Review of SLY DVD on the Groggy Squirrel website
Richard Herring – Someone Likes Yogurt
Annette Slattery – 01 June 2007
Richard Herring has a long background in festival shows, particularly at Edinburgh. In the past his work has been dominated by themed and scripted shows. It wasn’t until a good twenty years in that he dared to do straight stand up again. As a viewer you could feel cheated by the fact that he’s been so reticent in this department, however, on seeing his latest DVD release Someone Likes Yogurt, a show which marked his real return to stand up, I’m glad it took this long. I sense he timed this just right. He’s the perfectly soft boiled egg of comedy.
In this show his thematic knowledge and accomplishment informs the otherwise scattered genre of stand up. This format has given him a free reign to play with banal ideas, moulding them into full length absurd dialogues, which become more convoluted and surreal as Richard folds his own logic in on itself, playing the ideas out in a kind of stand up comedy jazz.
The use of antagonism and confrontation which has permeated his previous work, takes off in this show, with a particularly memorable and explicit interchange between Richard and a sixteen year old girl sitting in the front row. It’s a joy to watch Richard flying free in these moments.
Richard builds up the show by applying antagonist attitudes towards emotion-neutral topics such as Rudyard Kipling, then turning that in on itself, working quickly into a tirade about the far more emotive subject of terrorism. In this way he equalises that banal with non banal by exhibiting the same level of contempt for both.
He follows through incidental notions to their most ludicrous extremes, often taking seemingly basic comic ideas and deflty subverting them into something quite unpleasant and often offensive. But this is not offence for offence’s sake. Rather it’s a crafted way of bringing ideas to their illogical extremes. The show is crowned by an impossibly interwoven forty-minute routine about yoghurt. Self analysis and analysis of the bones of comedy permeates the performance.
Someone Likes Yogurt marks the third release from independent DVD production company Go Faster Stripe. If you’re a fan of Richard Herring you will definitely enjoy this DVD as it’s arguably the finest example of his work made available in this format to date. If you’re unfamiliar with his work this is a great way to get an introduction to this prolific and talented comedian.