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Saturday 13th February 2016


It’s been another tricky week with the baby and my brain is blasted basically to nothing. I was out shopping for a Valentine’s gift for my wife and considered buying some Ferrero Rocher and thought, “No, that’s not a Valentine’s gift and anyway I get her hundreds of those a year.” It was only later on stage as I mentioned the “What is Love, Anyway?” DVD that I realised it is exactly on Valentine’s Day that I am supposed to get her an exponentially growing number of unpleasant testicle-shaped sweetmeats and that I should have 256 of the fuckers waiting to give her in bed in the morning. I remembered last year, four days after the birth of my daughter, but a year of looking after this monster that we have created has wiped my brain and made me forget who I am and wonder if I am actually inside a Total Recall machine and nothing that I believe is true is actually happening.

Technically I had time to pop into an all night Tescos or get up in the morning and go and search for a stupid number of hazelnut based chocolates. But the worry wasn’t that I hadn’t bought the chocolates,but that I had totally forgotten the imaginary contract that I had signed eight years ago and then stupidly modified seven and six years ago. It clearly has to stop at some point. 256 chocolates is just about viable, though still actually probably more annoying than fun already, but once it gets to 1024 or 2048 we’re in trouble. Perhaps inflation over the nine Valentine’s Days we’ve shared (don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I reckon we’ll still be an item tomorrow) means that one Rocher in today’s hazelnut deprived world (there’s genuinely a shortage as Nutella and Ferrero Rocher use up something like 105% of the available stock) is worth 256 of a 2008 Rocher. I might just get her one chocolate again this year and inform her of its added value and then we can start again. Just like post World War I German currency. I will just write 256FR on the one Rocher and then we’re set. Ferrero Rocher inflation is a bitch, but weirdly it seems to be running at a rate where the value of a Rocher doubles on a yearly basis. 

I have found a way out!

I think we’re probably strong enough to not keep up the Rocher thing at all and we should really be saving our money for our family and not stupid romantic fripperies. But if I don’t do it and we’re divorced by the end of the year then you will know our whole relationship was held together by chocolate.

I had a terrific final show of the short London run, ad-libbing some fun new stuff and stretching the first hour to more like 55 minutes as a result. I don’t know how this has happened as the show came together very fast and I haven’t done it all that many times, but there’s a wonderful air of confidence about it that frees me up to take some risks. It’s honest and open which I think helps, but it’s possibly my most consistently funny show as well. I think the real change is within me. As usual every six months or so I think I have made it to being a good comedian, but then six months later I realise that I didn’t know anything and now I am good. It’s been going on for years. Imagine how bad I was when I thought I had worked it all out in 2006. Imagine how bad I am now compared to the super robot comedian me of 2099.

Nothing could throw me off today, which was proven when I had an accidental wardrobe malfunction at the end of the first half. I have been wearing my wedding suit, because tragically I am much too fat now to wear the suits that I bought in 2014 and which I was still easily fitting into this time last year. I am probably a bit too fat for my wedding suit too. But as we’ve hit another period of two hour sleep a night I am not getting a chance to exercise and am eating junk to keep my energy up. Anyway the trouser zip on my wedding trousers has always been a bit unreliable (which is ironic as it’s definitely the most expensive suit that I have ever owned - I am guessing, as I didn’t pay for it as it was a very generous wedding gift). It adds a bit of jeopardy to wearing it on stage, but usually it’s been OK. But today as I talked about my desire to have sex with robots the zipper was coming down, unbeknownst to me. Perhaps some robot with a magnet in it was trying to get a sample of my wares. Finally a couple of kind gentlemen in the audience shouted out to warn me, before the beast that dwelt within that lair could be released (fortunately I was wearing some pants that didn’t have a front opening so I was pretty safe) but excited ladies were able to tweet me in the interval and tell me the colour of my pants, so it must have been quite a gaping affair. 

Such an embarrassment could destroy a performer’s confidence and ruin the whole show, but I managed to take it in my gaping stride and chastise the men for staring at my crotch, as well as claiming in the second half that I was now going commando to add some real jeopardy. We had some real fun and it gives me something to put into the Happy Now? Podcast as well, which I will try to put together next week. But my audience are very nice people and the atmosphere was great and they laughed at me in the right way over this pant-flashing incident. As I discuss in the show you need to have times of unhappiness to really appreciate it when you get happiness (and if you were happy all the time it would be a meaningless emotion in any case) but I think it’s also true that after having many years where I have struggled to get a crowd in, having a run like this where all but about 100 tickets were sold over the three nights and every audience was up for it and supportive, I really appreciate this in a way that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. It’s partly because I have not put in too many London dates (I think I did five weeks at the Leicester Square Theatre with Christ on a Bike the Second Coming and audience were usually very, very tiny - made much more humiliating by having to leave the theatre as Stewart Lee’s audience snaked down the stairs and out around the block), but there’s still a feeling that I have found my crowd. And they are a good crowd. And I am as good as it is possible for a comedian to be, until I realise in August how I’ve been doing it all completely wrong and then I’ll be the best.

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My new stand up show, Happy Now? will be touring from September 2015 to June 2016 All details here.
Buy tickets to Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from the LST website
You can download the audio for free from the British Comedy Guide or iTunes or watch the video on YouTube