The multi-award-winning stand-up comedian and one of the most exciting names in Comedy, on Television and in Radio, Matt Richardson announced last year that he is to leave his Radio slot behind for a while to concentrate on his UK tour called the Imposter.
Speaking about Matt’s stellar success over the past several years – from winning the Chortle Student Comedy Awards to becoming a drive-time Virgin Radio Host and a sought-after TV presenter (The Xtra Factor, Viral Tap, Celebrity Haunted Hotel, The Hungover Games), – the comedian puts it down to his hard work. “I suppose it’s the fact the I’ve been working very hard and doing every gig I could while I was younger. I would do 7 gigs a week and somehow, I just got spotted. So, it’s very much about turning up and doing your gig.”
Matt admits that he loves all forms of performance and always misses the one he is doing less at any given time. “For example, when I do radio, I really miss stand up and when I’m on tour, I miss the rest of it.” This, admittedly, has prompted Matt to leave his radio host slot for a while to focus on the stand-up. The change, most certainly, is not permanent; we can be sure to see Matt on our TV’s and tune in to listen to his fast-paced and crisp voice on the radio in a not so distant future.
The ever-so-charismatic comedian is seemingly always ‘on’ – his voice full of energy. Not a bad thing to have for a performer. But is there something Matt would change in his performance? “Yes, of course, every time after the gig I spend time revisiting my routine and thinking about what could be improved. So, it’s always developing and it’s a constant learning process. I learn from my audience.”
While always willing and ready to learn from his audience, Matt is fully aware of the fact that the humour is subjective: “Yes, sometimes I will be laughing out loud at some jokes and people around me wouldn’t just feel it that way. And there are other things that just don’t work for me and I just catch myself thinking ‘what is everyone laughing about’. So yes, I think humour is definitely subjective.”
When asked about comedians that he finds funny, Matt fires at me without thinking: “My favourite comedian is Greg Davies. He is seemingly so effortlessly funny. He is brilliant in both the TV series like the sitcom ‘Man Down’, but also as a stand-up comedian. Yet, he is a hard worker and so committed. I also love classics like Alan Partridge. I can be watching it alone and laughing out loud in my living room – cracks me up every time!”
Naturally then, Matt loves watching other comedians. “Obviously, not on my day out,” he laughs. “Otherwise it would be a busman’s holiday. But when I do gigs, I do like watching other comedians perform. I know, other artists don’t like to be ‘distracted’ but I always find it interesting.” He goes on, “and it’s often the case that I see someone talking about certain subjects in a way that I didn’t think of before and it’s very refreshing and I can draw inspiration from that.”
Matt Richardson about the challenges within the comedy industry
We spoke about the challenges of comedy with quite a few titans within the industry and so, I was interested in finding out Matt’s point of view on that. Being in such high demand, I assume, Matt would have the hand on the pulse of the trade. “The way I see it, the comedy is actually in good shape at the moment,” Matt echoes the words of the BBC comedy controller Shane Allen.
The charismatic comedian continues, “The only point to add is that there just doesn’t seem to be enough diversity. It’s all mainly middle-aged white males joking about middle-aged white males. And I feel like the industry could be more diverse in that regard. Of course, you can’t force people to go into certain professions, but I believe we could do more to encourage diverse conversations.”
Matt Richardson about being funny
Comedy is known to be one of the hardest genres. Not least because the humour is, of course, subjective. But, according to Matt, one can learn to do comedy. “It’s a learnable skill.” And then, in a manner of a geek who was asked the question he always waited for, Matt continues: “Some great comedians started with a stand-up comedy course like Jimmy Carr for example. But there are many more and it’s a good way to break into comedy. Doing comedy is different from being funny at a party or with friends. As a performer, it’s all acted out more than just a funny remark said at the right time. So yes, it is possible to learn comedy.”
Here, we must trust his word. By Matt’s own admission, he was the least funny guy at school and his comedy skills are learned. Given Matt’s zest for life, I struggle to imagine that though. I asked Richardson if he has any tips to share with starting up comedians. “To get out there and perform, perform, perform as much as you can. Do every gig you can and learn at work.”
Richardson’s tour ‘Imposter’ kicked off on the 13th February in Southend, following by a gig in his home town Didcot and then Colchester. With 16 tour dates in various locations, the ‘Imposter’ tour will wrap in Brighton on the 30th of April 2020, visiting London on the 16th of April. “The tour is called imposter because we all feel this way a bit as if we are still children. We all do, whatever we are,” commended comedian.
Keeping on top of it
Finances are not something you would openly discuss in your day-to-day conversation, but I use the opportunity to pop a few questions as I’m aware of Matt’s collaboration with the online banking app Bó.
“Well,” he begins, “I’ve been using their services for a while now and I’m finding it very useful. Now, it is easier for me to just budget my life and expenses better. So, I’m a long-standing customer and happy to collaborate with them. I mean, after having started using them, I am not scared of my tax bill anymore every year at the end of January. And trust me, I used to always be worried whether I’ve spent too much where I shouldn’t have. So, I’m using them for my banking and they’ve made my life easier for sure.”
Matt is working with Bó, the new banking app designed to help people do money better. Read more about Bó here: https://www.wearebo.co.uk.
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