“ Genre: News & Current Affairs / Broadcaster: BBC3 / Comedian Russell Howard shares his views on whats currently making the headlines. „
Im familiar with Russel Howard through Mock the Week, a show in which he has always come across as twee and a bit irritating but also mildly amusing on the odd occasion. ive always considered him to be clearly a sincere and nice chap, with a genuine love for comedy, but unfortunately without any real comedic wit or much in the way of intelligent observation, ultimately appearing as somewhere between someone you would chuckle away at when you saw them performing at a student comedy club night (before going home and forgetting all about them) and an entertainer at a children's birthday party.
So I approached his ahem, "topical news show" 'Good News' with low expectations, but even these were not met, and the material contained therein turned out to be much pooerer that that offered up on Mock The Week. Basically, Russel does what he always does, which is exude a cuddly, inoffensive, annoyingly upbeat, your-gran-would-love-him persona interspersed with KERRAZY! comments about MONKEYS IN SILLY HATS RIDING UNICYCLES! and other tired observations that wouldnt pass muster in a primary school classroom. Oh, and he also occasionally drops in words like 'minge' and 'knob' in order to make himself apper all risque and edgy.
Basically Russell carries out his usual uninspired comedic routines that line up the myriad recent news clips that pepper the show- so for example we will get an out-of-context clip of a prominent politician saying "You've got to grip it hard" or "weve all got to come together" then back to Russel pulling a funny face. Or a split-screen clip showing gordon brown and god-awful singer/songwriter David Grey shaking their heads in a similar way, because thats really funny and clever and insightful and witty isnt it? That's good satire that is. Or a clip of a premier league footballer scoring a goal that then cuts to an utterly ubiquitous youtube clip of a cute kitty cat pulling a shocked-looking face.
And for some reason, the audience seem to be falling about laughing at this contemptible bilge. Who actually writes this tripe? Its not funny, its not clever, its infantile, and not in a good infantile way like, say, Bottom was. Its just pathetic, and its commisioning, and warm reception is an inditement on the current state of our society.
I'm going to make a generalisation here. Youth don't follow the news. It's pretty simple. I mean, sure we'll glance at iGoogle, or whatever homepage we have and see some headlines. Maybe we'll even click on something if it contains a keyword to our interests, but on the whole we don't really have a great deal of a clue on what is really happening in the world.
That's why the BBC have so many shows which involve comedians talking about the week that was. There's Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week (which I reviewed recently), The Bubble, and so on. But when it comes down to it, who is the best person to really tell the youth of Britain what's been happening in a lively, funny and entertaining way? It has to be Russell Howard. It might be his age, or something, but in my opinion, he's one of the few comedians who really speaks to us and so who better to tell us about the week.
Good News is presented a bit like a stand-up comedy routine, with Howard dishing out some of the more important news of the week. Or, failing that, just the really funny stuff. He covers quite a large range of topics, ranging from sport to politics, to just anything happening, all the while taking it with good humour. Even though I myself watch the news on a regular basis, I find that Russell Howard just does a much better job of informing me about current affairs.
Good News is funny, fresh and always features something quirky or new. He has special guests on, and at the end of every show he likes to remind us that "it's not all doom and gloom" and presents us (without making jokes) one piece of news he found touching, which makes him remember that the world isn't just the horrible, depressing place the 6 o'clock broadcast makes us think it is.
Since watching Mock the Week, I've become quite a fan of Russell Howard, a young English comedian. Recently I've been watching his show on BBC3, Russell Howard's Good News.
It's a comedy sketch show where Howard talks (and makes fun of) the latest news from all around the world. There's a lot of different subjects that he covers including sports, politics, education, technology, kids - basically anything big or funny that's been in the news over the last few weeks. Although some of these subjects, such as politics and sports, are of no interest to me, it isn't at all boring as he makes everything so funny and he's basically just taking the mickey out of everything he talks about with video clips and pictures to aid his mickey-taking.
There's also a mystery guest section at the end of the show where a guest who has been in the news recently comes on with some props and Howard has to guess what they're famous for. This is my least favourite part of the show as it's not really very funny and I prefer the other parts where he's doing stand up comedy about certain topics.
Although he isn't the best comedian around, Russell Howard is very funny. He is very easy to like because he's young and enthusiastic and he has a few funny features which I have to say do make him look quite stupid. Add his idiot looks to some of the stupid things he says and it really does make him a very funny man.
