The Illustrated Game Interview

T.I.G Interview Richard Herring
by theillustratedgame
T.I.G Interview: Richard Herring

Last week, T.I.G columnist Martin Race and I visited the Bloomsbury theatre to watch Richard Herring’s stand-up show Talking Cock. Herring is one of my favourite comedians, only bettered of course by Stuart Lee (just joking Richard, you’re clearly superior). After the show, at about 5am I sent Richard an email demanding that he be a guest on our weekly podcast. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend – but very kindly answered some of my questions in an e-mail interview of sorts. So from the Herring’s mouth, here’s what’s what.

Q. You support York City; do you ever make it to any of the games?

A. I have only been to a handful of games in the 30 years IÂ’ve supported York, but two of them at Wembley which is quite impressive (both Trophy finals - couldnÂ’t bear to watch the play-off final). I did a benefit for the youth team and got VIP treatment at Bootham Crescent, which is only slightly better than it sounds. The boxes overlook the car-park. I did get to go out on to the centre spot before the game and said hello to Richard Brodie who was the York City Gazza and my favourite all time York player (though he moved on shortly afterwards).

Q. Why did you choose York City?

A. I was born in Pocklington in Yorkshire. When I was young I supported Leeds United because they were at the top of the (then) 1st division. But when I got into my early teens I decided I should support the team that I was born closest to, which was York. Though they have a fantastic success every fifteen years or so (in relative terms), itÂ’s a thankless task of hope followed by disappointment supporting them. They look like they might just avoid the drop this season, which of course means that they inevitably wonÂ’t.

Q. WhatÂ’s the best joke you know about football?

A. I like football chants. I thought the one that went, “With his pocket full of sweets and his canny wee smile, Ronaldo is a paedophile” was especially lyrical and poetic and funny in all its details. The sweetness of the first line juxtaposed against the harshness of the punch line, but the detail of the pocket full of sweets is beautiful. I don’t believe Ronaldo is a paedophile, which makes it even funnier. Though to be fair, even if he is, it’s still quite funny (the chant, not what he’s doing, obviously - not that he is).

Q. Do you care more about York City or your family?

A. Definitely my family.

Q. WhatÂ’s worse: Football hooligans or comedians?

A. Football hooligans are much worse than comedians and thereÂ’s not many groups you can say that about. Comedians are mainly pricks but most of them wouldnÂ’t physically hurt you. And the worst football hooligans are the Luton ones. In fact even their most well-behaved fan is worse than the worst football hooligan from any other side.

Q. Would you rather have Jim Davidson bank-roll all of your future creative endeavors, leaving you with no say in the matter, and with him always making sort of racist jokes and you having to smile and nod along, OR You became the chairman of York City during their worst financial decline in decades and see them through relegation after relegation until they were sufficiently non-league having everyone from York hate you and you directly responsible for the loss of all those jobs bolstered by the existence of the club?

A. This is an excellent question. As I care much more about comedy than I do about football I would have to become the unsuccessful York City chairman. On the positive side IÂ’d be York City chairman which would be kinda cool. But also that run of form wouldnÂ’t be much worse than the reality and I might actually be lauded as a God for my skills. It would be a shame for the team and the people of York, but at least I wouldnÂ’t be slightly embarrassed about where my career had ended up.