Hey! You love snooker right? Oh… You don’t? I don’t see how that’s possible in all honesty. But you like comedy though? What, no!? Are you even a human person? Well, you have a point. I know I’m asking a lot of questions, but I promise this’ll be the last one: do you like post-modern, reprocessed through pre-modernity, clashes of a married comedian playing snooker (at best with moderate ability) against himself in his basement? You do? Wow, you seem like an interesting person, and I reckon the following article might just be to your liking. Sorry about the extra question at the end there, it was rhetorical anyway, so it doesn’t count.
One of the guys right at the top of the vaunted pyramid of the most prolific, able and rampant raconteurs of the podcast genre, Richard Herring has produced a myriad of podcasts over the past few years. Ranging from his original off the cuff conversations with Andrew Collins on Collings and Herrin, through to As It Occurs To Me (AIOTM!), Herring has always been at the forefront of this genre. Pushing ever onwards, he is an innovator, whether it be (not literally, just literately) dissecting the anxieties, puerilities and inconsequentialities of the penis in ‘Talking Cock,’ both live show and podcast, or considering the ‘Hitler/Chaplain’ moustache as a possible modern facial accoutrement, Herring is a comedian with ambition battling against the norm. Herring remains one of the mighty few who has remained at the top of podcasting, whilst all that grows around him is the LA scene and an endless collections of comedians interviewing comedians who seemingly pursue nought but an infinite spiral towards invisibility. He always stood above this, innovating and growing in the field, never held back by the problems of, say, writing an entire sketch show in an afternoon (see AIOTM (AIOTM!) No ‘standard’ collection of jokes forming the basis of stand-up satisfies him, there is always a greater idea, ethos and concept behind it all. An over-arching theme, imbuing the comedy with meaning, with consequence and with a greater impact than a silly joke about willies. for how this turned out) every week for several months, Herring is a powerhouse in the field. So, you might wonder, why is this man hosting a commentary of him playing snooker against himself?
Few comedians, no matter how meta, would ever even consider the idea of playing themselves at snooker. Or for one self to get drunk, with the other self maintains a strictly non-alcoholic diet. Equally few sportsmen would almost encourage their cats to leap upon the beautiful green baize of the snooker board. But in the case of Richard Herring, we are rewarded with the charting of a man whose knowledge, ability and rationality vary from ‘questionable’ to ‘middling,’ but who has one thing the others never did: commitment. Even when he forgets whose turn it is, Me1 utters something fawning to his fans, Me2 brags of his ability to sleep with Me1s wife, or even when Referee1 forgets where exactly to replace a potted green, Herrings absolute commitment is unwavering. No matter what stands in his way, be it ironing board, curious cats, his wife’s concern for his mental wellbeing or the creation of an entertaining and bemusing podcast, all these things succumb to his charm, his concrete entertainment value and his creation of a podcast that is virtuous in the extreme.
A secret triumph, more than a middle-aged man playing snooker against themselves in a basement, it is a hero, fighting against a tide of mediocrity and repetition, struggling to create a brave, new and original vision.
You can find this magic on iTunes, or at comedy.co.uk, whilst you can compliment this magnificent gentleman @Herring1967 on the twitter. Go now, achieve your dreams!