Collino. The first artist signing to the label was Bill Hicks, the iconic and sadly missed US comic. A cassette based business at the time, the label quickly became the UK’s leading independent producer and distributor of classic and contemporary stand-up comedy, after signing Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand, Rory Bremner, Ben Elton and Sean Hughes and licensing the entire Amnesty International comedy catalogue that featured artists such as Billy Connolly, Rowan Atkinson, Monty Python, Dame Edna, Peter Cook, Steve Coogan and many more.
Radio production soon followed when two series of the Red Dwarf Radio Show and The Reduced Shakespeare Company Radio Show were made for the BBC.
Comedy cover mounts on cassette and CD for the Sunday Times, the Guardian / Observer and Esquire Magazine were also implemented during the 90s as well as sponsored comedy radio shows for commercial UK radio. Laughing Stock entered video and dvd production and distribution in the late 90s and early noughties with licensed titles from Bill Hicks, Whoopi Goldberg, Garry Shandling and Billy Crystal, as well as in-house produced releases by Rhona Cameron, John Shuttleworth and John Hegley.
The arrival of Apple iTunes in the mid noughties gave the company the international profile that had eluded it the 90s, and a concentration on political comedy saw audio releases from Mark Thomas, Rob Newman, Jeremy Hardy and Mark Steel.
Recent additions to the Laughing Stock catalogue include Tim Minchin, Henning Wehn, Nick Helm, Miles Jupp, Milton Jones and Paul Foot.
These days we put comedy up for downloading and streaming on various platforms including Apple iTunes, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Pandora, YouTube and Deezer.