THE ever self-deprecating Stewart Lee made his York Barbican debut to an almost full house on Sunday night. Refusing through stubbornness to provide a traditional opening gag, he kicked off the evening with a command to laugh and a set of grumpy-old-man jokes about dogs.

It was not long before Lee’s controversial canine jests prompted one elderly audience member to defend man’s best friend, by arguing that while she was aware that her Jack Russells would consume her dead body, she would happily eat Lee on his demise.

Controversy continued to arise amid talk of fair trade cocaine, UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall’s reaction to the Anglo-Saxon invasion and an unhappy customer calling with an inquiry for Shitterton’s Manure.

Dividing the show into three sections, Lee’s mismatched comedic trilogy may have felt disjointed at times, but it provided the opportunity for long-running gags. While several of these held the audience well, others lacked stamina and overran with some discomfort.

Lee’s material was, on the whole, full of originality. However, several topics such as a grumpy old man’s feelings towards modern technology and the Orwellian aspects of Twitter felt overdone.

Despite this, any culture vultures would not have left disappointed, as Stewart’s wealth of knowledge and considered thought added wit and freshness to the otherwise dreary affairs of everyday life.

Overall, it was a well-spent Sunday evening with a comedian whose humour catered to a diverse audience. With teenagers sitting alongside pensioners, Lee’s middle-aged cynicism proved accessible to – and adored by – all ages.

Well, perhaps not small children.