Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, Mr. Russell Howard! Thank you very much indeed. It’s nice to be happy. ‘Cause the world’s awful at the minute, isn’t it? How depressing is the world? Look at politics in this country. The right are too right and the left are too left. And none of them speak for us. It’s ridiculous. “Brexit means Brexit. I want my country back.” And over here it’s just as bad. “What are we gonna call female fishermen?” It’s not your country. Vag-anglers. Can we not… discuss something that matters?
When the fuck did Piers Morgan become socially relevant? When did that happen? Every day that toxic prick’s telling us what he thinks. He always says the same thing. “l’m just saying what the man in the street’s thinking.” Fuck off. I’ll tell you what the man in the street’s thinking. “She’s all right. What’s for tea? l’d like to be a Jedi.” That’s… That’s what the man in the street is thinking.
Piers Morgan doesn’t speak for me, doesn’t speak for you. No one knows what makes us happy. Do you know what makes me really, really happy? I like looking after my nephew. He’s three. Lot of fun, hanging out with a three-year-old. ‘Cause you can teach them things and no one knows you did the teaching. Here is my gift from me to you. I taught my nephew to say this. “Yes. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” It makes anything creepy. That is the beauty. It couldn’t have worked better. My sister came home. She’s like, “Wes. Mum’s back. Do you want a bath?” “Yeah, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” “What have you done to my baby?” “I’ve made him better. Look at him.”
My brother taught him chat-up lines. Oh, my God. The day we had. We were in the park and this girl went, “Oh, my God. He’s so cute.” “Are you a light switch? ‘Cause you’re turning me on.” “Make him stop.” “Yeah, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
People are wonderful. They sometimes drift into your life and cheer you up. I was in an elevator in New York and two women started laughing. Proper, deep… I started laughing just because they were laughing. I said, “What are we giggling at?” This woman looked at me and went, “Sugar, has anyone ever told you… you look like Ellen?” And oh, my God. You’ve… You’ve never heard laughter like this. I looked at myself and said, “l’m fucking Ellen. I look like Ellen.” That wasn’t even the weirdest thing. One of them started squeezing her friend’s breasts. Fifty years old. Honking each other. I’ve never got more instantly English in my life. I genuinely said out loud, “What’s going on here?” It was like a monocle fell down and I toppled off a pony. Listen to her answer. Still squeezing her friend’s breast. She just went, “It’s her birthday.” What a world. No man has got that excuse. Imagine that, mate. You’re down the pub, just tickling your mate’s… “‘Cause it’s his birthday is why. Darren, come over here and tickle Dave’s spuds.” * For he’s a jolly good fellow *
I’d quite like to be a lady, you know? When I was a kid, me and my brother used to play a game called Lady Wrestling. We stopped when we were seven ’cause Dad said, and I quote, “You’re going to jail.” Do you know what we used to do? We used to tuck our willies between our legs and have a fight. That was it. Just… And the loser was the first person who was tickled enough that their willy fell out and they no longer resembled a woman. I can still see my dad’s confused face. Just, “What’s that bloody noise?” “I’ll deal with it, darling. Don’t you… Fuckin’ hell!” “Morning.” “Get your dick out of your ass and get ready for school!” “Yeah, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Yes!
But I would. l’d like to be a lady. It’s the kindness that women show. When you’re drunk, you’re lovely to each other. I was in the tube recently. There’s a load of girls, all a bit pissed. One of the girls got stuck in the tube door. None of her friends laughed. None of them. “Sarah!” They rescued her, started stroking her hair. “I was scared, girls. I was scared.” If that was a man, he’d still be on the fucking Underground. “Lads, seriously. It’s moving now.” Nyaah! “Say hello to Facebook, you fat fuck. You’re gonna die! Tickle his balls. Tickle his balls.” That’s what happens, isn’t it? If one of your friends passes out, you don’t look after him. Your weirdest mate will go up to him, get his balls out, pop them on his head or in his mouth. Do you ring the police? No. You take picture after picture. No woman has that story. That’s why you’re better than us. You’ve never made that call. “Gotta go, Steve. The usual’s happening. Sarah’s out cold and Linda’s rubbing her fanny on her face. I gotta Snapchat this. Get a good one, Miriam. Get a good one. Hashtag muffling.” Exactly. “Muffling.” I’ve just invented a word… for a thing that will never happen.
It’s vital to laugh. Vital to laugh at yourself. I’ve got a lazy eye. I know it looks silly. People often point that out. A woman came up to me recently and went, “‘Scuse me. When you cum, do your eyes look normal?” I don’t know. I’ve never masturbated in front of a mirror. Imagine that with my girlfriend. “Look at my eyes. Am I a real boy?”
It’s good to laugh at ourselves, isn’t it? I had a brilliant one recently, right. I was waiting for a train in Bristol. And because l’m on the TV all the time, people were coming up to me and they were taking pictures. But they weren’t asking. It was weird. l’m stood there. Five different people. “Hey, look. There you go.” Five of them. l’m stood there. I didn’t know what to do. I was so embarrassed. Two little kids even went, “Oh, yeah. Let’s get him as well.” I’m so ashamed of what I said. This is the truth. I looked and went, “Hey! Stop taking pictures of me! Come and have a chat!” I obviously set myself to dickhead. This is what I said. “I may be famous… but l’m still a person.” But this is where life is wonderful, because this bloke looked at me and went, “Mate, you’re stood next to a Pokémon.” I nearly… Fuck! You have… You have to take things on the chin.
It’s vital to laugh, isn’t it? And you never know when laughter’s going to drift into your life. Like, I feel America’s pain. When Trump was elected… My granddad died the same day that Trump was elected. It was like he was stood there, going, “I ain’t living through that shit. Night-night, everyone!”
