Roy Chubby Brown
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Roy Chubby Brown (born Royston Vasey; 3 February 1945) is an English stand-up comedian whose act consists of blue humour, constant profanity, a free speaking style and lack of concern for political correctness.
|Roy Chubby Brown|
|Birth name||Royston Vasey|
|Born||3 February 1945 (age 74)|
Grangetown, North Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Genres||Blue comedy, insult comedy, political satire, sarcasm, self-deprecation|
|Subject(s)||British politics, sex, celebrities, culture, one liners|
Prior to his entertainment career, Vasey had a rough upbringing and left home at the age of fourteen, moving from job to job, eventually ending up imprisoned. Once released, he began his performing career alongside his cousins as a drummer in their band The Pipelines, who mainly featured at working men's clubs. When the group split, Vasey formed a comedy duo with a fellow ex-Pipelines bandmate. The duo named themselves 'Alcock and Brown', as they shared the same surnames of the pilots of the first transatlantic flight, therefore wearing goggles during their performance. The group eventually disbanded, with Vasey continuing as a comedic act by himself, retaining the goggles.
In 1972, Vasey's manager asked him whether he would try performing blue comedy, to which Vasey agreed. His initial performances as 'Roy "Chubby" Brown' were met with offended attendees, mainly Vasey being assaulted and sworn at. He eventually began to perform at larger venues, with his breakthrough coming in 1990, as Universal Pictures signed him to a home video contract, where he would release concerts annually every Christmas, eventually going on to sell 250,000 copies. They would also release U.F.O. in 1993, a film about Vasey's character being kidnapped by aliens. In 1995, his parody of Living Next Door to Alice hit the UK charts. From 1999, he starred in The League of Gentlemen as the town's mayor, of which the (fictional) town was named 'Royston Vasey'.
He released his most recent home release in 2017, and continues to perform concerts in the United Kingdom, and occasionally overseas at British tourist destinations. As well as his stand-up performances, Vasey also releases music albums.
Brown was born at 78 Broadway in Grangetown, North Riding of Yorkshire. 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.
While in prison Brown read I Owe Russia $1200 by Bob Hope which made him decide he wanted to be a stand up comic. When he saw Ken Dodd live he thought he was so good it inspired him to try comedy himself.
Brown later found work as an entertainer in working men's clubs during the 1960s, first as a drummer in the local group Pipeline along with his two cousins and a friend and later as a comedy act under the name "Alcock & Brown". 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.
In 1971 Brown took to the stage and said, "Good evening! My wife's got two cunts and I'm one of them." Brown has said he was nearly beaten up, but that following that performance: "I knew I had something. I took the building site mentality and banter and took it to the stage. I was the first person ever to say the 'C' word on stage in the UK. To be honest I never looked back."
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!", "How did you know it was fucking me?!" or "Recognise me, then?" 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 and the Queen Mother (whose death occurred hours before the recording of his show Standing Room Only), yet he maintains a loyal fan base in the north of England. Brown's live shows are rarely seen on television; however, a programme about Brown's comedy, called Roy Chubby Brown: Britain's Rudest Comedian was broadcast on Channel 4 on 8 May 2007.
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 novel Apples.
Brown appeared in the second series of The League of Gentlemen as the town's mayor. The fictional town where the characters were based had been named Royston Vasey from the start.
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 27 weeks in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 3 in August 1995. He released a solo single in the winter of 1996 called "A Rocking Good Christmas", written by Ray Hedges; this reached number 51. 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.
In 2006, he released an autobiography entitled Common as Muck: The Autobiography of Roy 'Chubby' Brown. In December 2011, he self-published a collection of memoirs from his life and career called It's Funny Being Me.
In 2003, Brown was fined £200 in Blackpool for using a golf umbrella to physically assault 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."
In 2019, his son Martin Reilly died aged 45.
Stand up releasesEdit
While Brown has been performing for over 30 years, his live shows have been released around Christmas time since 1990. They have been released by Channel 5 Video Distribution (1990), PolyGram Video (1991–1998) and Universal Pictures (1999–present), they were released on VHS (1990–2005), DVD (2000–present) and Blu-ray (2010–2012). The release due for November 2011 was delayed until 2012 due to the venue, technical and timing issues.
- From Inside the Helmet (1990)
- The Helmet Rides Again (1991)
- The Helmet's Last Stand (1992)
- U.F.O. (1993) [film]
- Roy Chubby Brown: Exposed (1993)
- Jingle Bollocks (1994)
- Clitoris Allsorts (1995)
- Saturday Night Beaver (1996)
- Obscene and Not Heard (1997)
- Chubby Goes Down Under and Other Sticky Regions (1998)
- You Fat Bastard! (1999)
- Roy Chubby Brown's Comedy Box (2000) [Compilation]
- Thunder Bollocks (2000)
- Stocking Filler! (2001)
- Standing Room Only (2002)
- Bad Taste (2003)
- Giggling Lips (2004)
- King Thong (2005)
- Kick-Arse Chubbs (2006)
- The Good, The Bad And The Fat Bastard (2007)
- Roy Chubby Brown's Tasty Threesome (2008) [Compilation]
- Dirty Weekend in Blackpool (2008)
- Roy Chubby Brown: Mucky Man Box (2009) [Compilation]
- Too Fat To Be Gay (2009)
- Roy Chubby Brown's Blue Christmas (2010) [Compilation]
- Pussy & Meatballs (2010)
- Front Page Boobs (2012)
- Who Ate All The Pies? (2013)
- Roy Chubby Brown's Big Fat Bastard Box (2014) [Compilation]
- Don't Get Fit! Get Fat! (2014)
- Hangs Up His Helmet (2015)
- Great British Jerk Off (2016) [Documentary]
- The Second Coming (2017)
- 50 Shades of Brown (2019)
- "Index entry". General Register Office for England and Wales. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- "Welcome to the real Royston Vasey – You'll never leave". The Independent. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- Brown, Malcolm (4 July 2008). "Comedy review: Roy 'Chubby' Brown". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
- "Who the Fuck is Roy Chubby Brown? - The Skinny". www.theskinny.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
- "Roy Chubby Brown: Britain's Rudest Comedian". Retrieved 10 August 2019.
- "Interview with Chubby Brown". BBC Tees. Retrieved 31 July 2009.
- "Roy Chubby Brown: Britain's Rudest Comedian". . 8 May 2007. Channel 4. Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- Stenning, Paul (24 November 2013). Success – By Those Who've Made It. P. 163. In Flight Books. ISBN 978-1628475869.
- "Comedy saved me says Ipswich Regent-bound Roy Chubby Brown". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- "Roy 'Chubby' Brown | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- "Roy Chubby Brown on living in Lincolnshire and rapping on stage". Grimsby Telegraph. 3 July 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- "'Chubby' Brown: I've got throat cancer". Lancashire Telegraph. Blackburn. 26 April 2002. Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
- Brown, Roy 'Chubby' (5 July 2007). Common As Muck!: The Autobiography of Roy 'Chubby' Brown. Sphere Books. ISBN 9780751539318.
- "It's Funny Being Me". Good Reads. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
- "Joke's on Chubby as Rasaman leaves him feeling blue". The Observer. London. 20 April 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
- "'Chubby' couldn't stomach swearing". Evening Gazette. Middlesbrough. 7 August 2003. Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- Association, Press (21 August 2014). "Roy Chubby Brown fined for reading newspaper while driving". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
- Marshall, Michelle (4 April 2019). "Roy Chubby Brown son dead: Comedian's son Martin Reilly dies aged 45". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2019.