Spoonfed review of HM
Richard Herring: Hitler Moustache
05 February, 2010
Stand-up comedian Padraig Ryan reviews Richard Herring's latest show.
Iâ€™ve never seen Richard Herring perform before, Iâ€™ve never seen any of his old TV appearances, and Iâ€™ve never even watched a clip of him on YouTube.
Thatâ€™s how I like to do things. I know some background information on this man, he was part of the Lee and Herring double-act, (and I loved Stewart Leeâ€™s performance the week before in the same theatre, in the same seat). I know that Mr. Herring did not make it onto Channel 4â€™s 100 greatest stand-ups list, the same list that encouraged me to go and see Stewart Lee in the first place, and I know that Richard Herring had performed 25 consecutive Edinburgh shows (Thank you Wikipedia).
So I have an expectation going in, that it won't be as good as Stewart Leeâ€™s gig (which was the best live gig Iâ€™ve been to in about two years), but I expected a very high level of quality. I donâ€™t know what style of comedian he is, what he sounds like, or even what he looks like, except for the posters which make him look like Hitler. If Iâ€™m being honest, I think going in that he'a going to do a character performance as Hitler, or an extreme fascist. I enjoy all types of comedy so I was open-minded going in, excited, and slightly hungry.
But all is explained in the free programme provided upon entry; this show is focused on Hitlerâ€™s moustache, and the common perceptions surrounding it, as opposed to a character representation of the Fuhrer. The show is about Richard Herringâ€™s attempt to reclaim the toothbrush moustache for comedy â€“ the Chaplin moustache, and allow him to ridicule fascism, racism, and in particular the BNP, whilst doing so.
It is a brilliant show; engaging and well thought-out, from a man who is sickeningly talented. The part of the show breaking down racism and examining it closely was pure genius, and I canâ€™t praise that part enough; it was as funny as it was thought-provoking â€“ beautiful stand-up comedy.
The show isnâ€™t without its faults. It lacks energy at times and there are low points during the 90 minutes when he summarises peopleâ€™s reactions to his moustache; to summarise - they didnâ€™t care.
But the good heavily outweighs the bad and the 150 or so in the crowd seem to 'thoroughly enjoy it' - (to paraphrase Cheryl Cole every week on The X-Factor). This is the level which stand-up comedy can rise to and it gives me hope; for me it was like a schoolboy footballer watching a Premiership match â€“ this man has 25 years of experience and if in 20 years Iâ€™m that good, I will be a lucky and quite rich man, with great hair.