But this is the truth. When I found out my granddad had died, and he meant everything to me, I was on holiday in Mexico. My mum rang me up. She started crying. “Russell, your granddad’s dead.” And I started weeping with her. And yet, at the exact moment I found out that he was dead, there was a Mexican man who was five meters away from me, who just went… I started laughing. I couldn’t help it. It was like the soul of my granddad was looking down, “Russell looks a little bit upset. Beardy man, do the dance.” And the funeral was even better. I’ve never… It was so beautiful. My dad did a eulogy. Every word my dad said… Words became memories. They flew from his mouth. They soared into our heart. They made us cry happy tears.
Could it get better? Yes, it could, my friends. Because my nan started heckling. Nothing prepares you for a moment like that. And she made me laugh at a funeral before. She was a funny, funny lady, my nan. We buried a dog, right? It was our dog. We buried the family dog and my mum went, “Who would like to say good-bye?” And my nan went… You know that feeling when you’re not allowed to laugh? The head says “no.” The belly says “yes.”
I went to a humanist wedding last year. I am not a bad guy. My friend got married. She walks down the aisle to the theme tune from Jurassic Park. My brother had a glass of water next to me and went… But that’s my brother. I love him. You never know what he’s gonna do.
We were in New York earlier this year. There’s a sign in the middle of Times Square that says, “The worst thing you can do if you think you smell a gas leak is nothing.” And I was like, “Well, that’s not true, is it? You could light a match.” That’s what I thought. My little brother looked at that same sign and went, “Well, that’s bollocks, isn’t it, Russ? You could fuck a dog. Just saying that’s probably the worst thing that you could do in that situation. ‘Can you smell gas?’ You start buggering someone’s Labradoodle. Fucking Americans.” You never know what he’s gonna say. We met a girl who had nine fingers in New York. I said, “What happened?” She went, “My little finger was bitten off by a wolf when I was four.” Most people would edge away from that. Not my brother. Straightaway he went, “Fucking hell. Bet you don’t go to many rock gigs.” And you know when you’re like, “Well, we’re all going to die.” She started laughing. They had sex that night. But sometimes he goes too far. There was an incident between my brother and my sister. l’m not saying what he did was right. l’m saying it was funny. Her husband was hit by a car. Yes. I think we can all agree that’s very sad. He was riding his bike… Clink! And he broke both of his arms. My sister rang me up. She said, “Russ. He’s in hospital. He’s okay. He’s just broken his arms. Can you look after my baby?” I was like, “Of course I can. I will do that.” That’s how I responded. Not my brother. This is how he was telling people. “You heard? Carrie’s gotta wipe two assholes.”
But you know that feeling when you want to laugh? I love those moments in life. I had a brilliant one earlier this year. I went to Liberia for Comic Relief. Comic Relief, as we all know, is an international charity. People donate money to people in need. There was a village in Liberia that had been decimated by Ebola. And, for some reason, they bring comedians to Africa to help. Doctors would make more sense. “Nope. Bring on the funny-funny man.” There was a village that I went to visit. They had a new school that had been built out of the money that Comic Relief raised. There were children going to school for their first day ever. It was amazing. And, for some reason, I was selected to take those children to school. I was confused. The kids were confused. The villagers were utterly baffled. Here’s a question. Anyone here ever walk some kids out of an African village? Is that a “no”? Let me tell you this. It’s the weirdest moment. It’s, “Morning. Hello. Hello.” You should’ve seen these elders. They’re like, “Where is he taking the children? Who the fu… Does he work for Madonna? Who is this? Look. No. That is Ellen. Hello, Ellen!” “I’m not Ellen!”
It was amazing. Fifteen million people watch Comic Relief. There’s a cameraman watching my every move. And the BBC didn’t put this on. And I said, “Why?” And they said, “Russ, you look so embarrassed. It was so funny. But we didn’t want you to look like a dick.” They should have let the world have that moment. Here’s what happened, right? We got on a bus. There was an eight-year-old girl. There was a six-year-old boy. They were very excited. We were going to school. The mum came with us. There’s a cameraman watching my every move. The mum started singing a song. How did the song go? I’ll tell you. * Oh, thank you, Jesus * * For bringing Russell * She started stroking my face. * Thank you, Jesus * * For bringing Russell * What the fuck would you do? The cameraman nearly died. This poor fucker’s like, “Jesus Christ alive. I really want to laugh, but l’m not allowed. But if I don’t, l’m gonna shit blood.” The kids started singing. They were like… * Thank you, Jesus, for bringing Russell Thank you * He’s like, “l’m gonna die here.” And then it took a really strange turn. ‘Cause the little girl looked at me and went, “Sing!” What would you do? I either look like an idiot in front of England or I break her heart. I started singing. I was out loud… * Thank you, Jesus * * For bringing me * “Louder!” “All right.” * Thank * I could see my dad at home. “Fucking come here, quick! Russell’s on the telly! He thinks he’s fucking Jesus!” * Thank you, Jesus * And then my brain went, “Mate, you need to stop singing about Jesus. Why don’t you sing a children’s song?” “That’s a brilliant idea, brain. Then it won’t be creepy.” But rather than explain that, I was so flustered, I just started singing a children’s song louder than the kids. From nowhere. They were like… * Thank you, Jesus, for bringing Russell * * Old MacDonald had a farm * * E-I-E-I-O * I kid you not. The little boy looked at me and went, “What is an E-I-E-I-O?” “I don’t know what an E-I-E-I-O is.” “Then why did you say…” “I don’t fucking know! I’m just trying to save Africa.”
And this is how it felt at my granddad’s funeral. We’re desperately trying to concentrate. But my nan is so funny. My dad is talking about my granddad. My nan had a cough. She was like… “I got a cough.” “I know that. Stop looking at me.” Nobody was laughing. Everyone was concentrating. Everyone. Nobody wanted to be the person that went, “Aaah!” And then she did something beautiful. My nan connected everyone. In the middle of something as sad as my granddad’s funeral, we found laughter. Because my nan roared out loud… “Has anyone got anything I can suck?” That was too much for the Howards. We lost our collec… Just a room full of people… I could see my little brother fighting the urge not to go, “Fucking hell, Granddad. You picked the wrong day to die.” It was… poetry.