Watching Russel Howard is a lot like hanging out with your mates down the pub. There will be a whole lot of laughs concerning stupid things you heard on tv, things you found in the paper, youtube videos and sex impersonations that you can't help but giggle at.
The difference with this comedian is that he really means it. Although I'm a massive fan of his standup, Good News has been a show that I've been waiting for for a long time, and Howard can deliver. A great mix of stand-up, features and things found online, he always ends with a heartwarming story of kindness, that gives you the fuzzy-wuzzies, and leaves you edging into the credits with the feeling that everything will be alright.
Is this massive comedy genius? No, probably not. It is, however, funny as hell, with no problems about being silly, making fun of itself and getting caught up in the moment.
On the rare occasions that I'm not splitting my sides, I'm smiling, content with the state of the world according to Russel.
When I heard that there would be a further series of Russell Howard's Good News, my faith was restored. Russell Joseph Howard has been on the 'scene' for quite a while now and it was only a matter of time before the outstanding comedian acquired his own slot on TV.
His comedic influences hail from the likes of Lee Evans and Billy Connolly amongst others. Being a regular on Mock the Week he has gained notoriety from the show and honed his talents for his own show. Chortle Comedy Awards bestowed upon Howard the prestigious title of 'Best Theatre Show' in 2009.
The show is aimed at a target group of under 25's, but as a 30 year old I can vouch that it can appeal to a broader spectrum. The first show was aired in October 2009 and proved to go from strength to strength and pulled in the ratings. The basic ethos of the show is to air the major news stories of the week in a light humoured manner and also give credence to feel good stories.
Embarking upon an Economics degree, Howard found his calling when he went to an open-mic session in his hometown of Bristol. "When I did that first gig I thought this was the world I wanted to be a part of". If you want to read an article about his background and primarily his family relationships, here's the link http://entertainment.timesonline .co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/comedy/article5516562.ece. Not to take anything away from his journey - he has most definitely made his mark in the comedy circuit and is a well recognised face.
An inventive and animated entertainer who has toured the country and captured his audiences with his take on everyday happenings. He has released his first DVD - Dingeldodies (a term coined by Jack Kerouac, an American Novelist, Writer, Artist and Poet, to describe life affirming peeps who are considered to be slightly off the wall. "But then they danced down the street like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!" (Jack Kerouac, On The Road)
The programme gets aired on Thursday's at 10PM, and if you happen to miss it, don't fret, it gets repeated throughout the week. The repeats are at some ungodly hours, but if you happen to be awake, there's entertainment waiting for you. Alternatively, BBC3iplayer airs the previous show for a further week, so there's no excuse!lol! You have to be aged 16(+) in order to access the online material as there are some occasions where strong language is used.
The show is split into news stories with Howard's unique take, a 'Mystery Guest' and a feel good story. This week news stories were taken out of context for humorous effect, such as what does Natasha Kaplinsky do to relax? 'marijuana is lovely' is her apt response. Seamlessly edited, these are some of those laugh out loud moments!
With the elections around the corner this played a major role in the show and Howard highlighted how patronising some campaigns have been to the youth of Britain. In particular he brought up a Tumbridge Wells Group called 'Golly Gosh'! who were attempting to entice young people into voting - an interesting, if not totally off the wall way of reaching out to the youths.
A mystery guest arrives on stage and it is Russell's job to decipher, through the aid of questioning, who this person is and why they hit the headlines. Previous guests have included the two men who jumped the Worthing pier at a height of 70 feet travelling 250 feet and landing on the water on the other side. This proved to be a hilarious verbal adventure as Russell involved an audience member to interrogate the two men and resulted in asking them if they were gimps!
The final part of the show gives a real life example of why it's not all doom and gloom. This week Vikki George, the founder of www.postpals.co.uk. Vikki was diagnosed with M.E in 2001 and has been bedbound ever since. She came up with the concept for the site which allows general members of the public to send cards/gifts/well wishes to kids suffering from a range of debilitating illnesses. A story that would otherwise have passed us by, was aired by Howard - one of the main reasons that I love watching his show - it reveals some of the good that is happening out there.
Russell has an ongoing blog where you can ask him random questions at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/russellhoward/. It's an interactive site so feel free to drop him a line and share your good news with him. If he happens to use your story on air you will get credited at the end of the show - your brief interlude to fame! As an offshoot to his fame he has had the opportunity to do his bit for charity, and there is little he won't do, as evidenced by his latest feat. He recently took part in Sport Relief by contributing to, by all accounts was a strenuous bike journey from John O'Groats to Land's End. Along with David Walliams, Fearne Cotton, Patrick Kielty, Davina McCall, Miranda Hart and Jimmy Carr, they raised £1,000,000.
