Compere: Toby Foster
Acts: Richard Herring
After the frankly disturbing news that Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise has got his grubby little mitts on my future wife Katie Holmes, I was in severe need of a laugh tonight, so it was a good job it was a Thursday night. The Lescar was particularly packed tonight, no doubt anticipating seeing someone off the telly in the shape of Richard Herring.
The night kicked off though with Toby, sporting a very severe haircut which, it turns out, was a mistake he may be looking for a new wife soon. Happily, Toby seemed a lot healthier than last week and had recovered the power of speech: always a bonus if youre a compere. He also happened upon a midwife in the audience, which gave him the excuse to tell his much-loved midwife story.
Our first act tonight was the very tall and very Welsh Steve Williams. Steves relaxed and seemingly effortless delivery made the first half of the show go just swimmingly. Describing Michael Jackson as a wrong un was a good start and then going onto to describe how his Welsh accent wasnt exactly suited for seduction techniques was inspired.
Steve also had plenty of topical material in his act and kept slipping in the odd ad-lib. There was also a long discussion on the difference between English and French, and more specifically how the word bakers and boulangerie sound so different (Ou est le Greggs? just doesnt have the same ring to it) plus a warning from Steve about the perils of reading a book by testicular cancer survivor Lance Armstrong while in a doctor's waiting room.
An excellent opening slot from Steve, who managed to remain immensely likeable and funny even while coming out with statements such as Im a fan of flashing! His act was very well received tonight look out for him, theres no reason why Steve cant become a big star soon.
Our open mic spot was next, and Im afraid Ive completely forgotten his name. It was Gary, I remember that. Apologies if youre reading this Gary. Anyway, Gary was from Newcastle and Im afraid his nervousness rather betrayed him. Understandable perhaps, but it meant that some of his lines were lost somewhat. Some good moments though, and Im sure hell be back. And Ill remember his name this time
Time was pressing on, and so without any further ado Toby introduced our headline act Richard Herring. Just 2 months after Richards erstwhile comedy partner Stewart Lee played here we had the other half of the former Fist Of Fun duo.
Richard got off to a brilliant start by talking about the recent death of the Pope, not because he didnt like him (after all, anyone who didnt like the Pope must be mad or a homosexual or wanting to stop the spread of AIDS or not want to cover up child sex abuse) before spiralling off into another excellent tangent about masturbation, phoning people up to ask their permission to masturbate over them, and his notion that one sperm should be the size of a trout.
It was all very silly and very funny (especially the part about the time when Richards prospective Conservative candidate came to visit him and Richard forced him to pledge to make a necklace from the vaginas of all the female contestants in Celebrity Wrestling apart from Annabel Croft) but the act disappeared off track disappointingly about 15 minutes in.
Now, I can see what Richard was trying to do with the yoghurt routine. It was cleverly written and not many comedians would be able to get mileage out of 30 minutes of the same subject. But, in my opinion, the joke was stretched far beyond its natural lifespan (a point referred to by Richard in the routine so it was obviously deliberate).
There were some funny moments during the yoghurt routine though, including the idea of Richard filling a bath with 1000 different types of yoghurt and smearing it all over his naked body but generally it left a lot of people looking a bit confused which was no doubt the intention. To be fair, he was very well received (with some people cheering for an encore as he left the stage) but I think Someone Likes Yoghurt will polarise the Edinburgh critics somewhat.
Still it was nice to see Richard back on stage again, especially at the Lescar, it was just a shame that the whole yoghurt routine was overstretched. For Richard's perspective on the night, why not read his blog diary type thing which can be found at www.richardherring.com