Subject(s) Religion, religious/political satire

Patrick Condell (born 1 November 1949) is an English stand-up comedian, writer, and internet personality. He performed alternative comedy shows during the 1980s and 1990s in the United Kingdom. From early 2007, he began posting short monologues denouncing religion to a number of video sharing websites. His videos have been featured on many websites including YouTube.

Born into poverty in England and raised as a Roman Catholic, Condell worked a number of jobs including six years logging in Canada.


[edit] Early life

Pat Condell was raised as a Roman Catholic but was educated in several different Church of England schools across South London; he said of this time "I found myself segregated in assembly and shunted into another room while everyone said their morning prayers. The whole pantomime seemed hollow to me even then. Once you become aware of the gulf between what people profess to believe and how they actually behave, it’s hard to take any of it seriously."[3] His father was a compulsive gambler working in a betting shop until he was sent to prison for stealing money. He then died of leukaemia in prison.[3] The family was impoverished, moving repeatedly from one rented flat to another. Condell became a vegetarian in 1976 after watching a deer being butchered.[4] Before starting to perform comedy shows during the 1980s, he worked a number of jobs including six years logging in Canada.[3]

[edit] Comedy

Condell performed alternative comedy shows during the 1980s and 1990s in the United Kingdom.[3] His first stage performance was at the age of 32 in a comedy sketch show Mountbatten's Plimsoll. Also a poet at the time, he appeared at the Poetry Olympics at the Young Vic Theatre in 1982,[5] which led to a job writing writing weekly poems for the Time Out magazine. Pat was described at the time as "a manic gimlet-eyed, crop-haired poet" in Drama: The Quarterly Theatre Review book.[6]

He then performed on the London Alternative Comedy circuit for several years (originally under the name Eddie Zibin).[1] He also performed at the Tunnel Club, next to the Blackwall Tunnel, where he describes the audience as a "nightmare"; bottles and glasses were thrown at him, and one person attempted to cut the microphone lead with a pair of garden sheers. Condell was a performer at The Comedy Store in the Cutting Edge team,[3] with whom he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1991.[7] That year Condell was the winner of a Time Out Comedy Award.[8] From 1991 to 1994 he was a regular panellist on BBC Radio 1's "Loose Talk".[9][10] During the mid 1990s, Condell was performing over 200 times a year. Due to the late nights and regular travelling he decided to start writing for other comedians, while still doing the occasional performance.[3] In 1991 he performed comedy sketches at Duke of York's Theatre, which were released onto DVD as Barf Bites Back! (1991).[11]

Pat Condell performing a stand up gig at Brunel University in 1989.

His 2006 stand-up show ‘Faith Hope and Sanity’, subtitled ‘A Few Jokes About Religion Before It Kills Us All’, was a platform for his comedy and atheist beliefs. "This is the first time I’ve set out to write a show in order to say something, rather than just as a vehicle for stand-up" he said of the show. "It seems to me that fundamentalist Christians, jihadist Muslims and settlement-building Jews are causing more than their share of trouble in the world. World events are being driven by people with apocalyptic delusions, while here in Britain a paralysing liberal guilt allows religious bigots to use intimidation and violence to stamp out free speech. If you can’t get laughs out of all that, you can’t get them out of anything."[3] He performed the show at London’s Etcetera Theatre.[12][13]

He is also author of the play Barry Sorts It Out.[14] The Financial Times gave it a negative review describing it as "a sordid East End comedy written by stand-up Pat Condell. It repeats ad nauseam the same gag, in which Barry's narrative recounts his calm, reasonable thoughts followed with a "so I..." by his crassly Neanderthal actions."[15]

Condell has said of his humour "I used to talk about this stuff in comedy clubs until I discovered internet video. Now I get a lot more death threats, but I don't have to deal with drunks."[16]

Chortle gave Condell's performance a positive review saying "His wide-ranging observational routine contains barely a dud line, which is some achievement for 40 minutes of reasonably fast-paced stuff."[17]

