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|Condell in January 2006.|
|Pseudonym||Eddie Zibin (used in the 1980s)|
|Birth name||Patrick Condell|
|Born||23 November 1949 (1949-11-23) |
|Subject(s)||Religion, religious/political satire|
From early 2007, he began posting short monologues denouncing religion to a number of video sharing websites. His videos have been featured on many websites, including YouTube and LiveLeak. They have also been published to DVD, and also as a book of video transcripts. As of September 2010[update], Pat Condell's YouTube channel has over 130,000 subscribers and over 25 million views.
Early lifeCondell was born in Ireland an Irish Catholic and raised in England as a Roman Catholic. He was educated in several different Church of England schools across South London; he said of this time "I found myself segregated in assembly and shunted into another room while everyone said their morning prayers. The whole pantomime seemed hollow to me even then. Once you become aware of the gulf between what people profess to believe and how they actually behave, it’s hard to take any of it seriously." His father was a compulsive gambler working in a betting shop until he was sent to prison for stealing money. He then died of leukemia in prison. The family was impoverished, moving repeatedly from one rented flat to another. Condell left school at 16, and his first job was washing dishes in the revolving restaurant on top of the Post Office tower, now known as the BT Tower, in London for five shillings an hour.
Condell became a vegetarian in 1976 after watching a deer being butchered. Condell did a number of jobs including six years logging in Canada.
ComedyCondell performed alternative comedy shows during the 1980s and 1990s in the United Kingdom, his first performance on stage was at the age of 32 in a comedy sketch called Mountbatten’s Plimsoll. He also wrote poetry and appeared in the Poetry Olympics at the Young Vic Theatre in 1982, which led to a job writing weekly poems for the Time Out magazine. Pat was described at the time as "a manic gimlet-eyed, crop-haired poet" in Drama: The Quarterly Theatre Review book.
He then performed on the London Alternative Comedy circuit for several years (originally under the name Eddie Zibin). He also performed at the Tunnel Club, next to the Blackwall Tunnel, where he describes the audience as a "nightmare"; bottles and glasses were thrown at him, and one person attempted to cut the microphone lead with a pair of garden shears. Condell was a performer at The Comedy Store in the Cutting Edge team, with whom he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1991. That year Condell was the winner of a Time Out Comedy Award. From 1991 to 1994 he was a regular panellist on BBC Radio 1's "Loose Talk". During the mid 1990s, Condell was performing over 200 times a year. Due to the late nights and regular travelling he decided to start writing for other comedians, while still doing the occasional performance. In 1991 he performed comedy sketches at Duke of York's Theatre, which were released onto DVD as Barf Bites Back! (1991). His 2006 stand-up show ‘Faith Hope and Sanity’, subtitled ‘A Few Jokes About Religion Before It Kills Us All’, was a platform for his comedy and atheist beliefs. "This is the first time I’ve set out to write a show in order to say something, rather than just as a vehicle for stand-up" he said of the show. "It seems to me that fundamentalist Christians, jihadist Muslims and settlement-building Jews are causing more than their share of trouble in the world. World events are being driven by people with apocalyptic delusions, while here in Britain a paralysing liberal guilt allows religious bigots to use intimidation and violence to stamp out free speech. If you can’t get laughs out of all that, you can’t get them out of anything." He performed the show at London’s Etcetera Theatre. Chortle gave Condell's performance a positive review saying "His wide-ranging observational routine contains barely a dud line, which is some achievement for 40 minutes of reasonably fast-paced stuff."
He is also author of the play Barry Sorts It Out. The Financial Times gave it a negative review describing it as "a sordid East End comedy written by stand-up Pat Condell. It repeats ad nauseam the same gag, in which Barry's narrative recounts his calm, reasonable thoughts followed with a "so I..." by his crassly Neanderthal actions."
Condell has said of his humour "I used to talk about this stuff in comedy clubs until I discovered internet video. Now I get a lot more death threats, but I don't have to deal with drunks."
 Online videosCondell had posted 76 video monologues on various video sites as of September, 2010, which together had notched up over 15 million hits. In September 2009, he was one of the top ten most subscribed users on YouTube in the United Kingdom, and the most subscribed to Comedian of all time in the UK. Eight of his videos are in the top hundred most commented on videos in the UK. His videos have caused Condell to receive hundreds of death threats and also lots of support.
His videos have been featured on websites and blogs, including Little Green Footballs, YouTube, LiveLeak, Jihad Watch, MilkandCookies, Kathy Shaidle's blog, Geert Wilders, the leader of the political party Party for Freedom website,, PZ Myers' blog Pharyngula, and Richard Dawkins' website. In 2007 one of Condell's YouTube videos was used in a presentation by Sir Harold Kroto, recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, at the Beyond Belief symposium.
