Review: Russell Howard Live
Right Here Right Now
Thursday 4 February 2011
Cardiff International Arena
If you've seen him in shows such as Mock The Week, Live At The Apollo and his own show Good News, you'll know the basic gist of what Russell Howard's comedy consists of: trying to find the happy things in life, and rip the things that annoy him apart in a humorous fashion.
The CIA welcomed the Bristolian with a roar of applause as he arrived with a smile and arms open wide. After a few hellos, he jumped straight in with his routine.
Howard did not ask the front rows about themselves, which I thought was a good idea. Instead his routine consisted of material about Cardiff (where he congratulated the person who thought of having bean bags rather than chairs in the main library), his hatred of Justin Bieber and Twilight, and the upcoming London Olympics.
Like in some sketches from his television show, he does mention sex quite a lot. One part of his routine consisted of a monologue of past sexual experiences, which ended in embarrassment for him, but laughter for us.
An example of this was the time he and his brother went to Thailand and someone convinced them to attend "a game of ping-pong" (his impression of the person who convinced them to attend was equally hilarious).
There was even a mini Russell Howard's Good News part at the beginning of the second half, where he read out some stuff about the 'ninja of Norwich'. Funky as, man.
Then he sat down, picked up his Macbook Pro and read out a list he thought up about the best things in life. This lead to one of the biggest laughs of the entire show, which was the consequence of him showing the audience the thong he was wearing. Nice.
Unlike the majority of other stand-ups, Howard's encore was more of an informal question and answer period, with the first question being "will you marry me", to which he stated that he would find it hard to tell his girlfriend (who he mentions frequently) that he'll be marrying a girl from a live show because it was her birthday. Fair enough.
He was then asked about who will win between Wales and England in the opening Six Nations match, to which he replied "I thought you were talking about a real sport". This resulted in a wave of booing, though in good spirit. The Q&A ended with a girl asking him for a hug, which he accepted.
It was plain to see that he's not just an expert at writing material for his shows. Howard is excellent at audience participation.
As he finally ended the show, which he stated he finds very hard to do, we bid him farewell in the same way as we greeted him. It was plain to see that every member of the audience loved the show, and you can tell that Howard loves performing live.
In all, amazing. I am very lucky that not only was Russell Howard the first live show that I attended, but lucky enough for it to be free (which I'd like to thank CLIC for).