£21m? You're havin' a laugh: Michael McIntyre profits from latest comedy tour

 

Comedy has been touted as the new rock’n’roll
ever since Newman and Baddiel played Wembley in the 1990s. But now Michael
McIntyre has proved the point by taking £21m –  nearly as much as the
Rolling Stones – from his latest tour.

McIntyre may have been dubbed “comedy Marmite” but 639,000 fans flocked to see his latest show, making him the most successful stand up in the world last year, according to figures from ticket sales tracker Pollstar,.

While the London-born comic could not rival pop stars such as Madonna - who topped Pollstar’s table of top 100 Worldwide Tours in 2012 bringing in a staggering £184m - McIntyre was just £1m shy of the Stones’ sales. He was the only stand up among the top 50 touring acts.

Julian Hall, The Independent’s comedy critic, said: “McIntyre is a stadium comic, following the path pioneered by people like Lee Evans and Eddie Izzard. Yet judging by these figures he is almost in a category of his own.”

Due to the demand for tickets during last year’s tour across the UK and Ireland McIntyre extended the number of shows from 58 to 71. It made him the 36 biggest touring act beating Florence & The Machine and Aerosmith.

The 36-year old comedian played 10 nights at the O2 Arena in London as part of the tour, with Peter Kay the only comedian to do more.

“He’s got that mass appeal that crosses the boundaries between generations. You’re safe to give his DVD to your parents, but he still has a glint in his eye. The young also find his giddiness and momentum infectious,” Mr Hall said.

Comedy website Chortle acknowledged that while McIntyre was not a cutting edge comedian “in broad appeal arena-filling stand up, he remains the king.”

McIntyre also sells huge numbers of DVDs of his live shows. His latest release Showtime topped the official UK Comedy Stand-Up Chart on Christmas Day selling 65,000 copies that week alone.

Live and Laughing remains the biggest selling debut stand up DVD in the UK, while Hello Wembley became the fastest selling UK stand up DVD of all time. Combined they have sold over 2.5 million copies.

Mr Hall said: “His comedy is based off shared experiences and saying what the audience is thinking. There’s a communality we can all relate to when he riffs on things like going to the dentist.”

McIntyre is the son of comedy scriptwriter Ray Cameron, a script writer on Kenny Everett’s television shows and struggled for years to break into the comedy mainstream.

In 2003, he was nominated in the best newcomer category at the Edinburgh Festival, but his break TV break came with his first time appearance at the Royal Variety Performance in 2006.

He built his career on television doing Live at the Apollo as well as the rounds of television panel shows. His first tour of the UK came in 2009, and played to more than 500,000 people.

This mainstream appeal has also left him with a trail of critics, often from other comedians. Jonathan Ross and Lee Mack have both targeted McIntyre, while in one routine in 2009, Stewart Lee described his work as like “spoon feeding his audience warm diarrhoea”.

In interviews he has tended to shrug off the criticism, which has dogged him throughout his career. He once said: “Maybe people just can’t cope with how jovial I am.”

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones