Interview with Venue magazine
I am reading "Wake Up, Sir!" by Jonathan Ames. I came to this hilarious, disgusting, mildly perverted and yet oddly touching writer via his excellent collections of autobiographical short stories (Such as "What's Not To Love") and have now moved on to his novels. Though not quite as amusing, this book is making me feel better about myself as it's about the prevarications and addictions of the writer and it's still a great read.
Have you determined whether or not three-in-a-bed sex romps are more
> fun than one-in-a-bed s.rs? How, and with what answer?
Every time I have done this show I have made a plea to the women in the audience to make my threesome dream come true. I have made it very clear that I don't care who it is, anyone will do. But evenso no-one (or perhaps that should be no-two) has come forward. Almost as if such indiscriminate desperation is unappealing. And women say that they like honesty. I lowered my sights for a while, hoping for a two in a bed romp, but had no luck there either. So recently have taken to asking any single men in the audience if they would like to come back to my hotel and masturbate alongside me to the poor quality pornography laid on for sexually unambitious businessmen. No luck as yet.
So my vote goes for the one in a bed romp, as it is all I have experience of. And it's safer in the long run to keep that really naughty stuff in the world of fantasy. So people tell me. The lucky bastards.
> There's a strongly sexual (if splendidly silly) element to your
> material e.g. Talking Cock, attempt to sleep with Germaine Greer, some
> of the elements of the new show. Why is that?
Hey I didn't try to sleep with Germaine Greer - I was just trying to steal her bra. I just said that I thought she was quite hot.
I have always been obsessed with sex, even when I was too young to really know what it was. I saw a schools programme about the fertilization of a human egg by a sperm when I was about 3 and went on for ages explaining about what the tadpoles did and why. I also spent the first eight or nine speaking years of my life saying almost nothing except "Wee wee, poo, poo, bottom!" I know all men are obsessed with sex, but I am more obsessed with sex than them. They say the average man thinks about sex once every eight seconds. I stop thinking about sex once every eight seconds and then immediately start thinking about it again. It is a curse. A horrible, horrible curse. But I am lucky that I can at least do jokes about it and make some money. But it is not enough to make up for the curse. It's amazing that I manage to do any material that isn't about sex, but when I am doing stuff about potatoes or the environment, remember that I am actually thinking about heaving buttocks.
> What are your memories of growing up in Cheddar?
Too many to mention. I lived there from the age of 8 to the age of 18 and I still go back to see my folks regularly. So I spent all my formative years in the Gorge capital of south west England. My dad TK Herring was the headmaster at the school I went to which, as you can imagine, made my schooldays quite interesting. I had a great childhood despite this. I remember happy nights drinking cider up the gorge with my mates. Later I had a lot of fun working at Cheddar Caves. I even wrote a sitcom about it and my corrupt boss there, but it never got made.
Here's some stuff I wrote recently for a school magazine about memories of my middle school. If any of it is use to you then feel free to quote from it
I started at Fairlands in class 1c in the year it first opened, and thus was amongst the first pupils to pass through all four years at the school. I have many memories of the school - here are a few that spring to mind. I remember the very first assembly - where Harry Broome told us that we were a new school and that NEW stood for "No Easy Way" - warning of us of hard times ahead, that to be honest I don't remember materialising. Ken Smith was my form tutor in the first year and remains one of the favourite teachers I ever had. He encouraged creative writing, which I enjoyed very much and I also remembering him warning us that oil was in danger of running out by the year 2000. Although he wasn't right about that, he clearly was a man who was ahead of his time in environmental issues. It was in class 1c that I met Philip Fry who over 30 years on remains one of my best friends. I particularly remember an enjoyable rainy lunch break where the kids in 1B put their fingers under the partition between our two classes and our class attempted to stamp on them. Why they did this I don't know? But we knew we were being naughty and had a system of look-outs to warn of us of any approaching "jaspers" (dinner ladies).
I have written about one Fairlands incident on my blog. It is here:
I also remember quite a lot of the school song that someone wrote to the tune of Sing Hossanah "We are Fairlands, we are Fairlands, We are Fairlands The best of all We are Fairlands, we are Fairlands, we are Fairlands Middle School"
Was the chorus
"From D2 you can see Jacob's ladder, freshly painted in blue and white From B1 you can see old St Andrews, all restored and clean and bright"
Class names will be wrong, but those details date it historically.