[edit] Online videos

Condell has posted over 50 video monologues on various video sites as of March 2009, which together have notched up over 15 million hits.[2][18][19][20] As of March 2009, he is one of the top ten most subscribed users on YouTube in the United Kingdom,[21] and the most subscribed to Comedian of all time in the UK.[22] Eight of his videos are in the top hundred most commented on videos in the UK.[23] His videos have caused Condell to receive hundreds of death threats and also lots of support.[24][25][26]

His videos have been featured on websites and blogs, including Little Green Footballs,[27] YouTube,[28][citation needed] LiveLeak,[18] Jihad Watch,[29] MilkandCookies,[30] Kathy Shaidle's blog,[31] Geert Wilders, the leader of the political party Party for Freedom website,[32] and Richard Dawkins' website.[33] In 2007 one of Condell's YouTube videos was used in a presentation by Sir Harold Kroto, recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, at the Beyond Belief symposium.[34][35]

Condell's first video, uploaded to YouTube on February 8th, 2007[36] was his participation of the The Blasphemy Challenge[37], an Internet-based project which aims to get atheists to come out and declare themselves as atheists.[38] The challenge asks atheists to submit videos to the website YouTube, in which they record themselves blaspheming or denying the existence of the Holy Spirit.[39][40]

The front cover of Condell's anthology DVD.

Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion said of Condell that "Pat Condell is unique. Nobody can match his extraordinary blend of suavity and savagery. With his articulate intelligence he runs rings around the religious wingnuts that are the targets of his merciless humour. Thank goodness he is on our side". In 2008, Dawkins's website released a collection of Condell's monologues on DVD, titled Pat Condell: Anthology.[41] The DVD was also sold on[42]

In an interview with the Bosnian magazine Start,[43][44] Condell says his intent "is to get other people's unprovable beliefs out of my life, and out of government, the law and education. I don't care what people believe as long as I don't have to keep hearing about it.".[45]

He has been criticised by Christian author Dinesh D'Souza on AOL News, who said "If the televangelists are guilty of producing some simple-minded, self-righteous Christians, then the atheist authors are guilty of producing self-congratulatory buffoons like Condell."[46] Atheist biology professor and blogger PZ Myers, on the other hand, endorsed Condell with a terse "Speak it, brother!".[47] The book Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief, describes Condell as "breathtakingly intelligent, articulate, uncompromising, and funny".[48]

His videos criticise the three main Abrahamic religions, Christianity,[49] Islam,[50] and Judaism,[51] but has also criticised Scientology.[52]

He is a member of the National Secular Society[19] and has a large following of users on the Internet, including a Facebook Fan club dedicated to him.[53]

[edit] The trouble with Islam reaction

Condell also received criticism after links to his monologue, titled The trouble with Islam were circulated to commissioners in the City of Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commission. Condell said in the video that he thought Islam was "a religion of war", that "muslim women in Britain women who cover their faces are mentally ill", and that in some parts of the world women had no choice but to cover their face, as they were "governed by primitive pigs whose only achievement in life is to be born with a penis in one hand and a Qur'an in the other." Commissioner Elliot Cohen described Condell's comments as "insulting, degenerating and racist".[54] Condell then accused Cohen of being "motivated by his own narrow personal and political agenda which has nothing to do with me or the video clip."[55] The video was initially sent to them by fellow Peace and Justice Commissioner Jonathan Wornick, who said it "tries to expose intolerance in the Muslim world," such as "the intolerance of radical Islamists who say if you insult Allah, you should have your head cut off."[56] The trouble with Islam has been viewed over 2.4 million times across the internet.[57] Condell said that its popularity proves "there is an enthusiastic audience for comedy ideas and opinions which are routinely censored out of existence in the UK’s mainstream media, thanks to misguided political correctness".[58]

[edit] YouTube censorship

Screen capture showing Pat Condell from his Welcome to Saudi Britain video.

