The Richard Herring Lectures

Behold, a videotape of a film about Rasputin and a giant mince pie. It can only mean … we have recorded a post-Christmas, post-Celebrity Mastermind, mid-festive-carbohydrate-consumption, pre-New Year podcast. It is Podcast 144, and it’s a Review of the Year only in the sense that it isn’t a Review of the Year at all, just two men, still unsure where the boundaries lie between friendship and eternal torment, and trapped in an abusive relationship in an attic, talking about – or being quiet and listening to the other one talking about – Frankie Boyle and The Truman Show and “pussy pics” and fat balls and the irresistibility of the ugly, unhappy, middle-aged men on On The Buses and the depressing prospect of living to 100 and taking Mastermind more seriously than Mastermind does. You can, if you insist, if you must listen in on our private conversations and moments of lucid honesty and naked mortality, download it from the British Comedy Guide or iTunes. The really important thing, the thing that reunited us despite Andrew’s misgivings about going back to the Titanic at this most spiritual time of year, is that if you’re in or near London between now and January 22, you should buy tickets to see Christ On A Bike, and if you’re not, go and see it somewhere regional. You won’t regret it. It is very funny and thought-provoking.

How do you like the new website. Pretty bloody cool, isn’t it?


Four wise men

In a tradition that now stretches back to 2008, we join festive forces with the heavily bearded Messrs Phill Jupitus and Phil Wilding for a Festive 12: that is, an overmanned Christmas edition of their now rarer-than-a-corncrake Perfect 10. This is the special Collings & Herrin Remix – ie. extended, laptop-recorded, very much pointed at Andrew and Richard – of what is otherwise available from Phill and Phil as an exquisitely recorded, balanced, arranged and edited Studio Mix, complete with Andre “Towel Thief” Vincent as the jingle Santa. Ours is clearly better, if only for the 10 extra bonus minutes at either end of us getting into character in an airless booth in Central London. There’s stuff about bad behaviour and awful Christmas films and heartache and abuse and the elasticity of Patricia Routledge, and it’s the perfect way to get into the Christmas mood. Merry Christmas, one and all, from all of us. There will be a regular, numbered C&H Podcast sometime between Christmas and New Year. Wallop, or something.

Answer us this!

In Podcast 143, or Podcast 202 according to the Tugwell Scale, or Podcast 203 depending on whether or not you include the most recent 6 Music podcast which actually became available while we were recording this one [when it is available, it will be available here, and on iTunes], we endure more Mac-based laptop misery when Richard’s “much better” MacBook packs up censoriously at about eight minutes, just before Richard describes in detail what he saw when a plumber showed him video footage of what was in his blocked toilet waste pipe. Agreeing that we can never recapture the magic of that section again (you will just have to imagine it), we move on, with some frankly less scintillating material about cables, John Harris, the Duchess of Cornwall, Frankie Boyle, Stewart Lee, Helen and Olly off of Faber’s Answer Me This podcast book – which you can buy here – and God. Once again, we decide to stop podcasting forever, but probably won’t. May as well push on to Podcast 144 before we both keel over. Comedy historians may enjoy this exclusive shot of Herring & Lee’s only two magazine covers, one of which is what’s called “in focus” due to being an illustration. Merry Christmas.

When the lights went out

Is it Podcast 142, or is it, according to rogue podcast counter Graham Tugwell, Podcast 200? It’s Podcast 142, although it may well be our 200th podcast, if you include 6 Music podcasts and other ephemera, as Graham Tugwell has done. It’s a celebration either way, as Richard regresses to smutty schoolboy state and creates yet another brilliant dystopian sci-fi movie pitch based on, shall we say, geometry and biology. The Wikileaks story might dominate were it not for more pressing matters such as the return of the Times Cryptic Crossword Book 13, the tagline for Ken Follett’s latest novel, Mark Watson’s Hurt Locker, and the incoming Loaded Lafta award nominations, in which this podcast is beaten to the shortlist by a number of podcasts that aren’t even regular podcasts. Note: this podcast was recorded during a localised, nostalgic power cut and while you listen to it, you should imagine the battery bar of Andrew’s laptop inching perilously close to the left. It’s on 18% power as I type this. Exciting!

PS: Directly after the power cut podcast, we travelled through the inclement snowy weather to Central London to record a Comedy Central Utter Shambles podcast, in a professional studio, with producers, and music stands, with Robin Ince and Josie Long, for future release. We’ll let you know when it’s coming out. Possibly before Christmas.