Fairlands was also the place where the phrase "Cheg On!" was created, by, if my memory serves me right, Kevin Adams. It is something I went on to use in the Lee and Herring double act. Story mentioned here http://www.richardherring.com/warmingup/warmingup.php?id=1442
There's another warming up about fights I had been in at school here http://www.richardherring.com/warmingup/warmingup.php?id=332
And another inappropriate anecdote here http://www.richardherring.com/warmingup/warmingup.php?id=1534
Fondly remember teachers such as strict but fair Mr Williams and intimidating but heart of gold, Mrs Burrows (Burroughs?) who I know have both sadly passed on. Also like friendly and worldly woodwork teacher, Mr Chinn, terrifying games teacher Mr Morris, inspirational maths teacher Mr Aze and English teacher Mrs Harris-Bryant. Mrs Lees was the Home economics teacher who I once accidentally booted in the leg when I was actually after injuring Miles Stuckey. Mrs Herring was also a pretty good teacher as well.
I don't really remember the Goss twins, but rumour is they both got off with Bridget Sealey (who I had a massive crush on) and at least one of them beat up my mate Chris Scard.
I met some lifelong friends at Fairlands and remember it all fondly and with rose tinted glasses no doubt. I believe I was in Blackdown house - does that still exist?
I had to stand under the clock a couple of times, which seemed to be one of the major punishments and Mr Williams gave me at least on detention.
One of my favourite childhood memories is lying on the school field with Phil Fry, looking at the clouds in the summer sky, suggesting what each cloud resembled. You can't buy pleasure like that.
Here is a more recent Cheddar memory http://www.richardherring.com/warmingup/warmingup.php?id=1038
> From your website intro: "It is all lies, like everything in the
> newspapers." Do you feel you've been misrepresented in print? And if
> so, how?
No more than anyone else. I am being tongue in cheek. But as with the best jokes, there is an element of truth about it. But not all journalists are lying idiots. It's just the rotten 99% who spoil it for everyone else. In truth I think the papers have been very good to me. I get generally good reviews and most journalists seem to like me. It's frustrating when you do an interview and find yourself misquoted or stuff taken out of context. But it's all part of it and I love the press really. I even went out with a journalist for a while and she was lovely, so there's hope for you yet.
> How did you feel to be awarded the Daily Telegraph Worst Comedy
> Experience 2005? Sounds quite an honour...
It was strange when I first saw the article. I had seen it on the chortle website and after a year where I hadn't done much of any interest that year. My Edinburgh show had had mixed reviews, but I thought it had gone well and it was experimental and at the very least interesting. I clicked on the link not expecting to be mentioned, so to see my name was surreal and then to realise the context was a bit discombobulating. I was depressed for about five minutes, but then realised that it was an incredible honour. That my little show had been selected from every comedy event of the year and remembered five months later. I had obviously got up the journalist's nose and the fact that he was from the Telegraph made that quite sweet. There is some honour in being the worst comedy thing in a year in someone's opinion. And in a year that saw the advent of TittyBangBang and Balls of Steel that is quite an honour. I put it on my poster. The show "Someone Likes Yoghurt" will be available on DVD at www.gofasterstripe.com in a month or so if you want to judge for yourself.
> What do you think the Twelve Tasks of Hercules Terrace taught you
> about yourself?
Oh God, loads of things. It taught me that I am capable of doing a lot of things that I thought I wouldn't be able to do. It taught me the power of being proactive. I learned a lot about dating women after successfully completing the task of dating 50 of them in 50 consecutive days. It made me realise that I am a little bit mentally ill (though not as bad as I was while I was doing the show). It taught me that a lot of the things that people consider heroic are actually quite cowardly - Hercules was a total dick. It was a while ago though and a lot of the lessons have been unlearned. You can buy the DVD of the show from the gofasterstripeguys if you want to find out more about it. Only eight pounds plus p&p. Gotta be worth it.
> And anything else you would rather talk about... would be great to end
> Up with a great anecdote, funny story, etc etc, of which I'm sure you
> have plenty.
Oh my God, there are approaching 2000 of these on my webpage in my blog Warming Up. I've done it every day for over four years so there should be a story in there to tickle most fancies. www.richardherring.com/warmingup Or come and see the show. The funniest stuff is all in that