New father and self-confessed old man, Jon Richardson has become one of the nation’s favourite comics, via panel show ubiquity, including his long stint on 8 Out Of 10 Cats. The curmudgeonly cardigan-wearer is now leaving the studio and heading out on tour with a new stand-up show, including several dates in Scotland.
With a newborn in the house, touring comes as something of a relief. “Gigs have become very cathartic for me, as things are so hectic at home,” he said ahead of the dates. “Our baby is only two months old, so it’s obviously the perfect time for me to be leaving home for several weeks! It has to be said, I’m not terribly popular at home. But I’m assuming that by the time I get back home, my daughter will be toilet-trained, capable of dressing herself and able to drive!”
Fatherhood has given him plenty of anecdotal material for the tour too. “At one point, we were driving along the motorway when my wife needed to breastfeed. So we got off the motorway and drove down to the end of what we thought was a deserted lane. But as we reached the end, I began to think that there were more cars than there should be at 9 o’clock on a Tuesday evening. It turned out it was a local dogging site. We got a fair bit of attention…”
Membership of the nappies-and-prams brigade has made him look differently at the world as well. “Suddenly, global events take on more significance. When you’re single, you’re not beholden to anyone and you can shut down more easily. In the past, I had the idea that I’d live in a caravan with a dog near a pub with no responsibilities. But now when bad things happen in the world, I feel responsible for them because they’re going to impact on my daughter. The caravan, the dog and the pub have gone now!”
And world politics has affected him in other ways. “I got shingles on the day of the EU referendum. It’s good to see that my stress has got worse as I’ve got older and that now there is a physical element to it!”
Just as well comedy provides him with an outlet for his tension then!
“I love the privilege of looking back on my life every three years, turning it into a comedy show and sharing it with an audience. It’s incredibly cathartic. It’s a way of converting the difficult elements of life into comedy. None of us know what’s going on at the moment, so to be able to laugh at it in unity for two hours is absolutely great.”
Jon Richardson: Old Man is on tour now:
@ Edinburgh Playhouse, Thu 9 Nov 2017;
@ The Armadillo, Glasgow, Fri 10 Nov 2017;
@ Caird Hall, Dundee, Sat 11 Nov 2017;
@ Perth Concert Hall, Sun 12 Nov 2017;
@ Eden Court, Inverness, Mon 13 Nov 2017