Russell Howard: the obituary

Obituary: 2020 is shaping up to be, without question an annus horribilis, for many reasons; not just because of our farkakte Prime Minster & assembled conservative clowns, but for the unanticipated depletion of UK light entertainment & great British games shows. Sadly we’ve whispered tearful adieus to many tragically departed troupers, the like of whom we’ll never see again. Impossible to replace, rough diamonds of music hall variety pedigree — now starring in that fêted summertime seaside special in the heavens; there’ll be fresh faced pretenders, young talent queuing up to replenish supply lines of mirthful catchphrases laden with saucy double-entendres, yet one fears an era’s shifted to a mournful resting place where spectacular eras end. 

Of gravest loss, quite unexpectedly over the weekend, after storming out from his West Country gig & throwing priceless toys out of his pram, was the legendary Russell Howard. In an act of self-immolation, erenow everyone’s favoured underdog, histrionically passed onto that massive sealed tomb for completely talentless wankers in the sky when, according to eye-witness reports from the official ‘we fucking hate Russell Howard’ mob, he exuberantly stuffed a live rattle-snake up his own arse before quickly ramming two sticks of burning dynamite down his throat. 

Clearly rattled, it was the comedian’s dramatic reaction to professional frustration, borne of being filmed whilst working, not by simply run of the mill workplace CCTV, casually endured by millions of us, rather by a female member of his paying public brandishing a smart phone, capturing moving images of his top secret new routine. In a très touchy touché display of heartfelt integrity, mimicking his cretinous vaginard tormentor, Howard revealed his own smart phone, & aiming its camera at her, cried. Gallantly, Howard, a prince of comedy, possibly the worlds greatest ever funny-man, soldiered on, with what he emotionally described as “safe, old material” for a few car crash minutes. However, befuddled, he soon lost his way, into a cul de sac, from where, in foods of tears, he poignantly turned to the errant lady, choking on tragic words — “you’ve ruined it now”.

Finally, after kneeling to take a deep panic breath, Howard screamed- ‘’that if she couldn’t simply live in this happy slapstick moment, without recourse to cameras”, then he would “die in an unhappy, cruel celluloid moment’’. Initially laughing, thinking it part of Howards fabled shtick, a photogenic home town audience was left stunned when the blond-mopped stand-up, made good on his promise, confirming that comedians of his stellar stature, are indeed a “dying breed” (generally on account of sedative abuse, self-administered to quell non-stop 24-hour a day neurotic fear of iPhone pirates capturing their sacrosanct performances, & diluting its genius to ruin, via unauthorised YouTube uploads).

Enthralled, gobsmacked observers were gert lush united in maintaining that the final impression of Howard’s, of a man about to explode with a deadly reptile hanging-out behind his strides, was his best — most memorable, universally acclaimed — & indeed his life’s work only convincing performance, & indubitably its grandest entertainment. 

Russell’s unoriginal career as a comic-cum-impressionist, commenced focussing entirely on inventively copying selected thoughts, & reactions, attributable to ordinary folk one might meet in the street, when he was still only a mere ADHD upstart from the provinces. Born last century to a family of no obvious abilities, or community spirit, it was all too predictable early doors that Russell would follow in his family’s mundane footsteps. Hyperactive, unlikeable, & untrustworthy, he sought attention through his gift. As every budding professional dissimulator does, Russell started by delivering exaggerated physical & oral copies of siblings, progressing steadily onto bearing absolutely no resemblance whatsoever re-enactments of school teachers in the evening. Throughout his career nothing-nor-no-one was safe from Howard’s satirical claws. He’ll be recalled by show biz pals for not a long time to come; by some as a comic, by few as an LP, by others as a cautionary novel by Franz Kafka. But outside the marquee where he spent his final incendiary seconds he’ll be mostly remembered as an utter, utter, utter toerag.

Evan Findlay Hay

Illustration by Nails Nathan

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