Who ever thought the French Revolution was funny?

There are comic geniuses such as Robin Williams — masters of time and rhythm — and then there are geniuses who also just happen to be comedians such as British comedian/political commentator/author Mark Steel.

Never in my life have I ever had as much fun listening to a talk about the French Revolution.  The best part, in my opinion, was his routine near the end on the teacher in the classroom schooling all the idiots who thought that there actually were WMDs in Iraq.

I wish every university professor was like this guy.

Mark Steel: Vive la Revolution! Socialism2007 conference. (Part I)

Mark Steel: Vive la Revolution! Socialism2007 conference. (Part II)

Mark Steel: Vive la Revolution! Socialism2007 conference. (Part III)

(note: even though this last clip says “part 2” at the start, it’s actually part 3)

Thanks to Doug from If There’s Hope… for these great Mark Steel clips.  I found some clips from Steel’s talk on Marx a few days ago, but Doug’s site made me want to post these first.   Stay tuned for Steel’s routine on Marx.

7 Responses to “Who ever thought the French Revolution was funny?”


  1. 1 Kelly 18 August, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    Brilliant.
    Thank you for sharing this. I loved the parallels he drew upon concerning the US government, and the french bourgeoisie.

  2. 2 Doug 22 August, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    Hi Paul. Glad you liked it – Mark Steel is fantastic. More audio talks of Mark Steel at the British Marxism Festival available here: resistancemp3.lpi.org.uk

    He also has the following BBC radio programs:
    The Mark Steel Lectures
    The Mark Steel Revolution
    The Mark Steel Solution

    The Mark Steel Lectures have been turned into a TV series. All of this can be downloaded if you have Emule. I don’t know about other P2P programs.

  3. 3 Hawkins 31 August, 2007 at 7:00 am

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! I’m studying the French revolution, and read through his book in 2 nights… Should probably have been reading Schama or Doyle or McPhee or somebody more respected in that field but, damnit, Mark Steel deserves to be.

    Amazing guy. And with a great perspective, and a few surprisingly great arguments, especially compared with other (more legit?) historians. Well, okay, Doyle wrote a bit about the legacy the French revolution left. But Mark Steel is just godly and infinitely more entertaining.

    Thanks for these- I loved ’em.

    • 4 Anna 8 January, 2011 at 12:06 am

      Meh, Steel is better than that overpaid reactionary that shall-not-be-named (anyway, I will name him… Schama)
      I, as student on that period, think that they are worthier historians. If you are interested, you can take a look on the french historians, like Mathiez, Soboul, Vovelle, etc., or something more old, Michelet, Louis Blanc, Lamartine, Esquiros, etc. By the way, they are all death and theirs books aren’t edited anymore. And I’m starting to being paranoid about the reasons…

  4. 5 aradhanad 1 September, 2007 at 12:20 am

    *sigh* thanks for the clips!

  5. 6 Doug 3 December, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    More Steel can be found at resistancemp3.lpi.org.uk


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