And you’ve all been there. Everyone in this room has been in a moment like that. You know? When you’re lost in laughter? There is no past. There is no future. You’re just swirling in giggles. I think it’s all we can do. Giggle at the madness of the world. Every day you switch on the news. The news in this country is just, “Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Raining.” That is the news.
Donald Trump said the other day he’s not gonna visit Britain – until he gets a warm… – He’s a wanker! Because he’s a wanker. There you go. I couldn’t even finish it. But that’s… that’s a real measure of the feeling, isn’t it? I didn’t even finish the sentence. “You wanker!” That’s how we feel all across Britain. Do you know what they’ve done in Scotland? He’s got a golf course in Aberdeen. They’ve had to put extra security staff on at that golf course ’cause Scottish men keep breaking in and shitting in the holes. That’s how we feel about Mr. Trump. It’s the most Scottish reaction. “I don’t like that bastard one bit. l’m with you, America.”
Yet lots of people at the minute, “We can’t let Trump come to England. We can’t. We can’t let him meet the queen.” I think we can. That’s how we get rid of that bully. That’s how we get rid of that bigot. We use Liz… as bait. Think about it. “Come in, Donald. Come in. Probably weary from the battle and shit. Come in. Pull up a pew, doll.”
We don’t know what the queen‘s like. Let’s be honest. We’re all very different at home to how we are at work. I bet she’s the same. I bet you she fucks around with the guards. Just walking along one day… “Nobody will ever believe you.” You would, wouldn’t you? Just every day. “Morning. ‘The queen did a dab.’ I think not, furry hat. Come in, Donald. Come in. This is Prince Philip, my husband.” “There you go. That’s that, love.” That’s all he’s said in 20 years, isn’t it? “Okay.” They have to get the camera off him before he pulls out a fiver and goes, “I fucked her.” “Okay, Philip. Come on.” “Come in, Donald. Probably wondering why you’re here.” “I am. I wonder so much. There’s so much wondering. I wonder. You wonder. We all wonder. I wonder why, when I play golf in Scotland, the ball never goes in the hole. I don’t get this.” “You’re wondering why you’re here.” “I am.” “Well, we’re here to knight you. We think you’re splendid. Kneel down. Philip, blade. Oh, fuck. It slipped. Oh, l’m so old and weary. Why did I do it? I’ll tell you why I did it. Because nobody grabs my pussy is why, Sonny Jim. And this is called muffling. Film me, Philip. Film me.” * Every day l’m muffling * Imagine seeing that on the news. “We go live to Buckingham Palace.” * Ding, dong, the dickhead’s gone * Smushy, smushy!
Wouldn’t that be lovely? People need to die. Why not start with a few morons? Why do we bend over backwards for idiots? Fucking let ’em go. You’re not helping anyone. You’re thick as pig shit. “Mind the gap.” If you need help with that, if you’re thinking, “I want to be in the gap,” let them go. Just means there’ll be one fewer person on Love Island. That’s all that means.
I bought a pair of trainers the other day. There was a sachet inside the trainers that honestly said, “Silica gel. Do not eat.” Who the fuck eats it? Are there really people who go… “Trainer pudding! It’s naughty bubbles, isn’t it? It’s naughty bubbles.”
We no longer sell curved croissants in our largest supermarket because enough people wrote to Tesco complaining that they struggled putting jam on curved croissants. That is a thing. We were defeated by bendy bread. “Dear Tesco, not being funny, but I was going like that, and suddenly there was jam on the table. Help. Tony, it’s happening again.”
It’s awful. Some people can’t eat bananas. “Where’s it going? Where’s it going?”
The world is so depressing, you know? Like, my little cousin… This killed me the other day. He went to the zoo. He was given a note from his school of what to do in the event of an ISIS attack. At the zoo. He’s 11. He’s excited. You can’t even go to the fucking zoo now without being terrified. And do you know the advice that his teachers gave him? It said on this note, “Run or hide.” Cheers, guys. What did they think he was going to do? “Shit. It’s ISIS.” * Kumbaya, my lord * * Kumbaya * Let’s fight them with Christian love. * Kumbaya * It’s awful, isn’t it?
I wasn’t afraid of ISIS. I grew up in the ’90s. What were the big fears in England in the ’90s? Eating red berries off the side of the road. Chinese burns. Wedgies. Leaning back on your chair at school. Do you remember those weird rumors? “Don’t lean back on your chair, Russ. There was a boy that did it once and now he’s ‘spastamicated.'” “I don’t think that’s how you say it.” “That’s how he says it now.” Girls running up to you in the playground. “Pick a number. Pick a color. Now pick a number.” “What origami nonsense is this, Sarah?” “Number!” “Three.” “One, two, three. Color!” “Red.” “R-E-D. You’re a dick.” We used to go to school with our names sewn into our clothes. Your underwear. That was the most baffling. There was never gonna be a moment in the middle of geography… “I gotta get my balls out, boys. I’ll tell you what. I fucking love erosion. I gotta set my sack free.” The only time you would remove your pants at school would be if you shat yourself. And then the last thing you’d want is something that linked it back to you. “Some shitty pants here. It says ‘Russell Joseph Howard.’ Hit him with recorders.”
Wasn’t afraid of ISIS. I was afraid of my little brother. Little bastard. We used to have a thing called the landline. Do you remember that? It was a phone in the kitchen and a phone upstairs. We always forgot about that one, didn’t we? We thought we were having a private conversation. We weren’t. The rest of our family were listening in to everything we said. Every time I used to speak to a girl, my brother would be on the top phone making this noise. “What are you doing, Russell?” “l’m not doing anything.” “He’s wanking. He’s wanking. He’s wanking.” l’d run upstairs to punch him in the face. I wasn’t allowed. He had epilepsy, the selfish little bastard. I had to get a lamp and go like that. “Whoa!” But that’s what you should be doing when you’re 11. Trying to give your brother an epileptic fit.
