Title: Socially Distanced
Original Record Date: Unknown
acast Publication Date: November 4, 2020
Youtube Publication Date: November 4, 2020
Please Welcome a Man
Guest Best Known
For playing himself in series 1, episode 4 of Enough Rope with Andrew Denton.
Better or Worse than Last Week: N/A
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Member Member Note
Elis James: What sort of problems did you encounter being the slightly more chilled-out one in a double act?
Double acts are very complicated. I’ve been in a few double acts. I don’t know if I’ve ever been the more chilled-out one, really, but… I’m fascinated by double acts and I’m fascinated by ones that work and I’m fascinated by the ones where people remain on good terms. And many of the ones that really work, the people aren’t on good terms. You two [John Robins and Elis James] seem to be good friends but it might all be pretend. *JR asks about the constancy of Stewart Lee in association with RH.* It’s odd in the way that we worked together for ten years and it’s 20 years since we really worked together. So that’s… I mean, it’s a testament that people enjoyed the double act. I don’t think Stew really enjoyed the double act. It’s good that people still remember it because I think it annoys him. But no, actually, weirdly, I was really pleased for us. We both had a sort of breaking out, sort of 2002-ish, 2003 time, where Talking Cock and Jerry Springer [the Musical] both did really well, so it didn’t feel too unbalanced. Obviously then he sort of became the more successful stand-up, but I was never that interested in being a stand-up. I was becoming a stand-up at the time, which made it slightly awkward because it was – The thing that annoyed me, I think, was when journalists would say he’s clearly influenced by Stewart Lee, and you’d kind of go, “I mean, you know we were in a double act, right? So there’s every chance the things that are similar between us came from me or both of us.” So that I found weird, but because I wasn’t – He always wanted to be a stand-up and that was the problem, I think, at the heart of the double act. He didn’t really want to do a double act increasingly as it went on. He could be more blasé about it than he was because I was so keen to do it that I would do all the work and he could, you know, say, “Oh, I don’t really want to do it.” And he knew he sort of had that power to… There was an unbalance. I guess even then he was more successful as a stand-up the first time, when we did stand-up I didn’t like stand-up and then we did the double act. But he always had this kind of slightly superior attitude to me about that, which made it hard. The thing I was going to say about him, I think, that sums him up , was I remember early on him telling me – he was obsessed with comics and stuff – and he told me about the creators of Batman, I think. And he said, um, there was this story, the guy who owns Batman he created Batman with someone else and later in his life he saw that guy on a park bench. He had nothing, the guy who co-created Batman. And he had all this money from Batman. And I thought, Oh, so the story there is it would be awful. But I think that was aspirational for him. So the only thing I can hang onto is as long as I’m not on a park bench, Stew’s still angry. So any success I have annoys him. And genuinely I thought it was great that he was successful. He wasn’t such a dick to begin with when he was successful. Because it gave you hope as someone who was doing something creative that that could become a bit more mainstream than just going on the stand-up circuit. So I wasn’t massively struggling with it. I was more struggling with, What am I doing? I invested a lot in the double act and, you know, I’d put everything into the double act. I wasn’t really the character from the double act. He was much more the character from the double act, so he could move on. I had to reinvent myself and I had to – It was more a personal journey of going back to stand-up, which I’d hated, and then discovering I did like it and wanted to do it and sorted preferred it. So it was, you know, a sort of weird thing that people do that and still say, “Moon on a stick.” That was Stewart, again. But, you know, I think interviewing Michael Palin – and I’ve said this subsequently – he was just so delighted to talk about, even his most successful things that he must have – You know, I talked to him about, you know, crucifixion. He just started doing it, the sketch. He’s really pleased about the sketch being popular. So I’m happy that people remember the double act stuff, the ones who do. It’s sort of weird when people go on about someone all the time, but I feel we both, you know, we’ve gone on and done our own stuff in our own way, and I’m actually a lot happier with what I’m doing. Stewart would like to be – Stewart’s got a sort of – I said I didn’t want to be a stand-up. I was always into comedy, he was always into music. So I’ve actually been more successful than he has, because he’s not a successful musician. And he could not make a living as a musician, but that is what he would really like to do. And I am making a nice living as a comedian as my job.
