IT WAS WITH slight apprehension that I returned to see Jon Richardson live, not because I had any inkling that the ticket price would not be worth it or that he somehow magically wouldn’t be funny I must add, but because Jon Richardson is a changed man. That notion, is in essence what this new show is all about, and as a long standing fan from back in the 2007 BBC 6 Music days, I was wary that perhaps his new found happiness en couple, a fact now regularly squeezed into every episode of 8 Out of 10 Cats still at Jon’s expense, may possibly have impacted on his niche of neurotic pessimism and obsessive compulsive complaint. I was happy then that within the first ten minutes, my prudence was unfounded.
Richardson’s show, “Nidiot” is a tale of how one of TV’s now go to perfectionist-slash-pessimist has overcome [some of] his insecurities, tried his level best to avoid happiness; failed miserably and still complains about it. (The name if you remember is a throwback to an overthinking joke concerning ‘an onion’ from his last show: Funny Magnet.) He starts the show off failing to land his cowboy hat on a microphone stand and pointing out that we should stop complaining about campervans occupying the seafront parking because it makes for a longer walk. A quick Q&A with the audience brought about a remarkable insight that all Jeff’s are ginger and that Richardson does some ‘fairly adequate’ impressions of his fellow comedians – Kevin Bridges being particularly spot on.
Audience gasping for air
The significance of the cowboy hat comes from a trip to America in which Jon became a vegetarian following a ballsy encounter with a bull and has become somewhat of a symbol to stop overthinking, rent a speedboat, get drunk and do something worse than adultery: eat meat.
Part one focuses on this hilarious alcohol-slash-speedboat fuelled change into thinking more rationally and ends on another failed hat throw. Part two however focuses on the “new” Jon, and his frankly priceless and futile attempts to stay single – including a first date holiday spent in the toilet and persistent dishwasher nagging. He regales these tales with such animation and awe that his attempts failed to deter that he had the entire audience gasping for air with laughter with him.
Worth the ticket price
The crowning glory of the show though came at the very end. After six or more failed attempts to get the symbolic hat tossed onto the mike stand, the audience shouted “one more go” to a beat of a slowly quickening clap. In true showbiz fashion, it landed, the crowd erupted, bow, “Thank you, Goodnight”. As entertainment goes, alone it was worth the ticket price.
He’s one of a rare brand of comedians who can empathise with an entire audience, only to alienate them with one innocuous comment about how the toothpaste must be used. I left the show wondering why I ever doubted the mans ability to find hilarious fault in anything; after all, comics are well known for spousal humour – maybe in the future, Jon Richardson could be the most humorous of them all.