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Home / Latest News / Rich Hall is the man from Montana who’s on song for plenty of laughs

Rich Hall is the man from Montana who’s on song for plenty of laughs

Rich Hall has come a very long way since  he gave up his job as a hurricane namer for the United States  Meteorological Service.

Now, more than two decades  later, he is hailed as one of our finest comedians. Well-known for his gruff, deadpan style, the man from Montana is a master of absurdist irony and rapid-fire wit.

Which means it is especially good  news that Hall is on tour once again  this spring – and heading to  Cardiff.

One of the elements that distinguishes Hall’s live act is that he  tailors each show to that particular location.

“I really look forward to the fact that every night is different – that’s the only way to keep it fresh,” says  the Perrier Award winner.

“A lot of comedians lock onto a  show and never change it. But for  me, that is not taking advantage of  where you are. The more you try to  acknowledge where you are and  take in local colour, the more you  involve yourself with an audience  and the more comic sparks fly.

“Nowadays I don’t need to look in the local papers to find out information about a particular town. I  can go on Wikipedia and find out everything I need to know about a  place in an hour.”

One of the highlights of the show will be the song that Hall sings about every single town where he is  performing.

“I will build a structured song  around the information I gather  about each place I’m in. I will take  into account the history of that  town and what it is known for. I will  also bring in things that have  happened during the first half the  show.

“Whenever I ask, ‘what’s this  place famous for?’, I always get an  amazing response. Recently they  have mainly been downbeat stories  about closed factories. Someone is  always hacked off that they don’t  make trouser presses there any  more. So I take the Woody Guthrie  approach and turn it into a song!”

Hall continues to get a real thrill out of live comedy.

“I have always loved doing live  comedy more than anything else. I  adore the electricity of it. I like  being in that moment. There is  nothing sanitised about that, it’s  very real.

“You have to really think on your  feet, and that always keeps it interesting. I really enjoy making  documentaries and writing books –  I get a lot of pleasure out of that  finished product. But above all I  love the fleeting nature of stand-up.  When it’s over, it’s not coming back,  and I love that ephemeral quality.”

The comedian, who has also enjoyed a hugely successful career on  the other side of the Atlantic where  he has written for and appeared on  Saturday Night Live and The David  Letterman Show, for which he won  two Emmy Awards, is brilliant at  bantering with his audience.

“I get a real buzz from that interaction. Anything that anyone  says on the night becomes a key  word that you can play off. A lot of  people make fun of comedians for  asking someone where they’re  from, but often that is all you need  to raise the level of a show and go  somewhere with it. Frequently  what people do for a living becomes a real feature of the show.  It’s unique for that audience and  for the comedian.

“The crucial thing is that you  never belittle people in the audience. You always try to elevate  what they say.”

Rich Hall is at The Glee club,
  Cardiff on May 23. For details,  call 0871 472 0400


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