Roy 'Chubby' Brown

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Roy 'Chubby' Brown
Birth name Roy Vasey
Born 3 February 1945 (1945-02-03) (age 71)
Grangetown, North Yorkshire, England
Years active 1960s–present
Genres Blue comedy, insult comedy, political satire, sarcasm, self-deprecation
Subject(s) Sex, British politics, racism, celebrities, culture, one liners
Influences Bernard Manning, Jerry Sadowitz
Website Official site

Roy "Chubby" Brown (born Roy Vasey;[1] 3 February 1945) is an English stand-up comedian, famous for his sarcastic blue humour. The controversial nature of his act means he rarely appears on major television channels,[2] and Brown has attracted accusations that his comedy style is outdated[3] whilst simultaneously being described as "the most important comedian of the past 25 years".[4]

Early life[edit]

Brown was born at 78 Broadway in Grangetown, North Yorkshire.[2] He has a sister named Barbara. He left home at the age of 14, spent time living rough, and moved from job to job, at one point joining the Merchant Navy. He also spent time in a borstal and prison.[5] He later found work as an entertainer in working men's clubs during the 1960s, first as a drummer and later as a comedy act under the name "Alcock & Brown".[2] Brown appeared on the UK television talent show New Faces in the 1970s, coming second to a country and western band. He failed the audition for another television talent show, Opportunity Knocks, after saying the word 'arse' during his interview.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Comedy[edit]

Brown's image is characterised by a clown-like stage costume consisting of a flying helmet and goggles, a multicoloured patchwork jacket and trousers, a white shirt, a red bow tie and moccasin slippers. A typical stand-up show starts with Brown dancing to the audience chanting, "You fat bastard!" Brown then approaches the microphone and says, "Fuck off!" or, "How did you know it was fucking me?!" This heckling occasionally continues during his act.

During his long career, he has caused offence by mocking various groups and individuals, including ethnic minorities, women, the Queen Mother (whose death occurred hours before the recording of his show Standing Room Only), and himself, yet he maintains a loyal fan base. Brown's live shows are rarely seen on television, as many of his jokes are deemed sexist, racist, or otherwise prejudiced and he relies on strong language, especially the words "fuck" and "cunt".[2] However, a programme about Brown's comedy, called Roy Chubby Brown: Britain's Rudest Comedian was broadcast on Channel 4 on 8 May 2007.[5]

Film[edit]

In 1993, Brown released a film called U.F.O. starring himself and Roger Lloyd-Pack; in it he is abducted by aliens while staying in a hotel in Blackpool during his live shows. In 2012, Brown was set to appear as a talking lamppost in Robin Sheppard's film adaptation of Richard Milward's book, Apples.

Music[edit]

One of his best known songs is "Living Next Door to Alice (Who the Fuck is Alice?)", a cover version of "Living Next Door to Alice", recorded with Smokie. The record spent 19 weeks in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 3 in August 1995.[6] He released a solo single in the winter of 1996 called "A Rocking Good Christmas", written by Ray Hedges; this reached number 51.[7] Brown has also released two albums, Take Fat and Party (1995) and Fat Out of Hell (1996); they achieved positions 29 and 67 in the UK Albums Chart respectively.[7]

Cultural references[edit]

His real name, Royston Vasey, was used as the name for the fictional town in the comedy television show The League of Gentlemen. He also made several cameo appearances as the foul-mouthed mayor of the town.

Personal life[edit]

Brown is married to his third wife Helen, with whom he has children. He has homes in Middlesbrough and Lincolnshire.

