Wednesday, 4 November 2009

As It Occurs To Me: From Fist To Fun

Richard Herring is a hard working guy! Not content to sit on his laurels from his success with former partner Stewart Lee, he’s forever writing, starring and talking! His return to form alongside Andrew Collins made a bold statement in the Podcast world, that you don’t need the backing of a corporation or a huge production suite to make an acclaimed Podcast. All it took was two friends, a stack of newspapers and a flimsy laptop in the attic to make the beloved Collings and Herrin Podcast. But Richard, a comedy writer extrodinaire, pined for something a bit meatier. True, he has been writing a nearly-daily blog on his website for the longest of times now but he needed something more. He wanted to perform his work and get back into radio shape. But surely he couldn’t do that without the backing of a corporation or a huge production suite? You obviously don’t know Richard that well do you?

Still fairly new to the world but already pride of place on the iTunes front page, As It Occurs To Me is Richard Herring’s take on the events of the previous week both in his personal life and the wide world around him. But this isn’t just another Pod-Ramble: Herring has enlisted the services of comedian Dan Tetsell and TV star “TV’s Emma Kennedy” and every week takes to the stage of the Leicester Square Theatre to perform his work in front of a paying audience. The result is broadcast, warts and all, to the world wide web twenty four short hours later.

And that’s what makes this concept so interesting. I went to see BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show recorded in London a few years and it’s incredible how much hits the cutting room floor when you hear the product back (they did use one of my jokes, which means that I can put “BBC Comedy writer” on my CV for time infinatum). With Richard, nothing touches said floor. You get everything, the jokes that didn’t quite make it, the re-takes, the fluffs and the corpsing. My initial reaction was that it was a lazy way to do it, but in hindsight it really makes the show likeable. Team Herring are sticking it to the man by proving that they’ve got the talent to make a weekly news show off their own backs and have no problem in laying it bare. They all know it’s not a polished product, but it makes it so much more charming and fun!

As It Occurs To Me (or, it’s catchy nickname of Ay-I-Otima) is another example of Richard Herring proving just how talented he can be when he sets his mind to it. He understands the new media world and knows how he can use it to his advantage. With a solid supporting cast of similar minded entertainers it’s worth a listen because there’s nothing else quite like this on the web. At least, as it occurs to me!