The British comedian spills it all about touring and his secret to handling a rowdy crowd
Photos: Russell Howard/ LA Comedy Live/ Avalon Management
Curious how Russell Howard managed to beat the odds to become one of the top stand-up comedians around?
We’ve got the answers.
Currently embarking on his biggest world tour yet, the English comedian has been booking out arenas for his show Russell Howard: Around The World, a far cry from the studios and bars he used to perform in.
In fact, he ran 10 straight sold-out nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall and will finally be making his debut show in Singapore.
A regular on Comedy Central who eventually hosted his own show on BBC Three, Howard loves examining the absurdities of life’s simplest pleasures — like do adults really need coloring books?
As he relates funny stories about his mom, there’s no denying he’s still a goofy and hyperactive teenager at heart.
We chatted with Howard and got the lowdown on what goes on during his tour.
You’ve been on so many tours and this will be your debut show in Singapore! How do you feel about visiting Singapore?
I’m very excited. I’ve been all over England, America and Australia so it’s lovely to be invited somewhere new!
Is there anything you want to try here?
My friend Kumar is desperate to ride an ostrich. Is that something this city could accommodate?
What’s the best thing about touring?
Seeing new places, thinking of new jokes and then smashing a gig in the evening. The worst is forgetting to put your ‘do not disturb sign’ on a hotel door.
How challenging is it to constantly come out with new content?
This show just kind of tumbled out of me. It’s a reaction to the absurdity of the world— every day I seem to see something in the news that makes my blood boil and you lose all faith in humanity but then a stranger seems to dance into my life and make me smile.
This is definitely the most passionate tour that I’ve ever done and I was slightly nervous as to whether it would work in 15,000 seaters but it’s been my best-reviewed show yet so that’s good!
Ever since you shot to stardom, you’ve been playing at bigger venues like stadiums and arenas. Is there a difference between performing on a huge stage compared to a more intimate setting?
When you stand in front of 18,000 people, it has to be this all powerful monologue, the laugher smashes in and you feel like a rock star. In a
In a pub, you can hear laughter and occasionally someone eating crisps. To be honest, you can’t do one without the other. You have to do the smaller gigs to create the big show. If you just booked out Wembley and didn’t try any of it in a pub, it would probably be shit.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has done at a show?
A bloke asked me to kiss his wife. So I did. He then asked me to shag her. I politely declined.
How do you handle a drowsy or a rowdy crowd? What’s your secret?
I always take a blowpipe on stage and fire them with a sedative or cocaine depending on the vibe.
To be honest, I think the secret is just to have fun and try and stay in the moment. If they are rowdy or woozy, just have a chat and see if you can spin some gold.
If you weren’t a comedian, what would you be doing now?
Dreaming of being a comedian. And celebrating Liverpool FCS return to the champions league.
Or maybe being an Ellen lookalike.
If you had to be remembered for one joke, which one would it be?
I was really proud of the NHS bit we did on the last series of Good News and I did a bit about meeting a boy who defeated cancer which was pretty incredible. Watch it here!
Russell Howard will be bringing his Russell Howard: Round The World Tour to Singapore on 28 May at the Kallang Theatre. Limited tickets available via Sistic