But this note went on. I don’t know whether this is the saddest thing or the funniest thing I’ve ever read. He’s 11. He’s going to the zoo. This is the note he got from his school. “If you do spot a terrorist, tell the teacher.” I swear to God. It said this. “Do not attempt to negotiate.” What? Wow. Could you imagine that? Just some ISIS… “Just kneel before our ISIS flag.” “Nathan! Negotiate.” Just some kid from Bristol, like that. “What’s all this fuss? What’s my name? It’s Nathan, mate. It’s written on my pants. What’s your name? ‘Cause you sound spastamicated. What do you want?” “What do I want? I want to burn down this zoo, overthrow your government, and fly my flag above the Houses of Parliament.” “Oh. Do you want a Mars bar?” “He’s got the Mars bar. What do you think?” “Do you have a Kit Kat?” Wait. “Have we got any Kit Kats?” “No. I ate it. Shut up. I didn’t realize we were gonna be infiltrated. All I got left is a Twix.” “Fucking snap it in half, Wayne. These goat-fuckers don’t know what a Kit Kat is. Let’s negotiate. Before I give you this Kit Kat, we’re gonna settle it the old-fashioned way, the Bristol way, the children’s way. I need you to tuck your willy between your legs.”
It must be so hard being young, you know? Do you ever think about that? I grew up in the ’90s. We didn’t have social media. All we had to do was develop a personality. Whereas kids now, you gotta develop a brand. Trouble is, that’s tricky. You gotta convince the world you’re more interesting than you are. And the trouble is, you’re not. Because you haven’t become you yet. We wonder why kids are anxious the world over. Imagine that. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook. Every thought, every picture, every moment, online, judged. We wonder why they’re frazzled to shit. We didn’t have that. What did we do in the ’90s? Fuck all. Mostly we sat on walls, thinking. That was it. Sat on a wall. Slowly becoming myself. No one attacking my still-growing brain. Luckily, l’d been born with a lazy eye and the ability to only breathe through my mouth. “All right, Marie. My mum’s picking me up at 5:00.” She’d walk up at about 7:00, my mum. Just at home, ironing. “Fucking leave him there, Dave. He does my bloody head in. Don’t be daft. He’s a funny-looking kid. No pedophile’s gonna go near him. To be honest, he talks so much they’ll never have time to get their cock in his mouth.” Not a joke. That is a direct quote. I was always safe. Just some bloke pulling up in a car, “Get in.” “Thank you very much. * In a car with a bad man * I would point out, if you’re gonna bang me in the woods, l’ve got hay fever.” “Get out.” “All right. Always talking myself out of a deal.” It’s very different now. That’s what l’m trying to say. l’ve been hanging around a lot of schools. I got that wrong. l’ve been filming them. l’ve been interviewing them. Interviewing. l’ve been interviewing kids for a TV show that l’m doing. The stuff l’ve learned. Fuck me! Do you know 40% of the kids that we’ve spoken to, when they lose their virginity, they film it. Yes. That is the correct response. Who is that confident losing their virginity? “Sarah, just lie there. You’re gonna be here for quite a while. Camera one, are you focused? Camera two, are you ready? Vision. Sound. Okay, everybody. Let’s make a motion picture. l’ve cum.” It’s an awful idea. If you filmed me, it would have been horrendous. “Am I doing it right? Is it going well? Thank you so much for this opportunity. l’m having a lovely day. I really am. Fucking pollen count. l’m too big, aren’t I? l’m too big. I don’t want to hurt you. That’s the last thing I want to do. I don’t want… l’m not in. I didn’t realize. I didn’t realize. Turn off the cameras. I didn’t realize.” Filming it, man. It’s ’cause we learn through porn and kids are trying to emulate porn stars. It’s fucked. We’re obsessed with porn in this country. I saw a teenage boy the other day watching porn on the train. He wasn’t touching himself. He was just watching it. Who the fuck watches porn for the stories? Just… “Aww! I knew they was gonna get together. It’s like Ross and Rachel, isn’t it?” And it gets weirder. Thirty-two percent of boys… I found this out. I was reading about it in the papers. When they lose their virginity they cum on the girl’s face. They think that’s what they’re meant to do. It isn’t, you fucking mongrels! You better cherish her, not make her look like she’s got the flu on a trampoline. Don’t copy porn. I didn’t lose my virginity dressed as a German plumber. And I can feel you looking at me. There’s probably people at home watching, thinking, “Well, you’ve changed the evening. That’s quite a hideous image.” There may be some people in this room that have come as a family. And it’s gonna be a fairly tricky car journey home. Just… Boy in the back, “l’d like to point out, Mum, I never spaffed on any girl’s face. I didn’t even know what spaffing was until he started going on about it.” But why am I talking about it? It’s a good question, right? I found out last year that one in four 16-to-25-year-old girls in the western world self-harm. One in four. And it really upset me. And I was thinking about it so much. And the trouble about me… l’m such a megalomaniac. l’m like, “Well, I can fix that. l’m Russell Howard. I can bring peace to the galaxy.” ‘Cause it really upset me, man. I couldn’t get it out of my head. And now, every time I see a 16-year-old girl who looks upset, I want to creep up to her… crawl into her brain, and kiss away the problems. But that ain’t gonna help, is it? Mwah! Mwah! * Oh, thank you, Jesus * But it’s horrendous. One in four. And why is it? Why are our young women slashing and attacking themselves? I think it’s ’cause of the pressure. This insane world that we live in now. All these… Like, have you seen the latest social media trends? Rib cage bragging. Where supermodels lean back and they brag about their ribs. No, I can’t speak for women. I can speak for every man who’s ever walked the earth. No man has ever looked at a lady and gone, “Fucking look at the ribs on that!” ‘Cause we look at you like you’re women, not percussion instruments. We’re not get, like, “Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah!” Know what I mean? Oh! Yes! We’re not gonna flip you over and go… Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Some