Comic Jon Richardson will stand up just for a laugh

JON RICHARDSON has been on the road for most of this year – but he’s loving it.

The comic, who made his name as a team captain on Channel 4’s panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats, spends his time on stage pondering the everyday items that have a major effect on his outlook.

Now host of Channel 4’s topical comedy show, Stand Up For The Week, Jon (below) says TV is great but he loves touring more.

“Live comedy is such a rush,” he says. “That’s why I’m not a writer or an actor or a painter.

“There’s simply nothing like the urgency of having 500 people look at you and expect you to be funny.

“I love writing, but it’s a totally different experience. You know that on a 60-date tour, every single night will be different.

“Everyone is there in that particular moment, and it will never happen again. At every show, the room is set up differently and every person in the audience has a different barometer.

“You’re aware that any moment someone might stand up and shout ‘I completely disagree!’ That’s what’s so brilliant about stand-up!”

Jon’s reputation has been built on comedy that strikes a chord with most people.

He says: “There’s nothing better than the laughter of recognition – that sense the audience has felt the same thing.

“I learned that when I did my stuff about obsessive-compulsive behaviour. People listen to you and think, I’m not on my own.

“Nothing can beat the sight of people in the audience nudging their partners and saying, ‘You’re like that’.

“You’re not alone if you find it difficult get out of bed in the morning or if you have moments of sadness. For me, being sad proves you’re still alive. I don’t trust people who say they’re never sad – that shows an element of delusion.

“You have to accept that bad things can happen. You have to notice what’s wrong in order to fix it.”

Much of Jon’s set is devoted to contemplation of growing older and he says: “The core element of every show is about trying to be happy.

“This year I’m turning 30. It doesn’t mean a great deal to me. I’ve always felt a lot older than I am, and I’ve grown more comfortable with myself as I’ve got older.

“But the big dilemma is that I haven’t really had the 20s most people have had. I haven’t slept around or drunk as much as others. Your youth should be about making mistakes, but during my 20s I limited the risks and didn’t take too many wrong turns.

“You should hit 30 and think ‘Now’s the time to knuckle down’ but I went too early with knuckling down. Perhaps the opposite will happen now and I’ll start letting people down.”

Jon is disarmingly honest and that will shine through in the show where he will talk about a recent relationship break-up.

“If you’re discussing something on stage, you have to mean it. You can’t spend your life deliberately ordering the wrong things in restaurants just so you can get a routine out of it,” he says.

“I talk about issues such as the fear of the end of a relationship, which I hope everyone will be able to associate with. But rest assured, if it’s not funny, it doesn’t get into the show.”

Jon, who will also be discussing living with friends, adds: “If I read this interview, I might think, Is this guy a comedian or just too tight to pay for counselling?’

“But ultimately my stand-up is like house renovation. Every year I take the wreck that is my life and renovate it on stage.

“There’s an underlying pessimism to my world view, but I’m like a workman who accepts the damage and still tries to sort it out. Maybe I’ll have to start wearing a hard hat on stage.”

Jon Richardson will be at G Live, Guildford, on Tuesday, September 4.

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About the Author: Barry Rutter