|>>|| No. 20546
TV burns material. Six half-hour programmes are equivalent to three complete touring shows. Anything you use on TV needs to be solid, tested material - a TV audience won't indulge a standup in the way a theatre audience will. It's fairly rational to save your best new material for the tour and use the TV programme as a sort of "greatest hits" of old material, especially if you're ambivalent about being on telly.
Stewart Lee is in a strange position. He wants to be like Kitson, performing difficult material to a carefully curated audience, but he also has a family to feed. He went through a long fallow period, so he's well aware of the capricious nature of fame.
Before Comedy Vehicle, he was playing a lot of 100ish seaters. If you're to make a good living from that kind of following, you need to be touring constantly and taking any booking you can get, which is incompatible with any sort of family life.
Bridget further complicates matters, because they need to fit their respective touring schedules around childcare responsibilities. Playing 30 nights to 800 people is a lot more manageable than playing 120 nights to 200 people. He loathes a large part of the audience he picked up through the TV programme, but he can't afford to spurn them. I think he is playing a caricature of himself to cash in while he can. I expect to see a return to form when his mortgage is paid off.