Stephen K. Amos
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|Stephen K. Amos|
Amos at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2005
|Birth name||Stephen K. Amos|
|Born||1970 (age 43–44)
|Medium||Stand up, Television|
|Genres||Black humour, Observational comedy, Political satire|
|Subject(s)||British culture, Nigerian culture Current events, Sex, Pop culture, Human interaction, Racism|
Stephen Kehinde Amos (born 1970) is a British stand-up comedian of Nigerian background. A regular on the international comedy circuit, he is known for including his audience members during his shows. He began his career as a compere at the Big Fish comedy clubs in South London, and has been nominated for Chortle's Best Compere Award three times in 2004, 2007 and 2008.
Performances and tours
He has performed stand-up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every year since 2003, after making his début in 2001. During the 2006 Fringe, he performed the revealing solo show All of Me, in which he publicly acknowledged his own homosexuality to his audience for the first time. He hosted a chat show on weekends (in addition to his own show), performed as a guest at various extra festival shows such as Spank! and performed daily in Stewart Lee's production of Eric Bogosian's play Talk Radio. Away from the fringe, Amos is a regular performer at The Comedy Store, London, featuring on the bill several evenings each month as well as various other venues around central London.
Amos appeared in the winning team at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival's Great Debate in 2006, 2007, and 2008 for the negative team, and in 2009 for the affirmative team. In May 2007, he appeared at the New Zealand International Comedy festival where he won the award for Best International Comedian. He performed at the 2007 class clowns state final in South Australia. During late 2008 and early 2009, he embarked on a UK tour of his show Find the Funny. In the winter of 2009 and 2010, he sold out his second national tour The Feelgood Factor. In 2012 and 2013, he is performing his Laughter Is My Agenda tour.
As an actor, he performed in both the Edinburgh Fringe and London run of a version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. His debut DVD was released in November 2009 entitled Find The Funny - Live. His second DVD was released in November 2010 entitled The Feelgood Factor.
In April 2010 Amos hosted The People's Music Awards in London.
Amos hosted and performed a short set on the main stage at London's Gay Pride parade on 3 June 2010.
Amos performed on the Alternative stage at Reading Festival on 27 August 2010 and the Leeds Festival on 28 August 2010. He received a standing ovation for both performances.
In his native UK, Amos has appeared as a guest on panel shows such as Have I Got News for You, Mock the Week, The Wright Stuff and And Then You Die. In March 2007, his documentary on homophobia in the black British community and Jamaica, Batty Man, was broadcast by Channel 4. It won a Royal Television Society Award and was nominated for a BAFTA. He made a guest appearance as Jimi Hendrix on the third episode of the BBC Three show, Snuff Box. He has also appeared in Rich Hall's Cattle Drive, EastEnders, Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle and as a featured performer on BBC One's Live at the Apollo after Dara Ó Briain and before Frankie Boyle. In late 2010 Amos appeared on Live at the Apollo as host and compere.
Amos has the distinction of being one of the few stand up comics chosen to appear at the 2007 Royal Variety Performance. Amos made an appearance on the gala/comedy gig We Are Most Amused an ITV1 televised production on 15 November 2008 in celebration of HRH The Prince of Wales' 60th Birthday. The event took place in the New Wimbledon Theatre.
He hosted a 2007 documentary, Penis Envy, for the free UK digital TV channel Virgin1, in which he explored men's ongoing insecurities with penis size with the help of actors from Puppetry of the Penis, naked rugby players and the men willing to experiment with apparent penis enlarging 'treatments'. On a related note, he gently mocks political correctness, in one of his favorite recurring jokes referring to his own penis size: 'some stereotypes I can live with!'.
While in Australia for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Amos often appears on Australian television shows such as the improvisational Thank God You're Here; the music-based panel game show Spicks and Specks; and satirical news-based comedy quiz show Good News Week.
In 2010 Amos appeared with the England rugby squad playing Nelson Mandela in a comedy sketch for the BBC's Sports Relief.
In 2010 he was a celebrity guest team captain on What Do Kids Know? along with Rufus Hound, Joe Swash and Sara Cox on Watch. Stephen guest appeared in Series 2, Episode 7 of the BBC Three comedy, Coming of Age and as a guest contributor on several episodes of This Week.
In 2010, Amos' own show was launched, a combination of stand-up, sketches, and guest performers (who for the most part had not fully broken into television comedy), simply entitled The Stephen K Amos Show. The show was released on DVD in November 2010.
In January 2013 he took part in a special series of The Great British Bake Off.
Amos appeared on The Jon Richardson Show on BBC 6 Music on 2 November 2008, and again on 16 August 2009 and 23 November 2009. Amos also appeared on Nihal's Saturday Afternoon show on BBC Radio One on 30 May 2009. Amos also snubbed Frank Skinner on 8 October 2010. Stephen is currently featured in the BBC Radio 4 show The Odd Half Hour which began broadcasting on 16 November 2010.
Amos has recently been chairing a BBC Radio 4 program called Life: An Idiot's Guide, starting March 2012, where he and his pick of the circuit's best stand-ups build an idiot's guide to life.  People who have appeared on the show include Lucy Montgomery and Lucy Porter. Amos presented another series of this programme in February 2013, where guests on the programme included Fred MacAulay, Angela Barnes and Greg Proops. Amos also appears in radio comedy What Does the K Stand For? in November 2013 on Radio 4 Extra as a son living in a Nigerian family in 1980's Britain. Six episodes so far.
- I Used To Say My Mother Was Shirley Bassey (Constable, London, 2012)
Amos, one of eight children, lives in south-west London. His parents came to London from Nigeria in the 1960s. On Fern Britton's The 5 O'Clock Show (Channel 4, 19 July 2010), stated that his middle name is Kehinde, which is a Yoruba name for "second of twins" - Amos has an older twin sister.
- Find the Funny (23 November 2009)
- The Feel Good Factor (15 November 2010)
- Bunbury, Stephanie (22 September 2008). "Black, gay and game for a laugh". The Age. Retrieved 2 December 2009. "[Amos] recalled the moment when he realised he was attracted to men."
- Bennett, Steve (August 2006). "Stephen K Amos: All Of Me". Chortle. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- Lozynski, Anna (7 April 2007). "Stephen K Amos". Australian Stage. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- "Stephen K Amos: Find The Funny". Play.com (UK). Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- Whitelaw, Paul (7 December 2007). "Overexposure of a sensitive area". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- "Penis Envy". Virgin Media. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- "Virgin 1's brand new cock-umentary gets to grips with The Great British Penis" (Press release). Virgin Media Television. 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- Mastermind Special BBC Children In Need 2009
- BBC This Week: Amos, O'Rourke, Kat Von D and Moore
- "BBC Radio 4 - Life: An Idiot's Guide, Series 1". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- "Stephen K Amos". British Red Cross. Retrieved 2 December 2009.[dead link]
- "Media Diversity UK". E-activist.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
- Merritt, Stephanie (31 October 2010). "Stephen K Amos: 'I don't want to be labelled "the black gay comic"'". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 January 2014.