Back to the show - it's well worth watching this blonde, easy on the eye Comedian. I can assure you he will have you coming back for more!
Thank you for reading.
Russell Howard appears regularly as a panellist on TV's Mock the Week, can be seen performing live stand up on stations like Comedy Central and on BBC Three his show Good News is broadcast at various times during the week. The format of the programme is very similar to Harry Hill's TV Burp but instead of popular television, items from that week's news are discussed.
Local, national and international stories are featured from all the major networks along with newspaper articles. Viewers are shown a clip or a headline from a newspaper and then Russell will make his amusing comments often taking what is shown out of context as I have previously said in a similar style to that of TV Burp. There is a great deal of audience interaction in the studio and there are pre-recorded sketches to make more jokes related to the stories.
I think it is quite difficult to find a show at the moment that really makes me laugh and in my opinion BBC Three have been guilty of some truly awful sitcoms and other alleged funny programmes but Good News makes me laugh on a regular basis. Russell Howard is a comedian for adults only as there is often swearing and subjects discussed that really are not for children's ears and this is reflected by the fact that the show is never featured in the schedules before half past ten.
Towards the end of the programme a special guest is invited on to the set that has been reported on in the news recently and Russell must try and guess by talking to them, why and what for.
To conclude the broadcast, although we know that the world and some of its inhabitants can be terrible, a story is shown normally about someone who has overcome major difficulties to help make their lives better and often inspire others. These can often be incredibly moving as you can tell from Russell's reaction and really is the Good News the show has to offer.
I have only just realised how funny Russell Howard is. Me and my husband loved him on Mock the Week, and I am personally glad to see he has got his own show.
It is currently on BBC, at 10.30pm every Thursday.
The programme is basically Russell, going through the past weeks news, splitting it into sections such as crime, politics, family etc and talking about what he has seen in the news that has interested him or what he has found amusing.
The best thing about this show is that Russell picks up on a lot of things that you will inevitably missed throughout the weeks news, like journalistic slip ups, peoples ridiculous names in relation to what they are writing about and generally amusing silly little stories that you would very often miss.
Russell's take on all the news is very funny and some of his comments are extremely off the wall. He is not your average comedian, and I think he is a real breath of fresh air for comedy, he doesn't do the usual gags that are scripted and really not funny, it's just his wacky view on the weekly news.
Russell also does a segment at the end of the show, called it's not all doom and gloom, and it's very often a light hearted feel good story, which does cheer you up, after hearing about all the strange and sometimes cruel things that go on in the world, he doesn't joke about these items, he just shows them to cheer people up. If they did this on the actual news instead of only reporting on all the bad stuff, maybe more people would watch it.
I love this programme, Russell Howard is a extremely funny. He does swear a fair bit, so if you don't like foul language don't watch it, it's never unnecessary though, I find it adds to the jokes. A great light hearted, somewhat crazy view on the weeks news.
After several months of being deprived of real TV in a tellyless flat, my flatmates and I seem to spend almost every waking moment watching something on the box in the living room. Of course, most of the time there is a very little worth watching on Freeview, so I usually end up watching the same few programmes: the F Word, QI, Top Gear and Mock the Week being amongst my favourites. I have been a fan of Mock the Week for years, as I find all of their resident comedians and most of their guests to be very funny, and am a particular fan of the young Russell Howard. I was therefore delighted when I found out that Russell Howard was getting his own BBC3 show, and it quickly became one of the programmes that I watch every week.
Russell Howard's Good News is a 30 minute long comedy show based on funny or happy news stories from the week, hence the title of the show. The show has a stand up format, with Russell standing on a stage in front of an audience making jokes and talking about the news with the aid of clips which are neatly interspersed. There are also a few short sketches starring Russell per episode, which are done to done to make some stories more entertaining. He doesn't stick too rigidly to the news stories and will deviate for the sake of comedy, and in my opinion the programme is very funny and has a very good flow. He usually starts with a couple of Harry Hill-esque funny clips from the news, which usually make a good start to a good show.
The first series ended with a Christmas special a couple of weeks ago, and so currently there are only repeats of old episodes currently being shown on TV. In my opinion these repeats are still entertaining despite being based on events from weeks or months ago, as the show is about the comedy rather than the news itself. I enjoy watching old episodes even if I have seen them before, and I doubt that an episode shown again a few weeks after it was originally broadcast would be much less funny than when it was brand new.
