Russell Howard reckons comedy 'feels like a battleground' right now –

Russell Howard has reflected on the position of comedy at the moment, saying that it ‘feels like a battleground’ when people are upset by jokes.
Talking about the state of the world today, the comedian revealed that he wanted to make his 2023 tour ‘less political and just funny’ so people can enjoy the healing power of laughing.
The former Good News presenter observed in a new interview that there is ‘something magic that happens when you’re in a room and people are laughing’.
‘I did a Netflix special and I said that laughter is the lubricant that makes life liveable. And I think for a lot of people it is,’ the 42-year-old said.
Touching on the political landscape and global news of the past two-and-a-half years, Russell added: ‘We live in this strange world at the minute where some people are a little bit upset by jokes, which is fine and that will always be, but for the vast majority of us, it’s kind of what you need to get through the misery.’
His solution was to offer fans a ‘respite’ from the news agenda in his shows.
‘I want to make this tour less sort of political and just funny, just like a bit of respite as it just feels like everything has been turned into a battleground,’ he told hosts Nick Grimshaw and Angela Hartnett on the Dish podcast.
The comic said that his Latitude and Reading and Leeds festival gigs had been a reminder that there’s ‘real power’ in live comedy shows when there’s ‘ten thousand people in the tent and you’re just going for it’.
Talking to recently, he pointed out the difference in performing at massive gigs.
‘You have to absolutely go for it. When I came off stage, my Fitbit watch said I’d just done a 45-minute cardio workout, so it’s definitely more intense and there’s less room for nuance. You’ve got to play the big hits or they’ll go off and watch Arctic Monkeys instead.’
He also observed that it was ‘such a small minority’ driving cancel culture, with most audiences not being ‘ideoogically driven’.
‘Tyranny is the removal of nuance and that’s what’s going on. People go to comedy and laugh at some comedians but not at others. It’s as simple as that,’ he stated.
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Elsewhere on the podcast, Russell also admitted he was not the biggest fan of Halloween decorations as it felt ‘a bit like prom’, given its American associations.
The TV star explained that the English equivalent of prom was ‘final at day at school, get a bit pissed, something happens at a bus stop’ rather than a fancy occasion, and in the same way Halloween was a bit like ‘thieving from American culture’.
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