Condell's video "Welcome to Saudi Britain" was removed by YouTube early in October 2008, but reinstated shortly after due to other YouTube users complaining and posting the video on their own accounts. In it Condell criticises Britain's sanctioning of a Sharia court, and refers to the entire country of Saudi Arabia as mentally ill for its abuse of women. A YouTube spokesman said "YouTube has clear policies that prohibit inappropriate content on the site, such as pornography, gratuitous violence or hate speech...If users repeatedly break these rules we disable their accounts." The National Secular Society were amongst the complainants to YouTube, saying "as usual, he (Condell) does not mince his words, but he is not saying anything that is untrue. His main thrust is one of outrage on behalf of those Muslim women who will suffer because they are forced to have their marital problems solved in a male-dominated Sharia court."[59] Shortly after, YouTube reversed their earlier decision saying "Upon further review of the context of Pat Condell's comments, we've reinstated it." Richard Dawkins applauded the reversal, saying "I congratulate YouTube on an excellent decision. Pat Condell is hard-hitting, but always quietly reasonable in tone. Condell believed that it was removed due to a flagging campaign by Islamic activists.[24][25][26] That some people say they are 'offended' by something is never a good reason for censoring it. Incitement to violence is. Pat Condell never incites violence against anybody. He always signs off with "Peace" and he means it."[1]

In his next video "Stop sharia law in Britain", Condell thanked his supporters, YouTube, and sarcastically, the people who flagged the video for removal. He clarifies the meaning of his statement in his previous video which caused the video to be removed, where he referred to the entire country of Saudi Arabia as mentally ill.[60]

YouTube also briefly removed Condell's video Godless and free but he received an email from YouTube explaining that it had been done in error.[24][25][26]

[edit] Selected videography

Condell has posted his videos to different websites including YouTube, MySpace, LiveLeak,[61] and LibSyn.[62] As of March 2009, he has over 50 videos on his YouTube[2] and MySpace accounts,[63] and over 40 on his LiveLeak page.[18]

  • The trouble with Islam [1] was posted March 16, 2007 to YouTube[64] and links to it were later circulated to the City of Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commission, the Berkeley Daily Planet ran a story on it.[54][55][56] As of March 2009, it has been viewed over half a million times on YouTube, and over 2.4 million times across other video sharing sites.[57]
  • More demands from Islam was posted October 9, 2007 to YouTube, MySpace and LiveLeak.[65][66][67] On dotSUB, a video sharing website which allows users to create subtitles for each others videos, it has subtitiles available in 20 different languages[68] and is the most viewed video on the entire site with over 5 million views.[69][24][25][26] As of March 2009, it has been viewed over 5.8 million times across video sharing websites.[70]
  • Appeasing Islam was posted March 8, 2008 to YouTube, MySpace and LiveLeak.[71][72][73] As of March 2009, it has over a million views on YouTube, had over 160,000 comments,[71] making it the most commented on video in the United Kingdom on YouTube,[74] and has been viewed over 1.3 million times across video sharing websites.[75]
  • Welcome to Saudi Britain [2] was posted to YouTube on September 30, 2008,[76] It was removed shortly after by YouTube, however this ultimately led to an increase in its popularity. (See Streisand effect)

