it to make it funny.

‘I look at the business of being a parent. eating lots of toxic food to stay sane and drinking a lot when they’re not looking.’ He also explores race. religion. ageing and coming to terms with his man boobs (‘the only thing that a lZ-year—old girl and a 40-year—old man have in cotiittiotf l.

()ne of his tnost popttlar sketches on You'l‘ube is about trying to find a qttiet corner to masturbate in the family home he shares with his wife and children. Is anything off limits'.’ "l‘here was one time . . . my wife banned one thing httt it wasn‘t about her. Let’s leave it at that.‘ Does she enjoy his show'.’ ‘.\'o.’

'l'hough relatively unknown in the l'K. the Washington-born comedian is one of the most in- demand comedians in America where he's a regular fixture on TV and the stand—up scene. llis profile could be about to go stellar in the t'ls'. too. thanks to his new best friend Ricky (iervais. (‘K’s promotional posters feature a quote from (iet'y'ais who declares him "l‘he funniest stand-up working America.’

The two became friends alter (iervais saw (‘K on You'l‘ube and got in touch to ask him to star in his llollywood directorial debut. This Sit/v o/‘Ilu' 'Ii'u/h which also stars .lennifer (iarner and Rob Lowe. (‘K plays (iervais‘ best friend. a role that started out small but was expanded by (iervais alter the two performed together and creative sparks flew.

“It's fantastic. I saw the British Office and loved it.. says ('K. ‘Ricky has said a lot of very llattering stulf about me.‘

This isn’t his first big screen outing: he can currently be seen in ['8 cinemas alongside .»\lan Alda in l)flllfllf.\'/I(’(/ ('upm'ily'. the story of a (‘hicago journalist (played by Matthew Broderick) who returns to his rural hometown after suffering from memory loss.

But writing and performing comedy is his first love. His many writing credits include The l.(ll(' Show will! /)(It'i(/ /.('Il(’rmtm. [xi/1' .Vig/lf it‘ll/I (Ulla)! O'Brien. The Drum ('(u't't'y Show and T/N' ('liri's Rock Show; for which he won an limmy.

(‘K is currently devising a sitcom for (‘BS following the success of his HBO comedy series Lucky“ Louie. which he co-created and starred in. l.ike Lucky“ Louie. his new show is a comedy about a cash-strapped American family. struggling to get by. 'lt‘s pretty familiar territory for a lot of people. It works better on (‘B8 because everyone has (‘BS whereas llB() is for rich people who can pay for it.‘

Though his material might suggest otherwise. he is clearly a devoted family man and is dreading being apart from his daughters for the best part of a month. when he performs in the (K. 'lt‘s the longest I've been on the road for a very long time.‘ he says. “I‘m worried. .\'ot about the shows: leaving your comfort /one and doing live shows is a great way to keep your material fresh. But I‘m really going to miss the girls. 'l'hey are on holiday in Italy when I‘m in the [K so hopefully I can visit them between shows.

‘I have a very romantic idea of what liurope. particularly lidinhurgh. will he like. I‘m not one of those guys who backpacked through liurope while at school. smoking hash and sleeping with Italian models. so liurope is sort of new and exciting for me.‘

He pauses for a moment and. before hanging up the phone to pttt a stop to \VVVlll. atltls. ’By the end of it I‘ll be fat. sleeping I4 hours a day and suicidal.‘

Louis CK: Chewed Up, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 15-16 Aug, 10.30pm, £12.50 (£1 1).

Beat surrender

Russell Howard can't resist a spot of testicular tomfoolery but, he tells Jay Richardson, his new act is less Buster Gonad than Jack Kerouac

ith his infectious. wide—eyed optimism

currently offering a ctiunterhalance to

l‘rankie Boyle’s unflinching cynicism on .llot'k I/I(’ lli't'k. Russell lloward says he is striving to slip ‘various bits of topical stuff’ into his five-night l‘ringe run. Bttt his new stories of racist transvestisin. scary sex and the hi/arre practice of ‘yawn rape' tnight lead you to wonder whether the 28-year—old‘s boyish enthusiasm has been irrevocably corrupted by his hardened panel show peers.

()n the contrary. his new show. l)i/ig/('(/mlit's. tears at page out of .lack Kerouac‘s ()ii I/I(’ Rom! to celebrate those rare. life—affirming eccentrics whom an observant llaneur like lloward can encounter even on the journey to buy a sandwich. 'l‘ve had loads of people ask. "Ding/m/tn/it's'.’ ls that what you call your balls?” he say s. “Is this a show about the hilarious adventures of your kiiztcket's'.”"

l‘iear not. dear reader. it is not. Rather it's a reference to the bit in Kerouac‘s cult novel where l)ean meets (‘arlo Marx and Sal Paradise. Howard has the quote down pat: "'lhey danced down the street like dingledodies. and l shambled after as I‘ve been doing all my life after people who interest me. because the only people for me are the mad ones. the ones who are mad to live.


mad to talk. mad to be saved. desirous of everything at the same time. the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing. but burn. burn. burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."

'I read the book this year and that passage really stuck with me: I thought. that’s what I love to do!’

In between the tales of ‘drunken madness~ involving his mate 'l‘om. his arrested development as a blissfully ignorant man-child and stttff about ‘heing a hopeless prick’. Howard is using his hour as a reaction against boorish aggression. ‘I think too many people revel in their petty rage to the point where they define themselves by futile anger.‘ he says. ‘l’eople who say things like. "Britain's broken! I‘m a stranger in my own country! l’olitical correctness gone mad. blah. blah. blah." These people bore me shitless and I much prefer the dingledodies. Plus it does sound a hit like my balls.’

Demand for Howard's limited performances will be high. but if you miss him. he'll be back at the Kings ’l‘heatre in lidinburgh in October. with a live l)\'l) ottt in November.

Russell Howard: Dingledodies, Assembly Rooms, 623 6550, 20-24 Aug, 10.30pm, £14 (£12).

t.'. .\...: ." 3‘34 THE LIST FESTIVAL MAGAZINE 19