Review: Russell Howard at the Echo Arena

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Russell Howard on his Wonderbox tour © JMU Journalism

Russell Howard on his Wonderbox tour © JMU Journalism

Anyone who watches ‘Russell Howard’s Good News’ will know that the Bristolian doesn’t know when he’s taking jokes too far, thankfully the Liverpool audience didn’t hold anything he said against him.

The packed-out Echo Arena was filled with laughter on Wednesday as soon as the 34-year-old took to the stage as part of his Wonderbox tour.

Like many comedians he kicked off his show with a few jokes which would be re-introduced throughout the show, getting funnier and funnier each time.

The ‘jack the lad’ banter was mixed with many jokes too crude to publish, but like his TV show, a lot of them revolved around politics.

He slagged off newspapers such as the Daily Mail for its criticism of Ed Miliband’s father, saying that Ralph Miliband only wrote what everyone else in the UK was thinking.

A lot of his jokes were family-based as well, with the biggest laughs going to his ‘mad mother’, who he is obviously fond of. She’s a retired dinner lady who seems  to have passed on her sense of humour to Howard.

Howard interacted with audience constantly, answering questions and poking fun at some of the attendees. One girl even asked for a hug, which he obliged courteously, only to find out she has hugged him at a previous Liverpool show, and said he smelt nice. In this situation it was obvious how good a comedian Howard is, thinking on his feet and not relying on any pre-prepared jokes.

Concluding the show he let the audience in on a funny and sweet story. He recently went to see a 14-year-old boy who was dying of cancer and wanted to meet Howard and fellow comedians Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, as well as drive a fast car as part of his bucket list before he died. Brand had the audience in tears, both from laughter and emotion, as he informed them on how the little boy was planning his funeral, which was apparently going to be fancy dress.

But in a lovely twist it transpired that the boy had beaten cancer . Howard duly bowed out to massive cheers as he skipped off stage.

About Bradd Chambers, JMU Journalism