Acclaimed comedian, podcaster, writer, question-asker and more Richard Herring is coming to town with the best bits from his last 12 one-man shows. Victoria Nangle asks about parenthood and pasta
Hiya Richard – how are you doing today?
I am mildly tipsy. This is my first day off in two and a half weeks and I had a couple of gin and tonics on the way back from Glasgow.
You revel in mischief quite a lot. Did you find that in going through your 12 one-man shows for the best bits that your opinion over the years has contradicted itself – and did that tempt you further to include it?
Of course, but I said loads of things I didn’t mean in the shows. So I was very rude about kids and parents and now I have a kid. But I always wanted to be a dad and never really meant the stuff I said. Except the bit about children being sexcrement. That’s definitely true.
Is there any material, when you were revisiting your older shows, that you’d forgotten you’d written, or did it all come back to you fresh as a daisy with no surprises?
Yeah, loads. That’s partly why I wanted to revisit the shows. But my memory (at least for old routines) is pretty sharp and the ant trails in my brain are strong, so most of it came back pretty easily.
You create so much material every day, with your blog, podcasts, articles – is the plan to make sure your daughter never discovers your wickedest life stories due to the sheer amount of material she’ll have to go through?
I am happy for her to find out all about me (when the time is right). I would be surprised if she’s ever interested enough in me to wade through all this crap though.
I just wrote the question ‘Who is your favourite member of Blazin’ Squad?’
You did say, during (your wife) Catie’s pregnancy, that you would continue without self-censor once your daughter was born. Have you found you’ve gotten any more squeamish over certain topics since her arrival?
I used to do loads of jokes about paedophilia and all my parent friends said that I wouldn’t find that stuff funny any more once I had kids. I thought they were crazy. But they were right. Because now I’ve got a kid I have realised that paedophilia is really bad… so sorry for not realising before. I guess some things you need to have kids for to really understand, right?
How are you doing with your book of emergency questions (as mentioned in Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast) – any you’d care to share that have tickled you particularly?
It’s all done, in fact I’ve just done the blurb for the back cover and then it’s off to the printers. I just wrote the question “Who is your favourite member of Blazin’ Squad?” Quite pleased with that. Mine is Plat’num obvs.
Who are you chasing – or would like to chase – as your dream guests on Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast (RHLSTP), and what questions would you like to ask them?
I’d love to talk to any of the Pythons, but particularly Michael Palin who I ADORE! And also hopeful that I might be able to tempt Jerry Sadowitz on board. Maybe Palin and Sadowitz together. Now that would be a show.
What’s your favourite pasta – and why?
Brown penne. It’s classic, but perfect. And the sauce goes inside it and makes it better.
What are your ambitions for the next 12 months – personally and globally?
I don’t have many ambitions left. Just to carry on doing what I am doing, getting slightly more popular, but not so much more popular that it impacts on my day to day life. I have just recorded a sitcom for Radio 4 called Relativity and am waiting to hear from Channel 4 about another sitcom called “Everything Happens (for no reason)”. It’d be great if I got to do more writing. I am releasing the new video episodes of AIOTM in the next few months, finishing off The Best tour and writing a new show for Edinburgh called “Oh Frig, I’m 50!” And I am doing at least another 40 RHLSTPS. So I guess my ambition is not to land too many more jobs.
Richard Herring: The Best, Theatre Royal Brighton, Sunday 23 April 2017, 8pm, £19.15