Rawhide rolls in to town

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SHORT STORY FOR THE WEEKEND: Red Noir by Richard Salsbury

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Liverpool’s longest-running comedy club is rolling out the fun and taking its show on the road.

Rawhide Comedy Club comes to the Kings Theatre in Southsea on Sunday and will continue on a monthly basis next year.

Appearing this weekend are Watford gagsmith Eddy Brimson, one-line master Gary Delaney, former rock star Sam Avery and Geordie songster Richard Morton.

Richard has toured with Jack Dee, Lee Evans, Jo Brand, Eddie Izzard and Phill Jupitus, and is a founder member of The Comedy Store’s ‘Cutting Edge Show’.

We caught up with him ahead of the Southsea show.

When did you first realise you were funny?

I was a funny kid at school and always enjoyed amusing my class mates, especially at Grammar School where it often landed me in trouble with the teachers. Later, when I was trying to become a professional musician in my late teens and 20s, the comedy in me just reared its irreverent head and, instead of being taken seriously as a singer-songwriter at gigs, I started getting laughs.

That was over 20 years ago and I’ve been a professional comic ever since and never looked back, except for the few times when I was being chased out of a comedy club by an angry mob!

What would you be if you weren’t a comedian?

I’d probably be a full-time musician, as originally planned.

Happily for me, I recently released a CD of instrumental theme music for imaginary TV shows and fictional films from the late 1960s and early ’70s called The Theme That Never Was. The album has received very good reviews and is selling well (especially the downloads on iTunes).

Name three things that make you laugh.

It’s all about classic movies and TV shows for me, so three examples of timeless comedy for me are as follows:

That scene in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels where Michael Caine canes (no pun intended) Steve Martin, and the latter pretends that he’s feeling no pain. It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.

The scene in Some Like It Hot where Jack Lemmon explains to Tony Curtis that, after a night of dancing and romancing, he intends to marry Joe E. Brown. The timing of the jokes is made all the more impressive because Jack Lemmon sort of sings and dances through the whole scene whilst delivering the very funny lines.

And, lastly, the funniest TV series ever made is, I think, Fawlty Towers. Remember when Basil was serving cheese and biscuits in the restaurant and, on opening the biscuit box for the Health Inspector, revealed a rat? Wow, sublime humour!

What is your favourite one-liner?

My favourite one-liner is by a brilliant American comic named John Mendoza and goes like this: Do you know what the abbreviation for July is? J U L. You gotta be in a hurry.

Who is your hero?

My comic heroes, when I started out, were Steve Martin and Richard Pryor. Martin’s stand-up was fabulously inventive and Pryor set a standard for writing and performing that is still unsurpassed. And, musically, I think Victoria Wood’s hilarious song The Ballad Of Barry And Frieda (Let’s Do It) remains a masterclass in comedy songwriting. I’ve just watched it on You Tube and its still wonderful.

Tickets to Rawhide on Sunday cost £5 from (023) 9282 8282, kings-southsea.com or on the door before 7.30pm.