[edit] Works

Year Name Medium Role Notes References
1991 Barf Bites Back! Stand-up Comedy Actor [11]
1997 Barry Sorts It Out Comedy Writer [14][77]
1998 Stand and Deliver Stand-up Comedy Writer [78][79]
2008 Pat Condell Anthology Stand-up Comedy Writer/actor An anthology of 35 of Condell's videos. [41][42]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c Condell, Pat. "Comedy and Me". Retrieved on 2008-05-28. 
  2. ^ a b c Condell, Pat. "Pat Condell's YouTube page". YouTube. Retrieved on 2008-03-02. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Hay, Malcolm (2006-11-03). "Pat Condell: interview". Time Out London. Retrieved on 2007-10-22. 
  4. ^ Condell, Pat. "Godless and Meatless". Retrieved on 2009-03-16. "I became a vegetarian in 1976 while watching a deer being butchered." 
  5. ^ "Poets' marathon at Young Vic 'Olympics'". The Times. November 30 1982. Retrieved on 2009-03-24. 
  6. ^ Drama: The Quarterly Theatre Review. British Theatre Association. 1981. p. 34. Retrieved on 2009-03-24. 
  7. ^ "STA Catalogue - Event Details". University of Glasgow. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  8. ^ "Time Out Awards". Chortle. 1991. Retrieved on 2007-10-22. 
  9. ^ "Loose Talk". Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  10. ^ "Loose Talk (archive)". Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  11. ^ a b "Barf Bites Back! (VHS) (1991)". Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  12. ^ "As recommended by the Messiah…". 2006-10-11. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  13. ^ Hall, Julian (2007-01-11). "James Sherwood: I Know What You Did Last Sunday, Etc Theatre, London". Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  14. ^ a b "Pat Condell - playwright". Retrieved on 2007-12-03. 
  15. ^ Shuttleworth, Ian. "The pick of london's second one-person play festival". Financial Times. Retrieved on 2008-02-04. 
  16. ^ "Pat Condell". goofigure. Retrieved on 2008-05-28. 
  17. ^ "Pat Condell's review". Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  18. ^ a b c "Pat Condell's Live Leak page". LiveLeak. Retrieved on 2007-12-04. 
  19. ^ a b "Comedian Pat Condell’s videos receive millions of hits". National Secular Society. Retrieved on 2007-10-22. 
  20. ^ "Videos uploaded by patcondell". dotSUB. Retrieved on 2007-12-04. 
  21. ^ "Most Subscribed : (All Time)". YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  22. ^ "All - Most Subscribed Comedians (All Time) (UK)". YouTube. 2008-04-17. Retrieved on 2008-04-17. 
  23. ^ "All - Most Discussed (All Time) (UK)". YouTube. Retrieved on 2008-04-17. 
  24. ^ a b c d Brendel, Carel (2009-03-07). "Dwarse cabaretier Pat Condell niet verbaasd over opmars van Wilders" (in Dutch). Netherlands: Algemeen Dagblad. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  25. ^ a b c d Pat Condell (2009-03-10). "Interview with Dutch newspaper AD Weekend (unedited)". Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  26. ^ a b c d Nasser, PLodewijk (2009-03-09). "Interview met Pat Condell" (in Dutch). Het Vrije Volk. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  27. ^ "lfg search results for pat condell". Little Green Footballs. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  28. ^ Absolute certainty was featured
  29. ^ "Pat Condell: Welcome to Saudi Britain". Jihad Watch. 2008-09-02. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  30. ^ "Pat Condell: A Word about the Soldiers". MilkandCookies. 2009-03-12. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  31. ^ Shaidle, Kathy (2007-12-13). "Pat Condell: "Another public relations triumph for Islam!"". Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  32. ^ "Pat Condell on the Geert Wilders ban". 2009-02-14. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  33. ^ "Archive Search".,#condell. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. "Results 1 - 13 of 13 for "pat condell"" 
  34. ^ (2007). Beyond Belief 2007 [Documentary]. The Science Network. Retrieved on 2009-03-24.
  35. ^ "Nobel prize winner gives Pat Condell a shoutout (at 3:00)". 2007-12-05. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  36. ^ Condell, Pat (2007-02-08). "Re: The Blasphemy Challenge". YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-03-27. 
  37. ^ McKeegan, Dave (2008-02-27). "Laughing religion off the planet - an interview with Pat Condell". The Freethinker. Retrieved on 2009-03-27. 
  38. ^ Adler, Jerry (January 8, 2006). "Beliefwatch: Blasphemy". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 2007-01-02. Retrieved on 2007-09-17. 
  39. ^ "Atheists challenge the religious right". Christian Science Monitor. January 4, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-09-17. 
