Russell Howard: 'I've reached the age of 32 with little wisdom, I'm afraid'


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The Independent Online

The news can be funny I don't mean the really awful stories, but the way it is presented. The snow was bad last year, for example, so ITV News had a journalist stick a carton of milk into the ground to show how deep. A slapdash approach to news presenting can always be mocked.

People have such little self-awareness It always surprises me. I had to do a driving course recently after getting some points on my licence for speeding. The instructor was incredible. I used the word "assume" to answer one of his questions. "Assume?" he said. "I think you will find that assume just makes an ass out of you and me." Had he never seen Ricky Gervais in The Office?

There is no science to comedy There will always be a really shit gig around the corner. It's bizarre. You are saying the same words as you said the night before, but sometimes it just doesn't work. Who knows why? But it means that a comedian can never get too blasé. Riddled with diarrhoea, more like.

I pine for the old days It's strange, a lot of the friends I performed alongside in shitty pubs years ago are now selling out arenas. That's more exciting than playing to a couple of hundred people at Loughborough University, obviously, but when I did play Loughborough University, it was one of the most incredible moments of my life.

Comedians are complicated people I actually have a load of leather catsuits in my back cupboard that nobody knows about.

Your family is your inspiration My cousins did an exorcism in my house recently. Apparently, it had evil spirits. They didn't slaughter a goat, or anything, but they were very serious about getting rid of the Lurking Corridor Ghost. That said, I'm sure they just wanted to get into one of my routines.

Your family is also an embarrassment I have 40 cousins. The majority just don't care. When we get together it's like being in a Pogues song: kids whizzing around, dogs screaming, loads of guitars, everyone drinking. It all goes off.

Real life is hard I'm sorry, but shopping at Tesco is not as much fun as writing jokes for TV shows, and I struggle with it. I imagine Olympic athletes feel the same. They have an amazing two weeks, then relax. But then they start twitching. Imagine Jessica Ennis: "Just going to go for a quick jog," she tells her boyfriend, "just a quick one." Nothing else compares.

Expose yourself Everything I experience in life, I put through the sausage-maker that is comedy, and then try to make it funny for others. Whether that is healthy or not remains to be seen.

Comedy leads to arrested development I've reached the age of 32 with little wisdom, I'm afraid. It's tragic. I still have to turn to my mum and dad for every decision I make in life.

'Russell Howard’s Good News’ returns to BBC Three on Thursday 27 September at 9pm. A ‘Best of Series 2’ is out on DVD today.