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Interview: Russell Howard
3:41pm Friday 7th November 2008 in Comedy
"NOTHING beats stand-up,” said Russell Howard, the 28-year-old comic who has taken the nation by storm.
"You feel such a connection with the audience — it’s just the biggest buzz.
"It’s so much fun. There is nothing like trying out a new set of stories and seeing if they work. It’s still the best feeling in the world.”
Howard, who has garnered additional fans in recent months due to the immense popularity of Mock the Week, will be talking about things he loves and hates in his new show Dingledodies, coming to King George's Hall, Blackburn, on Sunday, November 16.
“Increasingly, it’s become a show about the things I love and hate,” he revealed.
“I love those moments where you feel utterly content — they’re always spurred by people.
"They’re the rare occasions where you think, ‘right now, I don’t want to be anywhere else in the world’.” What gets Russell’s goat, then?
“I hate that ‘Britain’s broken’ attitude,” the comic sighed. “It’s ‘safe hate’.
"It’s so easy to say, ‘I really don’t like James Blunt or 4X4 drivers or political correctness gone mad’.
"It’s far too obvious. And what does that sort of moaning achieve?
"It’s simply taking delight in the demise of our country rather than trying to fix it.”
Russell continued: "We’re all only here for 70-odd years.
"I’ve no time for those people who spend their lives complaining.
"It’s awful when you hear people on trains whingeing to each other — ‘the bins are only emptied once a fortnight.
"We might as well have let the Germans win the War.’ "I can’t bear those people who revel in the failure of everything.
"The show pivots on the collision between me taking pleasure in the world and being numbed by people moaning about it.”
With a grin, Russell added: “I’m fully aware of the irony of me complaining about other people complaining. I have to be careful to balance it out.
"It can’t just be me venting spleen — it has to be really funny.”
The comic explained where the idiosyncratic title “Dingledodies” came from.
He said: “It’s taken from a wonderful bit in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, where he says: ‘But then they danced down the street like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’
“Isn’t that amazing? When you read something like that, it really resonates.
"That struck such a chord with me because that’s what I do.
"My whole comedic outlook is about observing people who are a bit out of kilter and free from society’s restrictions.
"They’re mesmeric because they prick the mundanity of life.
"You’re so much better off spending time with these people who can make you see life in a different way.
"They’re real firecrackers.”
See Russell Howard at King George's Hall, Blackburn, on Sunday, November 16. For tickets call box office on 0844 847 1664.