Richard Herring: Return of the 'tache

The Magners Glasgow Comedy Festival is back in town with a whopping 356 shows on offer; a mix of stand-up, film and theatre. One of the acts whizzing through is <strong>Richard Herring</strong>, with his 5-Skinny rated <em>Hitler Moustache</em>. We chat to him about what he believes qualifies as good comedy

Feature by Lizzie Cass-Maran | 04 Mar 2010
  • Richard Herring - Hitler Moustache

In Hitler Moustache Herring examines society’s hypocrisies when it comes to race. The toothbrush moustache he has had intermittently for many months now has prompted both offence and misplaced respect and the show has courted much controversy.

Does he subscribe to the view that comedy has a duty to make a wider political impact?

‘Not a duty, it’s up to everyone to decide for themselves. It’s like anything – if you listen to one type of music you probably get bored of it after a while. It’s more about having a variety to what you do. There are all kinds of comedians that I like but my top ones are the ones that surprise me or are doing something a bit more interesting… I think some people like to go to comedy and hear things that they’ve thought themselves. Peter Kay is great at what he does, but I’d expect to be having conversations like that with my friends down the pub. I prefer to go and see comedians who say something that I haven’t thought of, or create some new angle.’

So are any taboos left in comedy?

‘If you don’t want to hear jokes about religion, don’t go and see a comedian who does jokes about religion, rather than say that nobody’s allowed to joke about religion – or race, or sex, or whatever. It’s a lot easier to police that kind of system. If someone is really overstepping the line and no-one wants to see it then they won’t have a career.

"I don’t think there’s anything that’s off limits but you have a responsibility to be true to yourself and true to what you think.’

Richard Herring: Hitler Moustache, The Garage, Glasgow, 13 Mar, 8pm (Part of the MGICF). The Stand, Edinburgh, 14 Mar, 8:30pm