Condell in January 2006
|Pseudonym||Eddie Zibin (used in the 1980s)|
|Birth name||Patrick Condell|
23 November 1949 |
|Medium||Writer, comedian, stand up|
|Genres||Topical comedy, religious and political satire|
|Subject(s)||Atheism, free speech|
Patrick Condell (born 23 November 1949) is a writer, polemicist, and former stand-up comedian. In his early career he wrote and performed in alternative comedy shows during the 1980s and 1990s in London, winning the Time Out Comedy Award in 1991. He was also formerly a regular panelist on BBC Radio 1's Loose Talk programme.
In early 2007 he began uploading on to the internet short filmed monologue polemics primarily about religious authority, authoritarianism in government and left-wing politics, and the societal effects of Muslim immigration into Europe, which have appeared on many websites, including YouTube and LiveLeak. They have also been published on DVD, and also as a book of video transcripts. As of June 2017 Condell's YouTube channel has over a third of a million subscribers, with over 70 million views.
Condell was born in Ireland and raised in England as a Roman Catholic. His father was a compulsive gambler working in a betting shop until he was sent to prison for stealing money; he then died of leukaemia. The Condell family in consequence was impoverished, moving repeatedly from home to home.
He was educated in several different Church of England schools in South London; saying 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."
Condell left school at 16, his first job being a dish-washer in the revolving restaurant on top of the Post Office Tower, now known as the BT Tower in London, for five shillings an hour. He became a vegetarian in 1976 after watching a deer being butchered. Condell did a number of jobs including six years of logging in Canada.
Condell 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. Condell 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 Condell was a regular panellist on BBC Radio 1's "Loose Talk."  During the mid-1990s, he 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 VHS as Barf Bites Back! (1991).
Condell's 1996 play Barry Sorts It Out was given a negative review in the Financial Times, which described it as "a sordid East End comedy" which "repeats ad nauseam the same gag." The reviewer concluded that it is "a play with all the bite of a set of joke-shop fangs."
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. He performed the show at London's Etcetera Theatre.Chortle gave Condell's 2006 show a negative review, noting that Condell is covering familiar territory but "is not quite up to the job," and observing that Condell's material was delivered "with very little variation in pace or tone, ... with the feel of a lecture" and "no structure, no building up to a passionate, climactic conclusion, no ebb and flow of storytelling." Chortle concluded that "Condell is still going through the motions."
Condell had posted more than 100 video monologues on various video sites as of August 2011, which together had notched up over 35 million hits, and his videos have been translated and subtitled into 14 languages on the dotSUB collaborative platform. 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. Most of his YouTube videos chastise Islam and Western appeasement of Islam. His videos have caused Condell to receive hundreds of death threats but also a significant amount of support.
His videos have been featured on websites such as Little Green Footballs, YouTube,LiveLeak,Jihad Watch,MilkandCookies,Kathy Shaidle's blog,Geert Wilders, the leader of the political party Party for Freedom website, and Richard Dawkins' website. In 2007 one of Condell's YouTube videos was used in a presentation by Harold Kroto, recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, at the Beyond Belief symposium. In 2013, A word to rioting Muslims was broadcast on Dutch channel VPRO and discussed by Hans Teeuwen. Condell has spoken favourably of Geert Wilders and has described the Qur'an as hate speech.
Condell's first video, uploaded to YouTube on 8 February 2007 was his participation in The Blasphemy Challenge, an Internet-based project which aims to get atheists to declare themselves. 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.
In April 2010, Pat Condell urged his viewers to vote "for freedom" and said that a "vote for any of the three main parties" would be a wasted vote in the 2010 general election. The same day United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) said that Condell "urges voters to shun the three old parties and vote UKIP". In a video titled "Vote small, think big", uploaded a fortnight before the 2010 UK general elections, and on his website, Pat Condell expressed support for the policies of the UK Independence Party.
Condell is a proponent of freedom of speech and a consistent critic of Islam, often criticising Saudi Arabia and its human rights record. Even to the point of coming out in support of the English Defence League claiming in one video: "I went to their website and read it quite carefully, looking for racism and fascism of course, because the media keep telling me that they are far right, but, well, I'm a little puzzled because I can find is a healthy regard for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Not a whiff of racism or fascism and not a whiff of far-right politics of any kind."
Although Pat Condell has been vocal in his criticism of Islam and Christianity, he has made few videos on Judaism besides his commentary on the Israel-Palestine conflict. In his earliest video on these subjects Condell maintained that he "likes the Jews the best" out of the Abrahamic religions and appeared to endorse a two-state solution, while criticising Israel for building settlements in East Jerusalem. He later changed his views and adopted a much more critical stance towards the Palestinians claiming that they turned down the two-state solution multiple times. He has also come out against the BDS movement: "If Israel were a Christian or a Buddhist country there wouldn't be any BDS campaign, and everyone knows it, just as there isn't any BDS campaign for Tibet, a country invaded and culturally raped by the Chinese, but then the Chinese aren't Jews."
In the 2016 US presidential election, Condell praised Donald Trump for "telling the truth" and supported his candidacy as an alternative to Hillary Clinton and "open borders". He described Trump as "a necessary antidote to the poison of political correctness". He supported Trump's widely criticised call to restrict Muslim immigration to the United States on security grounds.
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.
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."
In 2007 he was 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." The book Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief, describes Condell as "breathtakingly intelligent, articulate, uncompromising, and funny".
Condell has been resolute and outspoken in his opposition to the development of Park51, near the site of 11 September 2001 World Trade Center attack, in lower Manhattan. On 4 June 2010, he released a video titled "No Mosque at Ground Zero", in which he said that it was representative of Islamic triumphalism and that the United States would soon be on the verge of Islamization and have its freedoms trimmed, as Europe has. The video has attracted 6 million views since it was uploaded. Speaking on why he believes the Mosque is offensive, Pat Condell stated:
Additionally, Condell cast some doubt over the funding of the community centre, and claimed that Islam would have been banned in the civilised world if it wasn't for the fact it was a religion. He compared the system of Sharia and the Muslims who endorse it to Nazi Germany.
Condell 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 Islam is "a religion of war", that "Muslim women in Britain who cover their faces are mentally ill", though in some parts of the world women have no choice but to cover their face, as they are "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 [Condell] 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".
Condell's video Welcome to Saudi Britain was removed by YouTube early in October 2008, but reinstated shortly after. 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 was among 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.
|Year||Name||Medium||Role||Notes / References|
|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.|
|2010||Godless and Free||Paperback||Writer||Transcripts of 60 video monologues from between February 2007 and October 2009.|
|2012||Freedom Is My Religion||E-book & Lulu||Writer||Transcripts of his videos including a 32-page introduction.|
Condell's 56. He was born an Irish Catholic but educated in Church of England schools.
I was born in Ireland
I became a vegetarian in 1976 while watching a deer being butchered.
#1 - Most Subscribed (All Time) - Comedians - United Kingdom
YouTube's most subscribed comedian, Pat Condell
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Personally, I'll be voting for the UK Independence Party ... a vote for any of the three main parties is ... a wasted vote
some people ... missed the point of the video, which was to encourage people to vote for someone who actually shares their values