The only parts of the show which are a bit weak are when a mystery person from that week's news is brought on stage, and Russell has to guess who they are by talking to them. While these parts can still be very funny, the guests have the tendency to make it overly obvious who they are which is exactly what they're not supposed to do, and it makes the rest of the time they have on the show rather stilted in my view. Still, these sections can still be funny, but are usually the worst part of the programme.
Anyway, Russell Howard's Good News is a very entertaining programme, and I am looking forward to the next series. Russell is a very funny man and the show is well made, and so it has been fairly popular amongst BBC3 viewers. I would recommend that most of you give it a go, unless you strongly dislike that sort of thing, as it is good quality casual comedy.
Russell Howard has enjoyed a massive amount of success considering his age, although he has been on the stand-up scene for a decade. His tours sell out and his cheeky chappy persona has proved very popular on Mock The Week. Therefore it is perhaps not a surprise that he has been given his own series by 'youth orientated' channel BBC Three. The series itself has proved very successful at one stage gaining more viewers week on week.
The premise of the show is simple, Howard introduces clips from news stories of the week/time and adds jokes to them, introduces sketches involving himself or entertaining clips from the UK or world news or from the internet. Some of these are included after being suggested by the public to the shows microsite on the main BBC website. The onus however, is that the stories are either funny or uplifting. On some episodes he also has a guest from a news story of the week and has to guess the story from asking the guest a number of questions about it. The show also has a sister show "Russell Howard's Good News Extra" which is the original show with a guest stand-up performing for 15 minutes at the end. This is normally shown on BBC Three in the days following the original broadcast.
It has just been confirmed that the show will be returning for a second series.
The stories featured come under any number of subjects which are all defined by a short animation eg politics, science, animals, children and so on.
It is fair to say that this is on the better end of BBC Threes output. However, a lot of your enjoyment comes from how much you enjoy Russell Howard's schtick. As a rule the footage shown is funny as is the material that Russell performs straight to camera, however the sketches are a bit hit and miss - probably because of his professional leanings which are more towards stand-up. Also, the section where Russell has to guess the involvement of a surprise guest in a recent good news story is quite weak, and a little bit cringeworthy. It has to be said that it is quite nice to see a show which has such a positive outlook without being either shallow or too 'happy clappy.' He tends to end the show with a really uplifting story which might otherwise have been overlooked.
I tend to watch the "Extra" version of the show, as I am a big fan of stand-up. The acts that they tend to get are perhaps not well known in the public domain but well established on the stand up circuit, examples are - Phil Kay, Sarah Kendall, Craig Campbell, Tom Wrigglesworth and Wil Hodgson. It is sad to say, however that somehow it just does not quite work, and it is not the calibre or the material of the stand-ups necessarily (I can vouch for this as I have seen some of the comics featured live, and heard them do the same material and come across much better.) I think that it is just too forced, a lot of the time the audience seem to be slightly bemused by the comics on stage. This is a shame and a missed opportunity I feel because programmes like Comedy Store, Edinburgh and Beyond, Live At The Apollo and Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow have demonstrated that stand-up can be presented well on television.
In conclusion, this is probably unlikely to be anybody's favourite TV programme but it is well made, mostly very funny and with a charismatic host and also smarter than it looks.
Russell Howards Good News is a comedy show on BBC3 on Sunday evenings at 11pm. It is presented by Russell Howard a rising comedian who is very funny on 'Mock the Week' and 'Live at the Apollo'.
This show gives Howard the chance to look at things in the news or things of interest and basically do some stand up comedy on the subject, this weeks subjects included internet revenge and the toys kids want this christmas as well as a singing cuddly toy that was recalled for singing something rude instead of Christmas greetings.
The comedy is interspersed with the occasional sketch or comedy song and Howard is actually much better than I thought if he writes these as they are really funny and sometimes even better than his stand up.
Overall I do find this programme very funny, at times his jokes are the same as those i've seen on Mock the Week or in his stand up routine, but many are based on current events and are really funny for that.
The format of the show is fine although sections where Howard quizzes a mystery guest to find out why they are in the news are confusing and don't fit with the style of the show, the comedy is good but the show doesn't quite fit together on all levels.
Overall this is an amusing and diverting show with Howard a charming and watchable host. His comedy is current, relevant and at times wonderfully surreal, its not a show for the whole family as some of the jokes are very rude or sexual, but for adults its an amusing and easy 30 minutes.