John Stuart Mill of his own free will

At last! The Podcast 165 Show! Although we threatened the end the podcast last week, we decided to keep it going for one more week, as Andrew was coming round to Richard’s anyway before they went off to see Jerry Seinfeld at the O2 Arena in London and they had some time to kill. On a swelteringly hot day, in order to get through one more podcast, Andrew was forced to drink some pinot grigio blush beforehand, and a single 4% proof American beer during, while Richard didn’t. The highlights are forensically well-remembered Monty Python sketches and songs, which may baffle our younger listeners, but which will transport people in their forties and fifties to a happier time for British comedy when stand-ups did not earn £4 million a year, just like Russell Howard doesn’t now. This podcast also stands as a tribute-cum-warning to national treasure Stewart “Wart” Lee. If you were in Mrs Markilee’s class at Cobden Junior School in Loughborough circa 1975 and recognise yourself in this photograph, do get in touch! Let’s hope Seinfeld is on more disciplined comedic form. Altogether now: Immanuel Kant was a real pissant, he was very rarely etc. etc.

And here’s the photo flipped round. (It’s the first photo taken with Photo Booth on Andrew’s new MacBook, about which you will hear on the podcast.)

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No

Yes! (That’s: YES!) First with all the big news stories, we devote the whole of Podcast 161 to – SPOILER ALERT! – the news that a man has been killed in another country who may or may not have been armed and may or may not have used a woman as a shield. We don’t actually, but because Richard has – YES! – been booked at the very last minute to do Radio 4’s The News Quiz, he is suddenly all keen to do topical material and work up some of the most obvious gags he can think of. We also cover the – YES! – continuing christian jihad against his show Christ On A Bike as it rolls, relatively unharmed, out of the infidel badlands of East Anglia and into the underpopulated wilds of Presbytarian Scotland. And by the way, they do collect the bins on a Bank Holiday. YES, they do.

Four Kindles?

Another one from the tank! In our tireless quest to keep you all topped up at all times until we are all dead, we present another pre-record, Podcast 160 – a very unhelpful score in darts –  in which we answer questions posed via Twitter two weeks ago. Because we had threatened to record this one while assembling Richard’s new snooker table, many of the questions were snooker related (and not all of them as hilarious as “Pink or brown?”), but some weren’t, which means we cover areas as diverse and rich as the cruelty or otherwise of zoos, the death of the printed page in our lifetimes and which is better, Big Break or Pot Black? In the action shot to accompany this Moral Maze-style podcast, Andrew tries to defeat Richard’s electronic handheld device with his old-fashioned paper-based handheld device called a rolled-up New Yorker magazine.

What do you think about AV?

Another from the tank again this week, Podcast 159 was recorded two weeks ago, and is, as is now traditional, based upon your questions posed via the miracle of Twitter. Such as: what object would you rescue in a fire (the clue is pictured – listen to the podcast to find out why!), what do you think of AV (yes, some of the questions were that interesting), could you beat Adam and Joe in a fight, have you broken a bone, which three comedy sketches would you take to a desert island and what would we do if we passed Steve Coogan in the corridor: nod, or stop and chat? I bet you’re dying to find out what our answers were!

The wrong trousers

From the tank where we put all our spare podcasts (it is not really a tank of any kind), we present Podcast 156, which we recorded two weeks ago and is thus built around questions posed on March 15 by people on Twitter, some of whom were so greedy and megalomaniacal they posted a number of questions. You’ll have to listen to it to find out which ones inspired us, and which ones didn’t, and whether being a retired headmaster is harder than being a nationally known standup comedian. As you will see from the picture, Richard had just come back from a run to put this one in the tank, and is wearing shorts. Andrew is wearing long trousers. (Richard is back, briefly, next Tuesday, so another “live” one will be recorded, plus a further spare for the tank. It is not a tank.)

Pen is

Bonus! In the latest of our free, Richard-is-on-tour, back-up, pre-recorded podcasts from the past for the future, we reach 155, a non-topical game of two halves. In the first half, we have a chin-stroking, Newsnight Review-style discussion of American comedy, from Larry Sanders and Zack Garofolo (as we call him, for convenience) to Fat Bastard and Kenny Powers. Then, in the second half, we take subjects from Twitter suggestions, and end up talking about cleaning anuses and watching slow motion footage of birds having practical, procreative sex. And for lovers of pens, here is a picture of all of the pens (and one IKEA pencil) from the small pocket in Andrew’s man bag.

Three per household

Richard is officially on tour of this land, ergo we enter a tricky period in the Collings & Herrin podcasting calendar, and will get together whenever we can. However, we will be recording two for every one, so that “spares” will be in the tank and ready to release in our dual absence. We’re really not sure you deserve it. Anyhow. In Podcast 151, fuelled in Richard’s case by a variety of different caffeine sources, we celebrate the Royal Engagement Gold Plated Photographic Coin, available for £39.99 +£3.99 postage and packaging but only three per household, the impression of a bloated spider being pulled off currently by Colonel Gadaffi, the suicide of Masterchef, the sexual allure of Russell Kane in a dress and its significance towards a utopian future in which all men and ladies have the same equipment, and we mark the sad passing of Brigadier Letherbridge Stewart off of Doctor Who (1969-1989). Also, do you, like Peet Clack, think Andrew looks like this Muppet?

Hi, my name is Larry

Richard’s back from Maldives International with some colour in his cheeks, a whiff of seafood curry about his pores and some exciting seabird knowledge, Andrew’s back from Braintree Freeport railway station with far too much information about David Cameron’s Big Society, two new 6 Music boyfriends and a Radio 4 casting-couch pass, and we’re back in the attic for Podcast 150, a good-natured catch-up after two weeks’ break from each other in which we discuss the malleable nature of xenophobia, the etiquette of squirting lagoon water out of your mouth while honeymoon couples are eating nearby and the sweetness of Larry the Downing Street cat. It goes a bit weird at one point, but we rise above it, despite jetlag. [WARNING: CONTAINS SONG!]

We love 2006

Bonus! Another one! Even though Richard is still in the Maldives, or an adjacent morgue, wearing a Sombrero or whatever people wear in the Maldives, here is another bonus podcast, this time with an historic and even archeological twist. Think back to the end of 2006, when podcasts were still a new-fangled invention, and Andrew had his own weekend show on 6 Music, on which Richard appeared each week as a guest, for half an hour. This is the “pretend podcast” version of one of those guest appearances, badly mixed in Richard’s favour, and full of bonhomie and reverence. We hope you enjoy this memento and that it makes you feel that you have turned back time. (Eagle-eyed nerds will spot that the accompanying pic is from early 2007, but it’s close enough.) You don’t deserve us.