JON RICHARDSON | COMEDY INTERVIEW
Probably most well-known for his appearances on 8 Out of 10 Cats, comedian Jon Richardson is embarking on his latest stand-up tour (including Venue Cymru, Llandudno 21st September and St David’s Hall 28th September and 1st October). Lucy Menon caught up with him to find out more about the show and how much of a curmudgeon he really is.
Why’s the tour called The Old Man?
I had the poster photo done in my snazziest cardigan and the title leapt out at me when I saw it. It’s also a slang term for a father, which I became this year.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It’s more exasperation that fuels my material. Rather than see something wonderful and relay it, or offer up an unheard of analysis of current societal trends, I wait until someone does something that annoys me so much I want to tour the country berating them in a room full of strangers.
What gets you enthusiastic about going on tour?
I really like being in all different parts of the country and I love gigging. I don’t know who I’d be if I didn’t get to vent my spleen for other people’s enjoyment but I’d certainly be single.
Do you get nervous when you perform your own shows?
I don’t think I get overly nervous. I sometimes vomit in the street just at the sheer arrogance of charging people to hear your thoughts every two years, but that’s normal isn’t it?
Are you excited about visiting Wales on your tour?
I love Wales. Weekends performing at The Glee Club in Cardiff when I started out are some of the happiest I’ve had doing stand-up. Llandudno is also home to some very special family memories so I’m excited to go back there. We’ve already driven right through the middle of Wales on this tour and performed at Swansea Grand which is a beautiful theatre. I also had a Magnum and bought a scratch card and won a fiver. Great day.
Since your last show you have become a husband and a father, how has family life changed you?
I hope it hasn’t changed the shows and that I’m funnier than I was before. I’ve grown a beard so that my daughter can see me better and my wife sometimes buys me nice clothes so I look a little better. Don’t tell her I bought a scratch card will you? I make touring sound horrific so she doesn’t hate me for going away for weeks on end.
Considering the current political climate, do you feel that it is hard to create comedy when it is already so farcical?
All the best comedy comes out of hard times so I’m not worried about the current climate having a negative effect there. Comfortable lives mean stagnating art, so thank Trump, Farage and May for the fact that someone, somewhere is about to unleash something wonderful on the world. It should be me really but I’m too busy trying to get dishwashers loaded properly. Priorities.
You have worked across several platforms: TV, radio and stand-up, which is your favourite and why?
Stand-up is what I love and long after I retire I will be watching it and studying it. It’s all I ever wanted to be and all the rest is a bit of fun. TV has changed my life and allowed me to change my family’s lives so I’ll always be grateful for that but radio was a much more intimate environment to work in.
You’re really gifted with both the numbers and words rounds in 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Were you good at these in school too? What was your favourite subject and why?
I think I hated all of school. Languages were what I enjoyed the most and I liked maths simply for being the only subject where you knew categorically whether you were right or wrong.
After this tour, what’s next?
I’m going to play with my daughter and try to make her laugh every day until she has to go to school then I’m going to mine every embarrassing moment from her upbringing for a new tour. What else should a responsible father do?