Arts and Entertainment On the cutting edge: Johnny Vegas, from the Face of Satire exhibition at the BFI

On 26 February, Spitting Image will celebrate its 30 birthday. BBC Four will mark the occasion with a special episode of Arena which promises to tell the “vexed and frequently hilarious story” of the sketch show which ran for 21 series between 1984 and 1996 and marked a high point in British satire.

Big laughs: Why do we turn to stadium comedy whenever the economy becomes a sick joke?

Russell Brand and Al Murray are packing out London's 15,000-seat O2 Arena

<a href="http://julianhall.livejournal.com/3496.html">Julian Hall: Zadie on comedy post-mortems</a>

It is customary at this time of year to suggest stocking fillers - or should I say sack-fillers given that the most prized gifts from the comedy world will be the plethora of stand up DVDs currently available. Frankie Boyle, Michael McIntyre and Russell Howard spring to mind as good buys.

<a href="http://julianhall.livejournal.com/2341.html">Julian Hall: Loony bins and 'rubbish' jokes</a>

It goes without saying that someday you will be offended by a joke. You might have been one of those 30,000 recruits to the Brand/Ross complaints bandwagon, you might well have cringed when Billy Connolly made his infamous Ken Bigley joke a few years ago or you might hide behind the sofa when Frankie Boyle is in full swing with Madeleine McCann jokes to the right of him, paedophile jokes to the left of him.

Russell Howard, Wembley Arena, London

"If I pull back this curtain you can see the rest of the venue. It's massive, and at the end of it there's a big picture of Lee Evans." So went Russell Howard's self-deprecating take on a concertinaed Wembley Arena and previous comics who filled the full version. Nevertheless, the gig rounds off a sold-out 70-date tour that has included a number of nights like this where Howard's audience has topped 3,500.

Stephen Glover: A new battle between generations threatens to undermine the BBC&rsquo;s values

Last week’s row concerning Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand could be described as a culture war between those who respect traditional standards of decency, and those who don’t. It could be more precisely represented as a culture war in which the over 45s and the under 30s are pitted against one another.

You write the reviews: Benefit for Macmillan Nurses and Multiple Sclerosis Society, Comedy Store, London

There was a 10 per cent drop in ticket sales at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival box office, possibly due to a lack of public interest or thriftiness as recession looms. But this gig at central London's world-famous Comedy Store was sold out.

You Write The Reviews: Frankie Boyle, T5 Club, Derby

Regular viewers of Channel 4's Mock the Week tap into a rich vein of humour from some of the sharpest knives in the comedy drawer, including the presenter, Dara O'Briain, Andy Parsons and the young pretender Russell Howard. But one of the keenest blades is Frankie Boyle, the caustic one with the spectacles. So it was with high hopes that I went to see the scathing Scotsman on the Midlands leg of his first national tour.

Last Night's TV: The ice man cometh and melts the heart

Polar Bear Week With Nigel Marven, Five; Live At The Apollo, BBC1

Edinburgh Festival: So who are the jokers in the pack?

Stand up and be counted: Mark Wareham checks out the talent at this year's comedy contests
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