The List reviews The Best

Richard Herring: The Best

Compilation of choice cuts from 12 shows makes for a hilariously satisfying greatest hits tour

One thing you could never accuse Richard Herring of is skimping on the preparation for his shows. From memorising impenetrably tedious chunks out of the New Testament (for Christ on a Bike!) to wading through acres of online statements about the male member (for Talking Cock), and not forgetting that time he grew a Hitler moustache (for Hitler Moustache), Herring is steadfastly determined to go the extra mile sometimes purely for the benefit of a single gag.

So, when he structures a compilation of favourite bits from a dozen of his shows into one 90-minute touring set, even here the hard work pays off. Given how seamless this all feels, it's clear that he's put a fair amount of effort into editing and moulding slices from his back catalogue to make it as close to a complete and flowing show as possible.

Of course, no matter how hard he tries, Herring could never possibly please everyone who has a handle on his stand-up canon. When he mentions that one of his more room-splitting routines from Someone Loves Yoghurt won't be included, there's an audible rumble of discontentment. Similarly divisive patience-testing bits are also sidestepped, though, in this vein, the Ferrero Rocher section from What Is Love, Anyway?, where a single romantic gesture leads to ludicrous numbers of the ambassador's favourite chocolate piling up in and around Herring's home across several decades, does make the cut.

But anyone leaving this show and feeling short-changed over the host's choices would have to be considered a vast grouch. The Best provides an evening where Richard Herring has as much fun performing his old gems as the crowd have in lapping them up all over again.

Richard Herring: The Best is on tour until Saturday 10 June; seen at The Stand, Edinburgh.