Despite a back catalogue of routines debating everything from Hitler’s moustache to genitals, politics and religion - stand up comic Richard Herring says his latest show to come to Northampton is about broadening his horizons.
The Yorkshire-born funnyman, who rose to fame as a television double act with Stewart Lee in the 1990s, is set to bring his latest offering Lord of the Dance Settee to the Royal and Derngate on Monday, January 19.
But the new work, his 11th different show in as many years, sees Herring take a step back from the ‘heavy stuff’ and reflecting on his teenage self, he says.
“I’ve done a lot of shows over the past few years,” he said. “A lot of them have been very heavily themed around religion or politics.
“This is a lot more loose: it’s about me telling funny stories that interconnect, there is a discussion about slapstick comedy.
“People might think I’m a controversial comedian with the Christ on a Bike and Hitler’s Moustache shows.
“This show is about me limiting myself in a way.”
The idea for Herring’s new show grew out of the title itself.
As a youngster he genuinely thought the choral line of the song ‘Lord of the Dance’ finished with the words ‘settee’ - instead of ‘said he’.
It led to him writing a sketch on the theme when he was 16, which involved him jumping about wildly on a sofa proclaiming to be the said ‘Lord of the dance’.
The show, which has garnered a host of rave reviews already, is part an anecdotal look at his younger years.
But nearing 48, and soon to become a father, Herring says stepping back from controversial themes (2008’s Hitler Moustache tour saw him try to reclaim the facial hair once worn by Charlie Chaplin on behalf of comedy) Lord of the Dance Settee is far from a deviation into the mainstream.
“I would still be an odd person to take a punt on if you were going to see a comedy show,” he said. “If you know me and like my podcasts and like my column in the Metro, you are going to enjoy this.
“If you are the sort of person that likes Mrs Brown’s Boys, the chances are you aren’t going to enjoy it. That’s not to say if you like Mrs Brown’s Boys you are wrong.
“It’s just comedy is a very subjective thing.”
But with his impending fatherhood in mind, the prolific comic, perhaps best known for the 1990s television show This Morning With Richard Not Judy and for his more recent appearances on comedy show Live at the Apollo, is considering slowing down when this tour run ends in summer.
He said: “My outlook on life has been changing since I started doing this when I was 24, doing those really early shows.
“I’m 48 next summer and if I hadn’t changed my outlook, that would be quite weird. Having a child definitely changes your focus.
“I work very hard and I think maybe it will be time to spend some time with my child.”
Richard Herring is set to appear the The Royal and Derngate on Monday January 19. Tickets are available via the box office on 01604 624811 and cost £16.