British comedian, writer and podcaster Richard Herring is bringing his Oh Frig, I’m 50! show to Dublin next month for two performances at The Sugar Club on April 4th and 5th. Here he tells us why he enjoys gigging in Ireland and how he manages to monetise Internet trolls and raise money for charity. We began by asking him about his new show and where the inspiration came for it.
“It’s called Oh Frig, I’m 50! and it’s about me turning 50,” he says over the phone from the UK. “I did a show when I was 40 called Oh Fuck, I’m 40! I thought it would be a nice idea to do a show like it every 10 years where I look at aging. I joke that this is the penultimate performance of the franchise. It’s very a much a personal look at being older, and partly looking at the differences between me at 40 and 40.”
A lot changed for Richard in that decade, including experiencing somewhat of a “midlife crisis” at the start of it, and this was reflected in his work.
“When I wrote Oh Fuck, I’m 40! I was single and going out, getting kissed and behaving badly every night,” he said. “Now I’m married with two kids living in the countryside. So, things have changed a little bit. It’s about how your focus changes as you get older. I realise that I’m no longer the centre of my own life. Everything is based around my family which is a positive thing I think.”
Like most British comedians he enjoys making the short journey over to play in front of Irish audiences. He appreciates the knowledgeable crowds and makes sure to sample the local delicacies. Sure, it’d be rude not to.
“I really like it,” he says of playing in Ireland. “It’s usually a fun crowd. People obviously understand English which is nice, seen as I don’t speak any other languages. But there’s enough that connects us, between the two countries, that you don’t have to change your comedy too much. I’ve always had appreciative crowds there. And then you get to go out and have a Guinness and a whiskey afterwards which suits me fine. I’m there for two days this time too. It’s great.”
Apart from his comedy Richard has become well known for using Twitter to raise funds for charitable causes. His most famous campaign revolves around International Women’s Day and goes something like this-
Every year on International Women’s Day, Twitter is awash with ‘outraged’ men calling for their own international day, not realising that it already exists. Richard politely reminds them, usually in a very humorous way, that International Man’s Day is actually on November 19th and uses the opportunity to promote his Just Giving page. Celebrities get involved, retweets go through the roof and the money rolls in.
Hey I was as angry as you, but when I googled it to see if it was possible to set a men’s day up I discovered someone had already done it, It’s November 19th. Good news, hey? https://t.co/6c7V8sssjO
— Richard K Herring (@Herring1967) March 7, 2018
Having done it last year and raised £10,000 for Refuge, a charity which helps victims of domestic abuse, Herring had his sights set on raising a similar amount of money this year. He quickly surpassed this target and by the end of the day he had raised over £150,000.
“It kind of went nuts,” he said. “Partly because I’ve been doing it for so long I think, people appreciated what I was doing. It’s just insane, I couldn’t believe it. It’s very satisfying to turn the stupidity of some people on Twitter into money for a great cause.”
He also anchors the award-winning Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast which is filmed in front of a live audience and has featured the likes of Stephen Fry, Armando Iannucci and Russell Brand in its 100+ episodes. Who would be his dream guest?
“I’d love to have Michael Palin on. But I don’t think it’s going to happen. My friend Adam Buxton had him on his channel, he got there first.”
Richard Herring plays The Sugar Club, Dublin on April 4th and 5th. Tickets (€22) are available from Ticketmaster here, and all usual outlets.