Richard Herring - Hitler Moustache

Article by Ariadne Cass-Maran | 27 Aug 2009

Last month, some twat from The Guardian wrote about the 'New Offenders' of comedy, citing Richard Herring's show, in which he claims that 'racists have a point', as a prime example.

It being clear that said twat missed Herring's point entirely, a flurry of outrage amongst the comedy community ensued, with comedians leaping to his defence. Herring is not a racist and the Guardian article put him in an awkward position. He was growing a Hitler moustache for the show and now everyone, including his Asian neighbours, would be under the impression that he wore it in homage to the fascist himself.

Herring's show is, in fact, about reclaiming the so-called 'Hitler moustache' for comedy - in the name of the first man to famously wear it, Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin satirised Hitler in his 1940 film The Great Dictator, a film which, as Herring says, has some moments of great comedy but which also seriously condemned Hitler and anti-semitism.

Herring's show is very similar, in that it is both fantastically funny and deadly serious. When he derides the people who couldn't be bothered to vote during the European election - thereby allowing the BNP to gain two seats - there is no punchline. He means it. His moustache is a crusade against apathy, and against the totemic power of fascism.

This is an intelligent, brave and brilliant show.

The Infamous Guardian piece