  40. ^ Berman, John; Ethan Nelson, Karson Yiu (January 30, 2007). "The Blasphemy Challenge". ABC News. Retrieved on 2007-09-17. 
  41. ^ a b "Pat Condell: Anthology DVD available now!". 2008-04-29.,2517,Pat-Condell-Anthology-DVD-available-now,RichardDawkinsnet. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  42. ^ a b "Pat Condell Anthology". Retrieved on 2000-03-16. 
  43. ^ "Kontaktirajte Magazinu START". Magazin Start. Retrieved on 2009-03-18. 
  44. ^ "Start Interview List". Magazin Start. Retrieved on 2009-03-18. 
  45. ^ "Interview with Pat Condell". Archived from the original on 2008-09-31. Retrieved on 2009-03-24. 
  46. ^ D'Souza, Dinesh (2007-09-26). "Why Is This Atheist So Smug?". AOL News. Retrieved on 2007-10-22. 
  47. ^ Myers, PZ (2007-11-28). "Speak it, Brother!". Scienceblogs. Retrieved on 2007-11-29. 
  48. ^ Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief. Amacom. 2009. p. 288. 
  49. ^ Condell, Pat (2007-09-25). "Hello angry Christians". YouTube. Retrieved on 2008-06-05. 
  50. ^ Condell, Pat (2008-08-31). "Islam's war on freedom". YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-04-02. 
  51. ^ Condell, Pat (2007-06-29). "What about the Jews?". YouTube. Retrieved on 2008-05-28. 
  52. ^ Condell, Pat (2008-11-22). "Take a cruise, Tom". YouTube. Retrieved on 2008-05-28. 
  53. ^ Sims, Paul (2007-08-10). "Comedian Pat Condell ranting about religion". New Humanist. Archived from the original on 2007-09-14. Retrieved on 2009-03-26. 
  54. ^ a b "Comic in US 'hate speech' row". Chortle. 2007-05-17. Retrieved on 2007-10-22. 
  55. ^ a b "Letters to the Editor". Berkeley Daily Planet. 2007-05-29. Retrieved on 2007-10-22. 
  56. ^ a b Scherr, Judith (2007-05-15). "Commissioners Condemn Bigoted E-Mail". Berkeley Daily Planet. Retrieved on 2007-10-22. 
  57. ^ a b LiveLeak views: 1,739,455 MySpace views: 7,936, dotSUB views: 1,597, YouTube views: 656,907. 2405895 total views. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  58. ^ Duke, Barry (2007-08-11). "Condell hits top a million". The Freethinker. Retrieved on 2007-10-22. 
  59. ^ Beckford, Martin (2008-09-04). "YouTube censors comedian's anti-Sharia video called 'Welcome to Saudi Britain'". The Telegraph. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  60. ^ Condell, Pat (2008-09-06). "Stop sharia law in Britain". YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  61. ^ "Godless Comedy on". Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  62. ^ "Pat Condell's Godless Comedy". LibSyn. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  63. ^ "Pat Condell's Videos". MySpace. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  64. ^ Condell, Pat (2007-09-09). "The trouble with Islam". YouTube. Retrieved on 2007-03-16. 
  65. ^ Condell, Pat (2007-09-09). "More demands from Islam". YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  66. ^ Condell, Pat (2007-09-09). "More demands from Islam". MySpace. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  67. ^ Condell, Pat (2007-09-09). "More demands from Islam". LiveLeak. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  68. ^ "More demands from Islam". dotSUB. 2007-09-09. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  69. ^ "Most Viewed Videos". dotSUB. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  70. ^ dotSUB views 5,391,603, LiveLeak views 85,721, MySpace views 5,217, YouTube views 358149. 5,840,690 total views. Retrieved on 2009-03-16.
  71. ^ a b Condell, Pat (2008-03-08). "Appeasing Islam". YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  72. ^ Condell, Pat (2008-03-08). "Appeasing Islam". MySpace. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  73. ^ Condell, Pat (2008-03-08). "Appeasing Islam". LiveLeak. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  74. ^ "YouTube - Most Discussed (UK)". YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  75. ^ YouTube views: 1,191,975, MySpace views: 9,037, LiveLeak views: 120,014, dotSub views: 7,237 1328263 total views. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  76. ^ Condell, Pat (2008-09-30). "Welcome to Saudi Britain". YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-03-17. 
  77. ^ "Barry Sorts It Out". UK Theatre Web. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  78. ^ "Pat Condell". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 
  79. ^ McCrory, Helen. "Performance Details: Stand And Deliver". Retrieved on 2009-03-16. 

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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NAME Condell, Patrick
SHORT DESCRIPTION Stand-up comedian, writer, and Internet personality
DATE OF BIRTH 1 November 1949
PLACE OF BIRTH England, United Kingdom
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