Richard Herring is a British comedian and writer, most famous for his part in the “Lee and Herring” double act. He’s also had many radio and television shows, as well as performing a number of stand-ups and plays.
Herring got into comedy at “a really young age” and was heavily influenced by his granddad. “While others at my age were listening to music, I was at home watching Monty Python and Young Ones,” said Herring.
One of Herring’s most-viewed YouTube videos is how he dealt with a heckler during one of his performances. Herring described hecklers as “entertaining,” though excessive hecklers can “hamper stuff.”
“Most hecklers only have one-line, hope everyone laughs and then shuts up for the rest of the gig. At one of my performances, a member of the audience got upset about knitting needles, which helped spark a new idea,” said Herring.
In 2009, “Hitler Moustache” was the subject of much controversy as many assumed the act was “pro-Hitler.” Herring likes “the fact people pre-judge. Comedy is about surprise. It’s about going into the gig with one mind-frame and experiencing another.”
Herring’s highlight of his career was his first “completely solo Edinburgh show” in 2001 and his current touring stand-up performance, entitled “Christ On A Bike – The Second Coming.”
The gig is a “personal look at Jesus” based on Herring’s upbringing as a Christian, before later becoming an atheist. “It’s about contradicting things in the bible and how my life is a parallel of Jesus’ life. Lots of thought and research has gone into it.”
“Christ On A Bike” came to Lincoln’s Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) on Saturday, April 9th, which Herring described as “sounding like a rapper.”
Using a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate his point, the performance began with a rundown of the Ten Commandments and how God “made them up as he went along.” Herring then brought out a book containing stories he had written as a child, which he compared to the parables of Jesus.
A lot of the focus throughout the performance was two dream sequences which consisted of Herring and Jesus having a bike race. During these sequences, Herring rode an exercise bike on stage, which may have been the cause of his fatigue as he approached the interval.
Herring admitted on Twitter that the “tour was taking its toll a bit. Tired tonight but hopefully people of Lincoln have not noticed.”
The second half of his performance didn’t contain as many comedy elements as the first, though was still an enticing watch, mostly because of Herring’s ability to memorise a particularly long verse in the Bible, which contained multiple references to the “made-up” word, begat.
Herring also read out and explained an e-mail he had received, complaining about the subject of his performance, disproving some of the points made, whilst also making jokes and comical references.
All-in-all, while the show did contain some weak moments, the experience on the whole was enjoyable.
Is this the last we’ll see from Richard Herring? “I’m not planning on stopping. My ultimate goal is to keep working on. Touring is tiring because there’s a lot of travelling involved, but it is rewarding.”