Raymond & Mr Timpkins Revue
Reginald D Hunter
Rev Obadiah Steppenwolf III
Roy Chubby Brown
Ruth E Cockburn
Raised by tired liars
From Right Here Right Now Live
More Russell Howard videos
|Raised by tired liars|
|On The Royal Wedding|
|Losing Your Virginity|
|Laughing when you shouldn't|
|Laughing when you shouldn't|
|Micro Animal Rant|
|Russell Howard: Misery|
|Russell Howard inteviewed|
|Gays on a plane|
|Fat baby joke|
|Russell Howard Soccer and Sex|
|Russell Howard: Edinburgh and Beyond 2005"|
Bristol-born Russell Howard started comedy as a teenager, making the finals of Channel 4's So You Think Your Funny? competition in 1999 in only his fifth ever gig. Two year later, he was also a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards.
He made his Edinburgh debut in 2002, sharing an hour-long show with fellow stand-up Matt Blaize, and returned the following year as part of the long-running Comedy Zone showcase line-up. His first solo show was in 2004, and he has returned to the Fringe every year since. In 2006, his show Wandering was nominated for the if.comedy award – and he won the Chortle award for best compere.
In 2006, he joined BBC Two's topical panel game Mock the Week as a regilar panelist. He has also made appearances on Would I Lie To You?, Live At The Apollo, Law of the Playground and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
On radio, Howard has co-hosted Radio 2's comedy show Out to Lunch with Rob Deering and appeared on the Banter and Political Animal for Radio 4. From November 2006 to July 2008, heco-hosted a Sunday morning on BBC 6 Music with Jon Richardson as his sidekick.
Montreal Just For Laughs 2011: One-Stop World Tour
Seems like the Just For Laughs Festival is closing the door to immigrants this year. Where once there were separate showcases for the Brits, the Irish and the antipodeans, now there is only one ghetto for comedians originating from outside North America, the One-Stop World Tour.
But although they may have come far, they don’t share the US comic’s infuriating habit of asking the Montreal audience questions like ‘do you guys have Duane Reade here?’ every minute, as if too lazy too Google their references.
Indeed, compere Adam Hills knows what floats a Canadian’s boat… and that’s mention of an exchange rate. He plays up cross-border rivalry skilfully, with teasing reference to America’s economic woes, before flattering the audience by telling them they’re the most polite crowd he’s encountered… well, after the Dutch. He also highlights the aversion to boasting among this line-up of comics. Rather than be introduced with a list of TV shows they have been on, as is the American tradition, everyone tonight says they don’t care how they are brought on stage, they just want to do their jobs.
The different transatlantic sensibilities don’t always work in the comedian’s favour, though, with audiences weaned on slick, fast gags not always completely at ease with other styles. Case in point was the first act, the ever-kinetic Russell Kane, who struggled to square the circle of wanting to say meaningful things about how he rebelled against his tough, unemotive and racist dad by becoming all artsy, camp and liberal – while still cracking the punchlines demanded of a short set. Though the intent was noble, and some of the jokes sharp, the result seemed like a rush, even to English ears.
As a counter to that freneticism, was laid-back Rhys Darby, already possessing of star status thanks to Flight Of The Conchords. And he doesn’t move far from the earnest-but-useless persona he had in that show in his stand-up. There’s a nice line in underplayed silliness as he acts out an errant handshake, or describes how the Transformers movie should really have played out, but the best moments come from him being misunderstood by an automated voice recognition service on the phone. This is almost a hack topic, but by the simple act of repetition, Darby becomes a comically desperate figure in the story, giving it a punch a simple observational routine would lack.
Good though that was, it was down to Russell Howard to really energise the room, with a punchy, pacy routine that leapt with an irresistible sprightliness from semi-innocent childhood pranks to playful adult stories from the bedroom. Most Brits already know this fresh-faced comic is a blast of positive energy, with solid jokes and pin-sharp imagry underpinning the effusive spirit. The Canadians and Americans seemed suitably impressed, too.
Beardyman is an odd booking for a comedy festival. He’s a superlative beatboxer, but a terrible comedian, yet still gives it a go. Although he overcame an early microphone failure superbly, the stand-up, as we shall generously call it, which prefaced his real skills was as flat as the rawest open-mic act, begging the question of why, when Britain produces so many top-notch comics, it’s Beardyman who got the coveted invitation to Montreal. However, once he kicked into his impressive live looping session, producing impressive bursts of sound with versatile range in an instance, that question was definitively answered, even if this set-piece was frustratingly short. If he can integrate comedy with his unquestionable vocal skills – without becoming a Reggie Watts clone – this would be the way ahead.
Next up, ventriloquist Nina Conti with her Scottish grandmother, in latex form. Her set was a real crowd-pleaser, as she brought up an audience volunteer for a spot of silly mindreading. Comedically, this isn’t all that clever, but Conti’s quick-witted and has endless reserves of self-deprecating charm; while a quick yet hilarious hypnosis skit at the end of her set shows off the more existential ideas she usually toys with.
