STV review of Hitler Moustache 8/8/09
Richard Herring makes the most of his Hitler Moustache
Review: Richard Herringâ€™s back at the Underbelly with some recently sprouted facial fuzz, this year aiming to reclaim the toothbrush moustache, and why ever not?
08 August 2009 12:39 PM
By Michael MacLennan
Richard Herringâ€™s back at the Underbelly with some recently sprouted facial fuzz, this year aiming to reclaim the toothbrush moustache, and why ever not?
It is a sizeable task though, given its intrinsic association with that nasty old Nazi Hitler, probably the worst thing for the Austrian warmonger to have ever done (according to Herring, anyway).
When you think about it, perhaps the first logical step in this transitional process to public acceptability would have involved not naming your latest show Hitler Moustache, and then plastering Edinburgh with fliers and posters prominently featuring a portrait of yourself specifically styled to recall evil old Adolf?
That issue aside, this well-rounded show marks an impressive high watermark for Herringâ€™s solo material, mixing his trademark juvenility with more weighty points about racism and the rise of the BNP, which benefit from the comedian's ability to mine big belly-laughs from sensitive subject matter.
The showâ€™s political if still highly humorous direction is just as well given that the moustache itself provides only for a limited amount of material â€“ not least since, in the few months since heâ€™s started sporting it, the public reaction to his appearance seems to have been almost entirely apathetic (apart from a well known sports presenter, anyway).
Heâ€™s also self-aware enough to compare Carol Thatcherâ€™s notorious racist remark â€œin privateâ€ with his own sometimes controversial material â€“ his own philosophical dialogue with himself (posing as the audience) on the subject making for one of the highlights of the show.
So can Herring reclaim the toothbrush moustache for non-racists in the way that minority groups can often redefine derogatory terms used to insult them by others? You have to admit that heâ€™s giving it a good go, though surely itâ€™s just too silly a look to catch on? Not to say that the next time I shave I wonâ€™t pare down my facial fuzz to a sole strip resting proudly between the bottom of my nose and upper lip, just to see how it looks, for a minute or two anywayâ€¦