of you may do. I don’t know how you conduct your business. But when you’re under pressure… And I think it’s very hard, being a young person in the world these days. If you want to get an education in England, it costs you thousands. If you want to get a job, you get zero contract hours. You do a job like a nurse or a doctor, something that matters, and orange people on TV get paid more than you for fucking on an island. And on top of that… We’re all… looking for love. We’re all looking for love. Young women are looking for love. In the last 20 years, men have become assholes in the way we woo you. It’s awful. Do you remember mixtapes? Do you remember how cute we used to be? “Here are some songs. I heard these songs and I thought of you. And I think you will hear these songs and think of me. And we will have a special cuddle.” Those days are gone, man. If you go on Tinder, it’s just, “There’s a photo of my dick.” You’re like hobbits walking through a cock-shaped woodland. Just… * Where’s my prince * “Where are all these dicks…” It’s fucking mental. No wonder you’re cutting yourselves. You’re dodging dicks all day. And the things you do for us… And l’m talking from a heterosexual relationship point of view. I don’t know about the other sweethearts. But the things that women do for men… I was talking to a 21-year-old woman about pubic hair. I built up to it. I didn’t just… I didn’t just walk up, “Let’s talk minges. You know my name.” But she said something that broke me. She went, “I shave it down there ’cause I don’t want the boys to laugh at me ’cause it looks horrible.” How upsetting is that? If you want to shave your bits, do it for you. Don’t do it for us. ‘Cause no man has ever found himself in paradise going, “Well, this is lovely. But look at the lawn. There’s not even a rock feature.” I don’t think you should shave it. That’s just my opinion. I think it looks too scared. I think… It does. Looks like a little rabbit’s nostril just… “Where’s my coat? Where’s my coat?” It should be hairy. The old women in here, you don’t muck around with that, do you? You keep it swinging. You keep it loose. You keep it hairy like a buffalo in a blizzard. Just… “Bring on the winter!” There’ll be an old lady in here with a fanny like Jon Snow’s coat. ‘Cause sex is the best thing in the world. When you’re truly lost in fuck. It’s sensational, isn’t it? But it doesn’t look like porn, as anyone in this room who’s ever filmed themselves can prove. “Let’s watch it back.” Don’t ever watch it back. It’s horrific, isn’t it? You’re like two potatoes fighting. “Are you gonna cum? l’m gonna cum. I think you’re gonna cum. l’m gonna cum.” I just think it’s horrible. If you’re a young woman, you’re losing your virginity, and then some bloke… Boom! “Spaff on your face. That’s where that goes.” It’s fucking horrible. When you lose your virginity, it should be awful for both of you, not just for her. We shouldn’t throw spunk on girls’ faces. We should throw petals at their feet. The things they’ll do for us… The blow job. What a thing. They’re wonderful, blow jobs. When you’re young, you’re collecting them. You can’t believe how lucky you are. “Another one for me.” When you’re older, a blow job is useful. If you’re in a long-term relationship, that’s how you know how old you are. You’re like, “It’s my birthday. l’m 52!” It’s a wonderful thing. The very fact that you let us put our dirty dicks in your magical mouths. Five points to Gryffindor, you heaven-sent angels. It’s wonderful. And it’s not us at our finest. What we’re trying to say is, “Thank you. Thank you. I can’t believe you’re doing this, you angel sent from above.” But you’ve seen us. Do you know why we’re like that? ‘Cause you’ve got our brain in your mouth. “What are you saying, Darren? I don’t understand.” I say we get rid of porn. For a year. And it’s gonna affect me. l’m a touring comedian. l’ve traveled the world. l’ve watched a lot of pornography this year. There’s been times on this tour when my penis has looked like an ’80s joystick. Black and red on top. But it’s weird, isn’t it? It’s got too aggressive. Have you seen this? This is the latest. When the camera’s over the shoulder. It’s meant to make you feel like you’re making love to the lady. It doesn’t. It makes you feel like you’re on the shoulder of some bloke you don’t know like some kind of wanking parrot. I say we get rid of porn for a year. Let’s see if we can recalibrate. l’ve got an idea. This is my great idea. We get rid of porn… and we get kids. No! Wait. To be honest, what l’m about to say is probably going to get a similar reaction. We get kids to watch their parents make love. That is my idea. Think about it. Think… It’s gonna be tender. If l’m watching my mum and dad go at it, it’s gonna be sweet. “Ready, Russ? Here we go. Just bouncing on your dad’s dick. Having a lovely evening. You’ll notice he hasn’t spaffed in my face. He’s not degrading me in any way. You’ll notice my bush is positively Wookiee-like. Having a smashing evening, aren’t we, David?” “Yep. Having a tremendous night, love. To be honest with you, it’s fairly weird what with Russell being in the corner like the fucking Blair Witch, but… Luckily he’s got a lazy eye and he can’t focus.” That’s my idea. I think it would be tender, you know? My mum and dad love each other. And my dad is always complimenting my mum and bragging her. I think if they made love it’d be tender. I don’t know if anyone’s got a dad like that. It’s lovely and weird at the same time. My dad’s always like, “Whoa! Bloody hell. Your mum, eh? Whoo-hoo!” You can’t join in. You’re like, “Yeah, fucking Mum. He’s shagging Mum. Give her one for me, you lucky bastard. Go on.” He gave her the most English compliment you can give a woman the other day. “Do you know the best thing about your mother’s ass? I can slap your mum’s ass, go and make myself a cup of tea, and when I come back, it’s still wobbling.” My mum was like, “Thank you very much, David.” I think we need to do something, man. One in four. It’s really odd, what happens, like, l’m very, l’m very aware. I think we all are. We’re very aware of how troubled we are at the minute. We’re all a bit frazzled. We’re all a bit mad, aren’t we? Know what I mean? In the last couple years we’ve all realized, “l’m a bit crazy.” Know what I mean? I have