Happy Now? is Richard Herring‘s twelfth stand-up show, and the third I’ve seen on DVD following last year’s Lord Of The Dance Settee and 2014’s We’re All Going To Die!, and this one sees Rich at a crossroads in his life – after years of hedonistic eternal student lifestyle as he started off in comedy, through to growing up and achieving a level of responsibility where he not only has acquired a ‘better half’ but he is also now a father.
I have never sired a child, and have no plans to, so outside of my day job I could spend the rest of my time making Mr Herring jealous by playing Addams Family Pinball all the time if I so desired, but for Richard, as he ponders whether this point in his life has made him happy, his musings take in several topics such as, what if – instead of hating or loving it – no-one minded Marmite either way? There’s also the Twix dilemma, plus how for those people who are unhappy, the only way is up, a “head in the clouds” massage – which sounded more risque than I understood it (unless I misunderstood it) and on how long it will be before sex robots are available to buy, and can we purchase one that looks like Gemma Chan from Channel 4’s Humans?
And in St David’s Hall, Cardiff, where Richard Herring plays to his biggest ever audience, he refers to his daughter as “This screaming child of Satan” and questions “I thought my penis was my friend!!!”
Over 103 very enjoyable minutes, I could say that I preferred the previous two shows a bit more than this one, as they felt they had more direction to them – and maybe there were more moments in those which were relevant to me because I don’t have kids, but I would still urge all fans of Herring to buy this as it’s still fantastic entertainment.
Richard used to have a regular column in the Metro which I loved until it came to an end, recently. Given how much they’ve cut down certain sections of the paper over the past year or so, including chopping a full TV schedule section down to a Top 10 highlights of the night, and then to a sidebar, a few pages in, I assumed that they’d cut it, themselves. Then I read in his website’s blog about how it was his own choice, given some impending lifestyle changes such as moving from London out into the country. Given what a cynical old Hector I am, I would still hedge a bet on the reason being a mixture of the two. And clearly, Metro are very lazy as they haven’t updated his page since the end of February!
However, his regular writings have spurred me on to write a few pieces myself as they come to mind, recent ones include the teacher Miss Butt causing a child to giggle uncontrollably, and the fact that some people round my way have clearly managed to source free petrol!
Check out a clip of the show below.
The DVD is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen, as you’d expect, and there’s no problems with the picture whatsoever. I’m more used to Blu-rays, so when watching a DVD on a 50″ plasma, the image looks a little soft, but that’s no defect with the DVD itself.
Similarly, the audio is in Dolby Digital 2.0 (Dolby Pro Logic) and there’s nothing going on in the rear speakers but you don’t expect them to be – it’s not a special FX film. It’s mostly Richard Herring with the mic, and that’s all you need.
The extras are as follows – not quite as many as last year’s release, but still far more than most DVDs that get released:
- Tour of St David’s Hall (37:13): There’s a mention of the logo on the screen above Richard having black bars that shouldn’t be there. I could tell that’s because someone’s stretched the logo across it like a windowboxed 16:9 image that’s been stretched out. Should be easily sorted out, but the ‘tech guy’ just zoomed it in rather than corrected the aspect ratio.
- Rich in the audience (2:34): Sometimes, Rich appears in the audience during the show. But how? Find out…
- Laughing baby (1:02): I don’t want to give spoilers as to how this plays a part. When you watch the gig, then you’ll know.
- Rich ball dog (0:36): Something else that refers to a joke in the show. Again, no spoilers.
- Short films: Two featuring Mr Herring and Rachel Stubbings, with Mosquito (8:48) also featuring Michael Spicer and Alice Lowe (Sightseers), and the second film being While You Were Away (5:53), and in both short movies, the main men featured both have something to confess…
- Made in Cardiff Interview (3:57): A brief interview with Richard Herring and Chris Evans for Made In Cardiff TV.
- First Ever Show/Last Ever Show (1:38:30) and (1:41:16), respectively. This is his Happy Now? show during the run of The 12 Shows Of Herring, where he revisited all 11 of his previous one-man shows ahead of this latest one. The first has a pre-show chat (3:29) and post-show chat (2:56) where he interviews himself, and these are Easter Eggs – click above and below the onscreen description for these.
- Happy Now? Podcasts (16:02): That’s the length for Episode 0 of the podcast, all made as he goes on tour, with episodes 1 (27:44) and 2 (21:01) on the disc if you put them in a PC. Not quite sure why they weren’t accessible from the regular menu, though.
There are no subtitles, while chapters are very thin on the ground with just two during the main performance. I feel one should normally come every five minutes on average whether a performance or film, but at least they should be placed inbetween routines. The menu is a silent and static affair with links to the show and each of the extras.
Richard Herring: Happy Now? was recorded live at St David’s Hall, Cardiff. There’s the DVD for £15, or for £17 for also yet a copy of the gig programme, and they’re available to buy now from Go Faster Stripe.com
And how many other comedians put so much free content online such as his Youtube channel featuring his Leicester Square Theatre Podcasts and Meaning of Life episodes, and check out more info about him and his work at RichardHerring.com.
You can also book tickets for his latest tour, The Best, where he brings together the best moments from his 12 shows, an idea brought on following his The 12 Shows Of Herring, where he performed all of them over six weekends, and now comes along with a compilation.
Running time: 103 minutes
Released: December 2016
Widescreen: 1.78:1 (16:9)
Sound: Dolby Pro Logic (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Disc Format: DVD9
Director and Producer: Chris Evans
Music: Anthony Renyolds
Sound: Felix Otala and Tom Joyce