John Robins: Excluding family members, would you rather live with everyone you ever slept with, or sleep with everyone you’ve ever lived with?
Um, well. Yeah, neither option’s very nice. Um, I think – It would be interesting to meet everyone that I’d ever slept with and live in a house with them. See how they got on. It would have to be a big house, John. That’s what I’m saying. *JR posits a scenario where RH’s the objects of sexual conquests lived Big Brother-style and they had to solve the connection between them. JR asks RH how long it would take them to figure it out.* I think probably quite a long time. I mean, I suppose the main ones might know each other. The ones I sort of went out with for a couple of years, which was before I met my wife. I think 18 months might be my record before I met my wife, and now it’s, like, 13 years since. Crazy, isn’t it? Um, but yeah. I hope that doesn’t happen but it would be interesting. And then I’d rekindle it with all of them. Had to work my way through, starting at the beginning again. *JR asks RH to confirm that he’d prefer to live with everyone he’d ever slept with, rather than sleep with everyone he’d ever lived with.* Yeah, because I’ve mainly lived with, you know, my male friends. *JR suggests that RH may have lived with some women that he’d fancied but never slept with.* I don’t think I did. I mean, sorry to the women I’ve lived with. I don’t think I did. I mainly stayed with – I moved to London and I lived with Stewart Lee, so immediately that’s a no-no.
Davecakes113: Who’s the funniest person you know outside of comedy?
Oooh. Well, it’s hard. Christina Martin, I think, is the funniest woman in the UK. She’s was a stand-up comedian and she writes for Viz. *JR notes that this does not count as she is not “proper civilian.”* No one. There’s no one. There’s no one funny. I’m trying to think if there is… I mean, nearly everyone – even the people who make me laugh on Twitter have got some connection usually to it, but it… I do find with a lot of these guys on Twitch and stuff. So a lot of my audience, I think, have, when you look at the comments, you go, “That was a good idea,” or, you know, so I’ll read some of them out. So I think a lot of people who are watching my stuff do have a kind of good, inventive streak in them. There were, sort of, people who were funny at school, but they’re not as funny as the comedians. The comedians I know are really fucking funny. I mean, they’re really brilliant. Greg Davies is just, like, the funniest man. Bob Mortimer and Greg Davies, even out of comedians, they’re just unbelievably, off the cuff, hilarious all the time. Certainly when they’re working. And no one is as funny as that. No one’s as funny as comedians. Even you, John. There’s no one as funny as you.
John Robins: Would you rather never have an erection again or have an erection forever?
Have an erection forever. That’s an easy question. Being more or less at the point where I could have an erection again. I would very much like to have a constant erection. I think having a constant erection would be fine. Also, you know, it would be visible, but you just go, “I’ve got a constant erection.” It’s a medical condition. You can have a go at me if you want because I need some help. Have a constant codpiece on top of it. Definitely out of the two. I mean, to never have an erection again… Again, that’s a thing that worries as you get older. It’s not been a concern for me, but as you get older… That’s why there’s all these adverts on the TV. Don’t you think? Men are very insecure about it. But you’re looking back to a time – as with all these things, all this is you’re looking back to a time when you had a constant erection, and thinking that was great. It wasn’t. It wasn’t that great. Your twenties were bad, almost certainly. And that’s what people are looking back. People – middle-aged men, I think. Middle-aged men worry me. I look at some of my friends and people on Facebook at my age and what they’ve become and turned into, and, you know, starting to believe conspiracy theories and going crazy. And it’s about losing power. That’s what – It’s just about not feeling useful and I think that’s just what you’ve got to – you’ve got to find your place in the world and be happy with your place. And I guess that’s what I’ve learned to do a little bit. Because of my constant erection.
Recorded at the Bill Murray pub in North London.
This is JR’s fourth appearance.
JR calls this episode John Robins’s Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from the Bill Murray (or, JRRHLSTPBM).
Social distancing is being practiced at this live recording, including a Perspex glass partition separating RH and JR from the audience.
RH is wearing an Ally and Herring’s Twitch of Fun t-shirt.