Guardian Guide


Richard Herring: Happy Now?

The default position for a stand-up comedian is that of a surly complainer: from Billy Connolly to Josh Widdicombe, griping has always been an effective way of generating gags. On the other hand, it is possible to find stand-up that’s much more upbeat: acts as diverse as Josie Long and Rob Beckett have found that a sunny disposition is no barrier to comedy success. Richard Herring is struggling to adjust to being happy; he’s now living in relative financial security with a wife he loves and a one-year-old daughter he dotes upon. So this latest solo show sees him asking whether all this contentment is really compatible with his role as a stand-up. On the face of it, he shouldn’t have too much of a problem. While Herring has dealt with weighty topics in the past, the hallmark of his comedy has always been a gloriously infantile delight in mischief, provocation and inspired rudeness. It’ll take more than domestic comfort to stop him. James Kettle