Careering comic goes down a storm

Happiness is Russell Howard.From the moment he gambled on to the Corn Exchange stage Howard barely stopped talking, laughing, giggling, dancing or smiling - running around the stage like a giddy ADHD-riddled child or miming out the punch lines to his many, many jokes.

James Goffin

Russell Howard

Ipswich Corn Exchange

Happiness is Russell Howard.

From the moment he gambled on to the Corn Exchange stage Howard barely stopped talking, laughing, giggling, dancing or smiling - running around the stage like a giddy ADHD-riddled child or miming out the punch lines to his many, many jokes.

In a set that could have lasted some comics most of their professional lives, he delivered a succession of witty anecdotes to the near-capacity crowd, careering around topics. And not one of them missed their mark.

Most Read

Whether it was his suggestion of dressing up like a lion and hiding in Ikea to recreate Narnia, an image of Buddha as a pizza-carrying good-time deity or his description of the internet as a “whispering pimp” he charmed the audience throughout his one hour-plus set.

Unlike so many modern stand-ups whose acts consist of laconic mumbling through their greatest grumbles, Howard's act celebrates what is good - if not always noble - about people.

He touched poignantly on a chanced-upon suicide attempt and his brother's epilepsy, but masterfully controlled the mood and never left us far from a laugh even when touching on the darker parts of our lives.

He displays a touching and infectious delight in the oddities of others - and himself - congratulating people's capacity for the kind of logic that follows a few drinks, that leads someone to see a bus stop and think “that needs a hat” before searching out the nearest traffic cone.

It's an attitude that has deservedly won him many fans, with several sell-out tours - including many dates on his current romp around the country - and a regular slot on BBC2's Mock The Week.

They were even queuing after the gig for autographs - a rare sight indeed at the Corn Exchange.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter