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Welcome to The Velvet Onion: a central hub for an interconnected alternative comedy family.

The Velvet Onion is not your average comedy website. Our focus remains on a large group of frequently collaborating artists, working in what has been dubbed New Wave Comedy.

We only add a name to our roster of regulars when we are covering their work so often, that they may as well be part of the ‘family’. For more information on how we define that family, ask: What is The Velvet Onion?

We chose the name The Velvet Onion back in 2010 because the fictional club in The Mighty Boosh was where all the most exciting people hung out and performed. What we began to realise as the years rolled by, is that this family of ours is indeed like an onion: it has a central core, and many more layers wrapped around it.

We’ve tried to summarise those layers below – click on the names of those listed to be taken to everything featuring those artists within our archive.

The Core

Richard Ayoade ♦ James Bachman ♦ Julian Barratt ♦ Matt Berry ♦ Katy Brand ♦ Dave Brown ♦ Justin Edwards ♦ Simon Farnaby ♦ Mike Fielding ♦ Noel Fielding ♦ Rich Fulcher ♦ Richard Glover ♦ Matt Holness ♦ John Willie Hopkins ♦ Tony Law ♦ Shelley Longworth ♦ Alice Lowe ♦ Tom Meeten ♦ Lucy Montgomery ♦ Kim Noble ♦ Steve Oram ♦ Barunka O’Shaughnessy ♦ Waen Shepherd ♦ Stuart Silver ♦ Gareth Tunley ♦ Ben Willbond

One core team, many of whom were all part of seminal early 00s comedy night Ealing Live, then went on to continue working together on a regular basis. Through television shows such as The Mighty Boosh, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and Horrible Histories, many of these names have gone on to international acclaim.

New Wave pioneers

Steve Coogan ♦ Simon Day ♦ Kevin Eldon ♦ Rebecca Front ♦ Armando Iannucci ♦ Paul Kaye  ♦ Doon MacKichan ♦ Geoffrey McGivern ♦ Chris Morris ♦ Bob Mortimer ♦ Vic Reeves ♦ Paul Whitehouse

Responsible for smash hit shows in the 1990s such as The Day Today, Shooting Stars, and The Fast Show. These artists paved the way for our core artists and what we have dubbed The First Wave, as well as giving them a helping hand up the ladder along the way. There were countless others involved in these hit shows, but these names are the ones who not only saw potential in the acts they gave big breaks to, but have actively continued to work with them ever since.

The First Wave

Steve Burge ♦ Nicholas Burns ♦ Dan Clark ♦ Nigel Coan ♦ Neil Cole ♦ Julia Davis ♦ Stephen Evans ♦ Paul Foot ♦ Simon Greenall ♦ Sharon Horgan ♦ Jim Howick ♦ Jessica Hynes ♦ Rufus Jones ♦ Sarah Kendall ♦ Alex Kirk ♦ Stewart Lee ♦ Alex Lowe ♦ Matt Lucas ♦ Alex MacQueen ♦ Tracy Ann Oberman ♦ Chris O’Dowd ♦ Katherine Parkinson ♦ Harry Peacock ♦ Steve Pemberton ♦ Julian Rhind-Tutt ♦ Reece Shearsmith ♦ Dan Skinner ♦ Michael Smiley ♦ Rhys Thomas ♦ Clare Thomson ♦ Dan Tetsell ♦ Tony Way ♦ Dolly Wells ♦ Phil Whelans

These artists broke through around the same time as (or just before/after) our core team, frequently collaborating with them from the get-go, and continuing to do so today.

The Second Wave

Matthew Baynton ♦ Aisling Bea ♦ Cardinal Burns ♦ Fergus Craig ♦ Anna Crilly ♦ Tom Davis ♦ Tim Downie ♦ Colin Hoult ♦ Martha Howe-Douglas ♦ Adam Kay ♦ Cariad Lloyd ♦ Dave McNeill ♦ Kayvan Novak ♦ Joey Page ♦ Laura Patch ♦ Sean Reynard ♦ Laurence Rickard ♦ Morgana Robinson ♦ Lou Sanders ♦ Richard Sandling ♦ Daniel Simonsen ♦ Rachel Stubbings ♦ Daniel Lawrence Taylor ♦ Nico Tatarowicz ♦ Gemma Whelan ♦ Ellie White ♦ Katy Wix ♦ Mike Wozniak

As new talents hit the scene, established New Wave comedy artists saw the potential these fresh faces had, and brought them into the fold. Together, they’ve been responsible for some of the biggest hits in recent years, as well as forging their own path with distinctive work in their own right. Long may it continue!

Behind the scenes

Christine Cant ♦ James Dillon ♦ Ben Gregor ♦ Paul King ♦ Claire Jones ♦ Dave Lambert ♦ Graham Linehan ♦ Matt Lipsey ♦ Arthur Matthews ♦ Adam Miller ♦ Spencer Millman ♦ Ben Palmer ♦ Bob Pipe ♦ Laurie Rose ♦ Ben Wheatley ♦ James Wren ♦ Jacqueline Wright

Great art is rarely the work of one individual, and it would be foolish to celebrate the work we do, without also respecting the artistry behind the camera. There are many names responsible for great work in the name of New Wave comedy. These are just the ones we find ourselves mentioning on a regular basis.

Musical types

James Cook ♦ Chris Corner ♦ Dead Dog in Black Bag ♦ Sue Denim ♦ Antony Elvin ♦ IAMX ♦ Dee Plume ♦ Princes in the Tower ♦ Oliver Ralfe ♦ The Ralfe Band ♦ Robots in Disguise ♦ Will Summers

Such is the scope of collaboration between New Wave acts, a number of musical talents have been brought into the fold. Alongside characters such as Hot Brew, Gary Le Strange and Brian Pern, are a handful of talented musicians who have become a major part of the world we celebrate.

For more information on why we cover the people we do, ask yourself: What is The Velvet Onion?

From time to time, we will cover the work of other comedians if it shares the sentiment, passion and drive of the work we champion. All of our posts are tagged with the names of those we wish to highlight: to browse for other stories featuring this person, click on their name.

If you feel a name is missing from our family, or feel that we need to know about a piece of upcoming comedic action, why not get in touch via the form below?

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