There are many different dynamics that a comedy relationship can take to produce a fun, entertaining environment. Although one of the most exciting has to be the true friendship. When it’s clear that the relationship between presenters is genuine and affectionate then as a listener it can be very easy to feel part of the friendship. Friends are much more relaxed around each other and therefore will be willing to open up more, tease each other and most importantly have fun. This week’s podcast suggestion is a show that centres around two very good friends who aren’t afraid to ridicule each other for the sake of everyone else’s enjoyment.
Both Russell Howard and Jon Richardson have gone on to become very big names in the comedy business in the UK but in the earlier stages of their careers there existed a radio show. A radio show that fascinated, bewildered and capture the imaginations of the nation. Well, some of the nation. Well, some of the nation and some of the rest of the world because it was released as a podcast. Anyway, back in 2007 someone at BBC 6 Music thought it was a good idea to offer Russell Howard his own radio show. It turns out it was a good idea and Russell and two of his friends took over the radio waves for a couple of hours every Sunday morning. Sam and Jon were these two friends and the trio were left to their own devices, playing music while mocking each other live across the nation between songs. A few weeks into the show and Sam left, which gave room for Russell and Jon’s relationship to blossom/they had more time to shout at each other.
Russell Howard is somewhat of a man-child, an immature comedian who revels silly jokes and anecdotes about his childhood. For four years he was a regular on the panel show, Mock The Week and is now the host of his own weekly news mocker, Russell Howard’s Good News. Flip the coin and you will find Jon Richardson, a very serious person who is a superb observational comic riddled with odd personality quirks and the occasional OCD tendencies. Jon is currently a regular on 8 Out Of 10 Cats and its spin-off, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown. He has also, over the years produced a few interesting and hilarious documentaries for Channel 4 such as A Little Bit OCD, The Real Man’s Road Trip: Sean And Jon Go West and Jon Richardson Grows Up.
From the very beginning Russell and Jon were great comedians in their own right and since the end of their radio show have had their fingers in various other entertainment pies. Once you get your fingers in a pie, it is very important for your personal hygiene that you wash and dry your hands. If you were wondering which hand dryer would be the most efficient to use, Jon will inform you of the various models to chose from. Inevitably it will always come back to the Dyson Airblade. Other common topics on the show include strange news stories, political correctness gone mad and Harry Potter’s wang, ah sorry I mean wand. “Am I Normal?” is a classic segment that discusses the little habits that the presenters and their listeners may have that aren’t exactly normal. There is a small obsession with the former football player, turned commentator, Mark Lawrenson who is far from normal himself but 100% entertainment. Hands down the best part of the show is Russell and Jon’s impressions/characterisations of each other. Shining a light on and heightening each others eccentricities, Russell and Jon create new characters of each other and even form an ongoing story about the robotic versions of each other and their little adventures.
Unfortunately like a lot of podcasts of days past, the feed for The Russell Howard Show is long dead but luckily the fans have kept the love alive once again. There is a dedicated Jon Richardson fansite that has an archive of every episode for your downloading pleasure. Otherwise you can find a multitude of these episodes on Youtube such as this one. So once you’ve finished His Dark Materials have a listen to the Russbot 3000 and the Swindon-based wrestler, Big Boy verbally abuse their love for each other.
Once Russell left the airwaves, Jon took over and finally got his name in the title. With Russell gone, The Jon Richardson Show takes a much more professional stance to radio. For the first hour Jon holds down the ship himself before a guest presenter enters the studio. The show is never really the same without Russell but this show has some of the real talents in British comedy step in as replacements each week. Names such as Alan Carr, Josie Long, Michael McIntyre, Sarah Millican, John Robins, Stephen K. Amos, Zoe Lyons and Rhod Gilbert. There is a lot more listener input with a few more emails being read out at the beginning of the show. Mark Olver and Fordie provide a few interesting features such as “Cheer Up Jon”, “Fordie’s Advice” and “Challenge Fordie”. All are pretty self-explanatory as is Alan Pitcher’s sole feature, “Pitcher’s Picture”.
It’s about football so I have no interest but I’m not so petty to completely ignore this show. Especially since this is a current show. Jon Richardson and his friend/former Russell Howard Show political and weight-loss correspondent, Matt Forde (Fordie) talk British sport. I’m sure if you are interested in sport this would be a very funny, informative and worth while show since both hosts are very entertaining but I cannot comment since I have never listened.