Condell's first video, uploaded to YouTube on February 8, 2007 was his participation in The Blasphemy Challenge, an Internet-based project which aims to get atheists to come out and declare themselves as atheists. The challenge asks atheists to submit videos to the website YouTube, in which they record themselves blaspheming or denying the existence of the Holy Spirit.
|Pat Condell Anthology|
Front cover of Condell's anthology DVD.
|Release date(s)||April 29, 2008|
|Running time||180 minutes|
Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, said of Condell that "Pat Condell is unique. Nobody can match his extraordinary blend of suavity and savagery. With his articulate intelligence he runs rings around the religious wingnuts that are the targets of his merciless humour. Thank goodness he is on our side". In 2008, Dawkins's website released a collection of Condell's monologues on DVD, titled Pat Condell: Anthology. The DVD was also sold on Amazon.com.
In an interview with the Bosnian magazine Start, Condell says his intent "is to get other people's unprovable beliefs out of my life, and out of government, the law and education. I don't care what people believe as long as I don't have to keep hearing about it."
He has been criticised by Christian author Dinesh D'Souza on AOL News, who said "If the televangelists are guilty of producing some simple-minded, self-righteous Christians, then the atheist authors are guilty of producing self-congratulatory buffoons like Condell." Atheist biology professor and blogger PZ Myers, on the other hand, endorsed Condell with a terse "Speak it, brother!". The book Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief, describes Condell as "breathtakingly intelligent, articulate, uncompromising, and funny".
He is a member of the National Secular Society and has a large following of users on the Internet, including a Facebook group dedicated to him.
"Mosque At Ground Zero"Condell has been resolute and outspoken in his opposition to the development of Park51, near the site of the September 11th World Trade Centre terrorist attacks, in Lower Manhattan. On June 2010 he released a video titled "No mosque at Ground Zero" where he claimed that it was representative of Islamic triumphalism and that the United States was soon on the verge of Islamization and have its freedoms trimmed, as Europe has.. Pat Condell claimed:
To describe it as they have as a tribute to the victims is beyond bad taste, and shows a profound contempt for those who died. It would be hard to find a more provocative gesture short of standing on their graves and burning the American flag. Yet how typical of Islam, with its own hair trigger sensitivity to the slightest imagined insult, to do something so arrogant and insensitive.
Additionally, Condell cast some doubt over the funding of the Mosque, and claimed that Islam would have been banned in the civilized world, if it wasn't for the fact it was a religion, and compared it to Nazi Germany.
The trouble with Islam reactionCondell also received criticism after links to his monologue, titled The trouble with Islam, were circulated to commissioners in the California city of Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commission. Condell said in the video that he thought Islam was "a religion of war", that "Muslim women in Britain who cover their faces are mentally ill", though in some parts of the world women had no choice but to cover their face, as they were "governed... by primitive pigs whose only achievement in life is to be born with a penis in one hand and a Qur'an in the other." Commissioner Elliot Cohen described Condell's comments as "insulting, degenerating and racist".
Condell then accused Cohen of being "motivated by his own narrow personal and political agenda which has nothing to do with me or the video clip." The video was initially sent to them by fellow Peace and Justice Commissioner Jonathan Wornick, who said it "tries to expose intolerance in the Muslim world," such as "the intolerance of radical Islamists who say if you insult Allah, you should have your head cut off." Condell said that its popularity proves "there is an enthusiastic audience for comedy ideas and opinions which are routinely censored out of existence in the UK’s mainstream media, thanks to misguided political correctness".
YouTube censorshipCondell's video "Welcome to Saudi Britain" was removed by YouTube early in October 2008, but reinstated shortly after, due to other YouTube users complaining and posting the video on their own accounts. In it Condell criticises Britain's sanctioning of a Sharia court, and refers to the entire country of Saudi Arabia as mentally ill for its abuse of women.
A YouTube spokesman said "YouTube has clear policies that prohibit inappropriate content on the site, such as pornography, gratuitous violence or hate speech...If users repeatedly break these rules we disable their accounts." The National Secular Society were amongst the complainants to YouTube, saying "as usual, he (Condell) does not mince his words, but he is not saying anything that is untrue. His main thrust is one of outrage on behalf of those Muslim women who will suffer because they are forced to have their marital problems solved in a male-dominated Sharia court."
Shortly after, YouTube reversed their earlier decision saying "Upon further review of the context of Pat Condell's comments, we've reinstated it." Richard Dawkins applauded the reversal, saying "I congratulate YouTube on an excellent decision. Pat Condell is hard-hitting, but always quietly reasonable in tone." Condell believed that it was removed due to a flagging campaign by Islamic activists.
In his next video "Stop sharia law in Britain", Condell thanked his supporters, YouTube, and the people who flagged the video for removal and giving it publicity. He clarifies the meaning of his statement in his previous video which caused the video to be removed, where he referred to the entire country of Saudi Arabia as mentally ill.
YouTube also briefly removed Condell's video "Godless and free" but he received an email from YouTube explaining that it had been done in error.
|1991||Barf Bites Back!||Stand-up Comedy||Actor|||
|1997||Barry Sorts It Out||Comedy||Writer|||
|1998||Stand and Deliver||Stand-up Comedy||Writer|||
|2008||Pat Condell Anthology||Stand-up Comedy||Writer/actor||An anthology of 35 of Condell's videos.|||
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