More charm from Tom Gleeson, the only Australian on the bill, aside from Hills. His anecdotes are always well-told, although often too light in substance for my liking, especially over an hour show. Yet in this brisk set, he nailed it with a raucously entertaining yarn about a visit to a masseuse who turned out to be a masseur, in which he exploited a latent homophobia very skilfully.
But if it’s tales you want, Greg Davies is your man. Ignoring the witless yell of ‘clunge’ from one loud-mouthed Inbetweeners fan, he amusingly highlighted his own physical inadequacies before introducing the real star of his routine, his seventysomething father who’s embraced old age as an excuse to behave exactly as he pleases. That said, it will be the horrendous Christmas dinner exchange in which his sister introduced his mother to the concept of oral sex which will really stick in the mind, thanks to Davies’s superb storytelling abilities and masterful delivery.
Finally came David O’Doherty with his usual mix of rock-and-roll ambitions and modest means, banging out the duet he wrote for Shakira or his trademark Beefs 2011 on his child’s keyboard. He knows how ridiculous he is, as demonstrated by the story of the instrument’s demo mode accidentally being activated on a train’s sacred quiet carriage. But that awareness doesn’t quell his impotent rage at the largely mundane bugbears of his quirky lyrics, delivered with a skilful sense of timing.
|Date of live review: Thursday 28th Jul, '11|
Review by Steve Bennett
Tuesday 20th Dec, '11- O2 Arena
Friday 29th Jul, '11-
Friday 22nd Jul, '11-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 - Sunday 0th Sep, '08-
Sunday 10th Aug, '08-
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2007 -
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2002 -
Show - Montreal 2006 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2003 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2004 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2005 -
Show - Misc live shows -
A wonderful comedian. Remarkably funny. I saw him with my brother and boyfriend and we all fell in love a tiny bit. He's a little ray of sunshine.
An incredibly sharp, warm and funny guy. A sublime comic. More than obvious why he is selling out arenas. He deserves all the success he is having.
A triumphant return to the 'pool last night and a double dose of Bristolian delight in the form of a two-part set, the boyishy-man wizard stormed it! I've given up trying to convince 'discerning' comedy types now (everyone's a fuckin' critic nowadays!) looking around the Echo Arena last night at thousands and thousands of like minded Russellites and recalling the humble beginnings of the Unity theatre with its tiny crowd of around 40 people, just 4 short years ago told its own story. Russell, as ever, I salute your effervescence. This is the seventh time I have seen you live and 'Right Here Right Now' is as near as you get to flawless and the best show since 'Wandering', though every tour has been arguably as good as the other. Last night though was magic; it made me want to try stand-up. I'm going for a shit now, bye..
Extremely funny. One of the most naturally funny comedians around. Saw him live last night and was absolutely bowled away by the gags he came out with on the spot! Great gag about an angry scouse squirrel! and great scouse accent too! Love this guy!
I am proud to be a fan of this man! He's cheered me up on unhappy days. I'm glad that there's a comedian out there who isn't afraid to say "I don't care what anyone else says, I love this planet!" Because that makes me feel good knowing that there are still optimists out there! And I also have to thank him and the people of Mock the Week for finally giving me a sense of humour. Before him, I used to take everything seriously and would always be shy around people. Now I'm an optimist, and I now have the confidence to be around people, and I've developed more friends over the years. And if you don't like his work- Just don't watch him! And don't waste a couple of minutes of your life complaining, because you have to realise that every comedian tries their hardest, and that there are people out there who like him. I mean, he's not actually doing anything BAD! He's just making people laugh! It is your opinion if you don't find him funny, and I respect that. But think of the remarks I've just said before you complain.
Finally got to see Russel's live show and I'm still reeling. I can't remember anyone as funny, fresh and natural since - um, Eddie Izzard, and I last saw him nearly 20 years ago! I can't do justice to Mr Howard in print, all I can say is go and catch him live. Stunning.
My fave comedian by far
Amazing. End of
|The biggest threat to comedy? Dave
Russell Howard bites the hand that feeds
12/04/2012 Permanent link
|Life's Too Short sheds more viewers
...but Russell Howard flourishes
25/11/2011 Permanent link
©Jon Appleyard / Latitude
|Russell Howard heads for Montreal
...as does Nina Conti
10/06/2011 Permanent link
Russell Howard’s Good News Series 2
Russell Howard Live: Right Here, Right Now
Russell Howard's Good News: Best of Series 1
Russell Howard: Live 2
Russell Howard Live
Mock The Week: Too Hot ForTV
BBC New Comedy Awards Final
Edinburgh Fringe 2002
Ebony and Irony
Edinburgh Fringe 2003
The Comedy Zone
Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Edinburgh Fringe 2005
Edinburgh and Beyond
Russell Howard: Skylarking
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Russell Howard: Wandering
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Russell Howard: Adventures
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Russell Howard: Dingledodies
Misc live shows
Ha Ha Hammersmith II
Secret Policeman's Ball 2008
Russell Howard: Right Here, Right Now
Russell Howard: Big Rooms & Belly Laughs
Russell Howard: Wonderbox