thoughts that I never used to have. l’m about to go to bed and my brain’s like, “You’re gonna die. Dead in a ditch.” Sometimes my brain will suggest I do a thing that I would never do. “What if you put your mum’s head in a microwave?” “The fuck?” “What if an eagle stole your dog?” “Fuck off.” That’s why l’ve started vaping cannabis. That’s my way of dealing with it. I know it’s not the best way, you know? And it might send me madder, but… It’s nice, isn’t it? Cannabis. ‘Cause it lets you put your brain away. “It’s all too much for me. I just need to drift.” I love it. It’s the only drug, as well, that makes you giggle and paranoid, which is a brilliant combo. “Who’s laughing?” I got stoned with my brother. It was amazing. We were watching Star Wars. He was like, “This is shit. Why is it, when they get their lightsabers out, you never see any moths?” I got stoned with my mum. I recommend you do that. She’s like, “Cows have got no emotional range. See them in a field, they’re always the same, aren’t they? l’ve never once heard one go… ‘Moo.’ They must be happy. You’d never know it. You’d never know it. Be a nightmare if you worked in a toy shop, wouldn’t it, Russ? Imagine trying to sell a toy zebra. You’d never find the bar code.” She doesn’t need cannabis, my mum. Her brain is wonderful. We went to a restaurant the other day where you eat in the dark. It’s in London, right? And my mum went, “I don’t know, Russ. What if I forget where my mouth is?” She keeps a hula hoop underneath her sofa. I found it the other day. I was like, “What’s this?” And my mum, “Well, when I watch the news and it’s awful, what I do, I pull out the hula hoop, I have a little dance, and I feel better.” And then she said this. “I think you’ll find there’s a lot of ladies my age that do a similar thing.” Fucking no, there is not. How much better would the world be if there was? “Your husband’s dead.” “You’re joking.” You can learn a lot, you know? And l’ve got a fucking messed-up brain. I had an amazing conversation. I don’t know if anyone here is genuinely worried about death. I am. All the time. Like, this has been the fun gig, but I’ll go to bed tonight and my brain’ll be like, “You’re gonna die. Nothing you do matters, you piece of shit. Dead in a ditch.” And that is tricky. And this tour’s been hard. It’s been amazing. But my granddad has died, my nan has died, and my uncle Tim has died. Three people that I adored are no more, and there’s bullies and bigots and idiocy everywhere. I was talking to my dad about it. I was really upset. I was like… And my dad, my dad’s a bit of a philosopher. He’s disgusting. But he says wise things. The other day Mum said, “Dave, do you wanna watch Britain’s Got Talent?” And my dad went, “Watch? Britain’s Got Talent? l’d rather shit in my hand and clap.” So he recognizes… the reason mainstream TV exists. To keep us all thick so the government can pass the laws. “There’s the cakey program. There’s the dancy program. We’ll just get on with this, okay?” “Cakey dance-dance. Cakey dance-dance.” I was talking to my dad about death. He said something that’s disgusting. And this’ll be too much for some of you, I think. This side of the room, you’ll be all right. This is gonna… This is genuinely hideous. I apologize. But it’s the funniest, most profound thing anyone’s ever said to me. I was talking to my dad about death. I said, “Dad, what’s the point? Granddad’s dead. Nan’s dead. Uncle Tim’s gone. What’s the point?” My dad said this. He went, “Should I tell you what life is, Son? Life is just moments. What you gotta do, go along, grab as many of them as possible, and hopefully they flash before your eyes before you die.” If he’d have stopped there, it would have been quite uplifting. But this is my dad. And this is what he said to me. “You made it. You’re here. That is incredible. Do you know how lucky you are to be alive? You could have died on my belly. l’m being serious. Literally thousands of your dead brothers and sisters… Dead in socks. Dead in socks. I’ll often open up the sock drawer and cry over the never-babies I could have had. But I got you. And I love you. There’s grace in you, Russ. I love you. And when you talk that shit, it kills me. ‘Cause you’re my boy. It’s very easy. You’re here, then you’re gone. Do your best, and don’t be a dick.” It’s an amazing way of looking at life, isn’t it? That’s… That’s the truth. Look at us all here. All here. In this moment, right now, we are alive. Look at us. We’re alive. Every one of us could have died on our dad’s bellies. That is a fact. Don’t fight it. Don’t fight it. Some of your dads may be at home now killing siblings. And we shouldn’t be appalled. We should be recalibrated. Reinvigorated. This is our earth. We have the capacity to make it better, and we’re failing. We’re in a terrible state the world over. Division and bullshit and bigots. Like, you travel around. You do gigs. This is an amazing place. That’s why I came to Brighton to do this. I did it in the middle of Gay Pride ’cause it’s the height of loveliness. Exactly. But l’ve been to places… Like, I was doing some gigs in the deep south in America. I was chatting about gay marriage. Turns out not everyone’s a fan. I had a lot of fun that night. ‘Cause I was telling them l’d quite like to be gay. That is the truth. – Hey! – Exactly. But you all have these moments. Like, when you think, “I wonder what it’d be like to be gay.” Like, I love my girlfriend. She’s an amazing human being. My girlfriend is a doctor, and she goes out with a comedian. Do you know how hard a life that is? She’s gotta deal with mental health, vulnerability, then she’s gotta go to work. You have those moments where you think, “If I was going out with a boy, right?” A man. A man. A man! He’s a man. He’s a big lad. He’s called Keith. If he came home and he was in a mood, I could fix that. I know how men work. “l’m in a mood.” We’d play computer football, l’d wank him off, sorted. There is not a man alive… “You’re better now, aren’t you, Mr. Grizzly?” “I am. Thank you very much, Russell, for understanding the complexity that is me.” “I did, didn’t I? Who’s Daddy’s little soldier?” “It’s me.” You can’t, nor should you ever do that with women. But, if that was an option… Because we’ve all had those rows. Like, my girlfriend is incredibly intelligent, like all women. But