Dave Chapel may be on a documentary tour these days, but Russell Howard is a Netflix comedian who screens his documentaries along with his latest standup comedy special.
Howard, host of Russell Howards Good News on BBC Three and BBC Two from 2009 to 2015:
Followed by The Russell Howard Hour 2017 on Sky One / Sky Max. The next global tour kicks off in March 2020 when the pandemic shuts everything down. But not with the documentation, which is already equipped with a camera when preparing for the tour. Howard continued to shoot on his camera, quarantined with his parents.
At the same time, his fiancé worked on the front lines as a doctor. He even persuaded Skye to let him videoconference from his nursery, Russell Howard’s Home Time. You can pursue all his plans and then reunite in the documentary “Until The Wheels Come Out”.
He managed to put together hours of his new material. And perform it in front of a live audience at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Howard immediately noted how much had changed since he made his first Netflix special Recalibrate in 2017. “The Crown Is Beer. Harry is a prince. Nobody sings about having a wet ass, and Howard will joke about WAP.
Using one’s voice and physique to visualize scenarios. And the inner thoughts of other people, animals, and inanimate objects is an excellent feature of Howard’s class.
He may be dipping his fingers in hot water of comedy hot right now with cop jokes. But Howard isn’t one to stray too far from the line of contempt, to begin with. He warned the audience earlier in the lesson. That he wasn’t going to like the following joke, only to say what was a relatively lighthearted joke from Michael Jackson. To think how far most jokes went with MJ before him.
After all, he’s mainly on the right side of the story.
He mocks opponents of vaccination and describes them for future generations as what we call people who have died. He mocked Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his pandemic slogan. He stressed the need for foreign influence in Britain today and expressed sympathy for Transfolk, gay rights and anti-racism.
To people, on the other hand, who care about what kids learn today, Howard objected, “They teach tolerance, not technology! The fact that he mentions more of these political issues shows that more serious things preoccupy our cultural conversations than the nature of jokes.
Because the joke itself is now a great worker too. As Howard put it, “Laughter is the lubricant that makes life worth living.”
And he shows how some of the best laughs of his life (and maybe yours too) come from real people in the real-life situations, memories to enjoy later. He talks about his late uncle Tim’s influence on him and his relatives and how he reciprocated with his nieces and nephews. “If you have the opportunity to throw bullshit into the world, do it.” “Life is a struggle and stupidity is a rest.”
This is an excellent time to make sure:
But not as exciting as the second hour of documentary footage of Howard, his family, and his tour manager as they traverse the first year plus the pandemic. Knowing his long-standing friendship and relationship with John Oliver and someone the American public may not know about Will Hodgson helps fill Howard’s core picture. Like watching Howard invent a new joke in front of a crowd or figuring out how to play by different rules in different parts of the world.
In addition, the course also allows Howard to remind us of how the pandemic is affecting standup comedy: “Being a comedian in 2020 is like trying to make a bad sculpture and the world won’t stop being interesting.”
Suppose you’re no longer a fan of British comedy in general or Russell Howard in particular. In that case, I’d recommend viewing the documentary first to better gauge what you’re doing with the standup. As he states in the docs, “I haven’t killed anyone yet. But now I have the same number of specials on Netflix as Ted Bundy.”