He is a supporter of Middlesbrough Football Club.[2]

In 2003, Brown was fined £200 in Blackpool for assaulting a fan who had sworn at him. Of the incident, Brown said, "I have traditional values and I wanted the man to stop swearing in front of women and children who were on the pier."[8]

Brown was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2002 and had a vocal cord removed.[5][9]

In 2006, he released an autobiography entitled Common as Muck: The Autobiography of Roy 'Chubby' Brown.[10]

He is a co-owner of the racehorse Rasaman.[11]

On 8 April 2009, Brown's son, Martin Reilly, was jailed for four years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and for the possession of heroin and cannabis,[12] having admitted offences dating from a November 2008 arrest.[13][14] Brown was understood to have little contact with his son.[13]

On 12 December 2009, it was announced that Brown was facing a charge of common assault on a woman, after an incident in a car park in Middlesbrough on 2 September 2009.[15] At Teesside Magistrates' Court on 5 January 2010, Brown denied the charges via his solicitor.[16] He was acquitted on 16 March 2010.[17]

In December 2011, he self-published a collection of memoirs from his life and career with Fast-Print Publishing called It's Funny Being Me.[18]

On 21 August 2014, he was fined £30 and given four points on his drivers licence by Northallerton Magistrates' Court, following a conviction for driving without due care and attention after he was filmed by a North Yorkshire Police camera with a copy of The Sun newspaper resting on his steering wheel as he drove along the A19 near Crathorne in May 2014. He was also ordered to pay costs of £40 and a victim surcharge of £20.[19]

Stand up releases[edit]

While Brown has been performing for over 30 years, his live shows have been released around Christmas time from 1990 until 2015. They have been released by Channel 5 Video Distribution (1990), PolyGram (1991-1998) and Universal Music Group (1999-2015), they were released on VHS (1990-2005, DVD (2000-2015) and Blu-ray (2010).. The release due for November 2011 was delayed until 2012 due to venue, technical and timing issues. The release for 2015 was the last release.

Releases[edit]

  • From Inside the Helmet (1990)
  • The Helmet Rides Again (1991)
  • The Helmet's Last Stand (1992)
  • Roy Chubby Brown: Exposed (1993)
  • U.F.O. (1993)
  • Jingle Bx@!cks (1994)
  • You Fat Bastard! (1999)
  • Thunder Bollocks (2000)
  • Stocking Filler! (2001)
  • Standing Room Only (2002)
  • Bad Taste (2003)
  • Giggling Lips (2004)
  • King Thong (2005)
  • Kick-Arse Chubbs (2006)
  • Pussy and Meatballs (2010)
  • Front Page Boobs (2012)
  • Who Ate All The Pies? (2013)
  • Don't Get Fit! Get Fat! (2014)
  • Hangs Up His Helmet (2015)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Index entry". General Register Office for England and Wales. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Interview with Chubby Brown". BBC Tees. Retrieved 31 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Brown, Malcolm (4 July 2008). "Comedy review: Roy 'Chubby' Brown". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  4. ^ Arnot, Chris (6 November 2007). "A gay academic applauds the work of Roy "Chubby" Brown". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c "Roy Chubby Brown: Britain's Rudest Comedian". 8 May 2007. Channel 4.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  6. ^ UK Chart Stats
  7. ^ a b UK Chart Stats
  8. ^ "'Chubby' couldn't stomach swearing". Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough). 7 August 2003. Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "'Chubby' Brown: I've got throat cancer". Lancashire Telegraph (Blackburn). 26 April 2002. Retrieved 28 August 2008. 
  10. ^ Brown, Roy 'Chubby' (5 July 2007). Common As Muck!: The Autobiography of Roy 'Chubby' Brown. Sphere Books. ISBN 9780751539318. 
  11. ^ "Joke's on Chubby as Rasaman leaves him feeling blue". The Observer (London). 20 April 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2008. 
  12. ^ BBC Look North, 8 April 2009
  13. ^ a b "Comic Brown's son on drugs charge". BBC News. 19 November 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  14. ^ "Chubby son awaits fate". Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough). 21 February 2009. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "Comedian Roy 'Chubby' Brown on assault charge". BBC News. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  16. ^ "Roy 'Chubby' Brown denies assault". BBC News. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  17. ^ "Chubby Brown cleared of assault". BBC News. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "Book Shop | It's Funny Being Me". Fast Print. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  19. ^ Sky News

External links[edit]