So on Monday I packed myself off to the Drill Hall in London’s glittering west end. I was there to see Radio 4’s Banter with Andrew Collins, Richard Herring, Russell Howard, Will Smith (no not that one) and Natalie Haynes.
Overall comedy winner of the night was Russell Howard for a couple of lovely flights of fancy. However that’s over the course of the evening. He didn’t at any point reach the totally piss yourself funny heights of four moments which were all done by others.
I almost cried when the frightfully posh Will Smith was forced to say “Butt Monkey” by Radio 4 production (okay Russell might have suggested this one but it’s the execution that counts).
Richard Herring actually made my head hurt with a bit I can’t explain without crushing the comedy moment. I hope they find a way to broadcast at least some of what he said on the night.
But the final two go to Andrew Collins. He managed to get Herring after Natalie Haynes left early. She kissed Herring before she left and he was very pleased with himself because “she didn’t kiss anyone else”. Andrew suggested the reason was because Richard had put her off men for the rest of her life.
Andrew also did something accidentally great when he asked, on his radio show, for a show of hands from the team members who hadn’t played their jokers.
If I was going to make any pointers at all in room for improvement I’d say I’d prefer it if Andrew was slightly lest swift on occasion at getting back to the quiz. And I think Richard might be right about the jokers being a bit rubbish. But if you get rid of them then Richard would have nothing to complain about.
I bet this show will sound great on the radio but if you can get yourself to any of the recordings then you’ll hear a lot of stuff that can never make it on air. Here’s my gratuitous movie poster pull quote: “I laughed so much Richard Herring hurt my brain”.