if she wants to win an argument she becomes eight. That’s what you do. “You all right? What’s wrong?” “If you don’t know what’s wrong, then l’m not going to explain to you what’s wrong. Yes, I could fix this by talking rationally like I always do, but l’d rather this row went on for two years.” “Just tell me what’s wrong.” “Yeah, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” My girlfriend, she’s brilliant. She works all the hours God sends. She works for the NHS. It’s an amazing institution. And… She has to live with me. It’s a difficult life. Right? And she found… She was in our attic. Now, we’ve only recently bought the house. She found a suitcase in the attic. She sent me a text. “What the fuck have you been doing in the attic?” I was like, “I haven’t been in the attic.” She was like, “All right. Then what’s this?” And it was a picture of a suitcase. So I sent her a text back, “It’s a suitcase. This is a very easy quiz.” Yeah, I know. Even as I sent it, I could feel my thumb going, “I don’t know, Russ. Are you sure?” She sent me pictures of the three things she found in this suitcase. It’s not my suitcase. It belonged to the person we bought it off. I don’t know what the fuck she thought I was doing. First thing. Four tins of Heinz tomato baked beans. Number two. An R.E.M. CD. And number three, and probably most troubling… a very large, black strap-on penis. We’re all thinking the same thing. If you’re English, you think thank Christ you’ve never been on Cash in the Attic. “Is it a family heirloom?” “Fucking hope not, mate. That would explain why your eyes are crossed.” But what did she think l’d been doing up there? That’s what puzzled me. Like, “Bye. See you at the hospital looking after the people.” And then running up to the attic like that. Putting the strap-on on and just knocking beans on the table. * Everybody hurts * “It’s so hard being famous.” * Shining, happy people * * Knocking beans on the fucking table * * With my big old cock of doom l’m swinging * It was the weirdest argument l’ve ever had. She’s like, “Is that what you want to do? Do you want me to bum you in the attic?” You’re like, “Absolutely not! You can barely parallel park.” But now I own a strappy. I can’t get rid of it. I can’t bury it. l’ve got a dog. Do you know what I did with it? I put it underneath my mum’s sofa. I can’t wait for bad news. Mum’s like, “Oh, my God. An earthquake. I need to dance away… Fuck! This draft excluder’s got balls, Dave.” I don’t understand it, you know? I was chatting about gay marriage at this gig, and I was getting… Like, you’ve all heard those stereotypical heckles. They still exist. “Gay marriage is not natural.” Neither is marriage. It’s not natural. You don’t see it in the animal kingdom. l’ve never seen a duck dressed as a vicar. Never seen it on an Attenborough nature documentary. “Here we see the hippo. She’s out and about in her bachelorette party. She’s getting muffled in a dance as old as time.” It’s absurd. I don’t understand it. What I don’t understand, more than anything, is people who go out of their way, searching to be annoyed. Looking for bigotry. It’s absurd, you know? ‘Cause we can make each other so happy. And I think we should have that on the end of the news, you know? ‘Cause that’s what the world is. The world is woe and wonder. We have awful things happen, and there’s little moments of beauty that make us glad to be alive, you know? I met a woman at a zoo recently. She was about 60. We should see this on the news. She was blind. She was at the zoo. And her family were like, “Are you having a good time, Mum?” And she went, “Not really. l’m blind. You’ve brought me to a zoo.” I fell in love with her. This is the sentence that got it. She went, “It’s just noises and smells.” I love moments like that. I was on a plane recently. I heard a voice in the sky go, “Will you stop touching your willy?” I thought it was God. I was like, “You shouldn’t have given me such a sweet one, then.” I looked around. There was a mum telling her son off. This kid was four. Grabbing himself. She’s like, “Will you stop touching your willy?” The kid looked at his mum and went, “Oh, Mummy. I love it.” There’s nothing you can do with that level of wisdom. “Mother, if you had one of these you wouldn’t leave the damn thing alone.” “You’ll go blind!” “Yes, Mummy. Then I’ll have a dog and a willy.” Here’s a moment that should be on the end of the news. I was in Edinburgh the other day. I was walking along. This bloke leapt out. – Whoo! – It may have been you. – Are you from Edinburgh, madam? – Yes. Good. I was walking along and there was a bloke that leapt out from a hedge. And he went, “Whoop.” “You all right?” And he went, “Yep.” He said, “Can you do me a favor?” I said, “It depends, doesn’t it? I mean, you were in a hedge a minute ago.” This is what he said to me. He looked at me and went, “Please do me a favor, Russ. Please. Please do this. My son is a huge fan of yours. He’s in a car just down there. You can, please, go up to that car, open the door, and scare him.” You’re like, “Fucking right, I will. In fact, I found this in my attic, mate. Which… Which car is it? l’m gonna melt his braces.” We were giggling. Me and this stranger. It was so lovely. This is what he said to me. He went, “You can’t go big enough. Really go for it.’ You can’t go big enough.” What he should have said: “Don’t go too big. My son is eight.” I didn’t know. Poor little kid. I thought he was just a little fella. I ran up. I opened the door. Fuck, man. I really went for it. I just went… The kid looked at me and went, “Fuck.” His dad went, “Hey. Who taught you to swear?” And the kid went, “Him.” That’s what we should have on the news. ‘Cause we can be so kind to each other, you know? And we have those moments when the world is beautiful. Like, about a year before my nan and granddad died, we went to see Nan. She was in hospital. And everyone I loved went to see her. It was really beautiful. It was a surprise. And she was in the hospital bed like, “All right, Russ. How you doing?” “l’m very well. How are you, Nan?” “l’m a bit poorly.” And we’re all gathered around her. Everyone was there. My Auntie Gary was there. She’s my favorite auntie. She’s called Auntie Gary because she self-injects botox and she looks like the British pedophile Gary Glitter. “All