Richard Herring: Christ on a Bike, Assembly Rooms
Tuesday 10 August 2010
Richard Herring often jumps through hoops for his Edinburgh shows. He'll always ask his audience to jump through hoops, too, and last year, with Hitler Moustache, we did so willingly because we knew we were being rewarded for it.
This year, he asks whether he has achieved as much as Jesus and who is this Christ bloke anyway? Not the Son of God, according to the atheist comic, who leads all but six of his full house in a chorus of "God is rubbish".
Herring's initial scene-setting is as warm and as winning as he is, depicting a family argument about Jesus. When his mother asks: "If you're so sure Jesus does not exist, why do you spend so much time reading and talking about him?" Herring is stumped and decides to confront Jesus via an imagined bike race. Cue the title and a lot of vaudevillian duologues.
Other notable atheist comics like Marcus Brigstocke have also recently examined having their faith in no faith being shaken. While Brigstocke used anecdotes to work through the quandary, Herring's imagined race with Christ and his debunking of the genealogy of Christ in the New Testament is rather less satisfying.
Yes it's impressive, and quite funny, that Herring has memorised the latter and can even recite it in acronym form but the mental gymnastics are not always the most satisfying replacement for the occasional punchline of Biblical proportions. Julian Hall
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