Russell Howard’s career has gone from strength to strength. Starting off as the geeky guy with a lazy eye from Mock The Week, he gained huge success with his own show: Russell Howard’s Good News. Yet, it is as a stand-up comedian where he is most at home. Wonderbox is his first tour for three years and he returns with an increased popularity, having his tour sell out in days.
Having no warm up act, Howard spent the first half wondering what were good things to do in Cardiff while he was here and audience interactions. The second half was more similar to Good News, covering seemingly humourless topics such as The English Defence League and The Sun’s treatment of Ed Miliband’s father, yet still had Howard’s crude humour disguising the issues.
Of course, Howard’s family are a huge influence on his comedy as his brother and mum are referenced regularly. There are many times where you sometimes can’t quite believe what his family get up to: his brother putting him on Grindr as “Russell Howhard”, his mum’s shopping antics or being mistaken for being a married couple and his mum playing along. Yet it is his uniquely bizarre and wacky sense of humour that had the audience crying with laughter.
However, the ending sequence is what makes Howard really stand out as a comedian and a person. Similar to ending section of Good News, “It’s not all doom and gloom”, he mentioned his encounter with a terminally ill teenage boy, Deryn Blackwell, who enjoyed his “Mr Dildo” sketch. This was where Howard dressed up as a dildo and pretended to make a children’s show about where Mr Dildo could be hiding today. He was even invited to Deryn’s funeral where everyone would be in fancy dress included his dad as the Grim Reaper and Howard would obviously be Mr Dildo! It was with pride that Russell told the audience that Deryn had beaten the cancer and had come up to Cardiff to see him. He even had Deryn come out on stage dressed as Mr Dildo to receive a standing ovation!
Russell Howard is a very likeable guy who is importantly able to laugh at himself, if an accent falls short; he is the first to say “What accent is that?” It was a thoroughly hilarious evening and I am already looking forward to the DVD. And to everyone suffering from essay blues, just think of the immortal words of advice from Howard’s mother “If you are feeling depressed just think of a T-Rex trying to make a bed.”