right, Gary?” “All right, guys. How you doing?” She can’t show emotion. It’s an absolute, fuck, horror show. We’re being silly. It’s the Howard way. We’re taking the piss out of each other. My brother had a girlfriend at the time and he was trying to be normal. He couldn’t really do it. You should’ve seen him at Christmas. “Is everyone all right for drinks?” “What the fuck is this? Last year you pissed in a glass and went, ‘Apple juice?'” He’s destined to be a weird uncle, my brother. I love a weird uncle. They make Christmas so great. Mine is called Cuddly Barry, right? He came around at Christmas. My mum went, “Bloody Barry’s coming, the dirty shit. He’d shag anything that moves. I mean it. You watch the dogs. They freeze.” They did. They’re like, “Shit, it’s Barry. Don’t move, seriously. Oh, no. Can you smell gas?” That’s what my brother’s gonna be. We’re all being very silly. It’s the Howard way. Dicking around. My granddad wasn’t joining in. That was the saddest thing. ‘Cause my granddad was the best. My granddad was 4 foot 8. But he was 10 foot tall full of stories. It’s what granddads do. They just drift into your life, tell magical lies… and then drift away. I remember I was about six. I was eating toast. My granddad walked into the kitchen, just from nowhere, and went, “Yep. I reckon I could walk on my hands from Edinburgh to London.” “Amazing. Are you gonna do that, Granddad?” And he looked at me and went, “No! I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction.” And he drifted away. But he wasn’t like that towards the end of his life. My granddad had dementia. And it’s the worst. If you know anyone with it… It robs them of them. And he didn’t really talk. And it was really sad. He was very, kind of, frozen inside himself. And then it happened. He became himself again. We’re all gathered around my nan. My granddad grabbed my nan’s hand and just went, “Where you been? I haven’t seen you for ages.” I know. It was amazing. All of us melted. My granddad’s like, “Look at her. Ain’t she the prettiest girl you ever did see?” We’re like, “Oh, my God. l’m gonna die. l’m gonna die.” It was like my granddad had pulled his heart out, pressed it against my nan’s heart, and gone, “Forever, isn’t it? It’s forever. I know l’m a daft bugger. I know I talk nonsense. But you feel that heart. That beats like a train for you. ‘Cause I love you now the same way I always did.” And we’re there going, “Yeah.” In my head l’m going, “This is it. This is one of these moments your dad was on about. Grab it. Hopefully this will flash before your eyes before you die, ’cause it was love. It was pure, beautiful love.” And, as ever with my family, there was a little cherry on top. Because my nan had clearly never received public love before. We’re all looking at Granddad. And he’s sending it. He’s sending it. We look at nan. My nan’s like that… She didn’t know what to say, so she just looked to him and went, “You need your hair cut.” And we all laughed. It was beautiful. We were lost in laughter, you know? That’s the best. That’s why I don’t understand it. Those are the moments that are worth living. And people go out of their way at the minute. Hunting out… “I wanna be annoyed. What can I be upset by? It’s the immigrants, isn’t it? It’s the immigrants. This is my bit. This is my bit. This is my bit.” Fuck off. We don’t have time for this nonsense, you know? It’s like I said. I was doing this gig, and just hearing these heckles. “Gay marriage upsets God. That’s why there’s thunderstorms.” “Is it? Who the fuck was your geography teacher, mate? In ancient Greece all they did was read and bum each other. The weather was lovely. ‘Steady on, Socrates. l’m gonna lose my page.'” Gay marriage upsets God. Well, God upsets me. He’s a fucking weirdo. He could have selected any noise for the fox to make when it makes love. And that’s what he went with? “Well, I think we’ve absolutely nailed that.” “I don’t know, God. It sounds like someone raping a bagpipe.” God’s a creepy prick. He made penguins. He gave them wings, but they can’t fly. What a wanker. “Look at these. Oh, they do nothing. God’s a cunt.” I don’t understand it. It’s time to recalibrate, you know? There’s enough bigotry in this world. Like, when we legalized gay marriage, it was ridiculous. Like, do you remember what Lord Tebbit, the Tory peer, said in the House of Lords? This is a man who has a say in our laws. He just went, “Gay marriage could lead to a lesbian queen.” That was his input to the debate. Like Liz was gonna go, “It’s legal, is it? Off you pop, Philip. Hello, Britain. There’s gonna be some changes around here. This is Linda. She’s my top bitch. That’s it, Linda. Does it taste like stamps?” It’s… It is unlikely. It’s unlikely that that’s gonna happen. And the point l’m making, if you can deal with your… Point l’m making… The idea that some Tory peer is telling us, “The idea of a lesbian on the throne is utterly ridiculous.” I say, “Fuck off, old man.” There’s lots of things… There’s lots of things that are ridiculous in the world. The fact that nurses in this country are using food banks. The fact… Exactly. The fact that children in this country go to school malnourished. The spelling of the word Chihuahua. “Chihuahua.” The English national anthem. That’s the most absurd song in the world. We’re English. We love singing it. But we don’t believe in God. We know she’s safe. And yet, you’ve seen us. * Oh, magic man in the clouds * * Look after the lady what’s safe * * Why have we not evolved? * It’s the time for this country to recalibrate. We need a new anthem that can bring everyone together. I wanna hear this at Wembley. * God save our NHS * * It really is the best * * Liz will be fine * * Help those in poverty * * Stop kids self-harming for me * * Give Donald Trump a lobotomy * * E-I-E-I-E-I * * O * We’d sing that. Ladies and gentlemen of the Brighton Dome, thank you so much for coming. What a gig! What people! Thank you so much. Thank you very much. Well, that’s very kind. Thank you very much indeed. Ladies and gentlemen of Brighton, to the future! * Absent friends * * Here’s to them * * And happy days * * We thought that they would never end * * Here’s to absent friends * * Little Jean * * Seberg seemed * * So full of life * * But in those eyes * * Such troubled dreams * * Poor little Jean *