British comedian Russell Howard is currently touring New Zealand.
As a young man he learnt the ropes among the greats of the UK comedy scene on shows like Mock The Week and has since gone to fame as a stand-up and on his own TV shows like The Russell Howard Hour.
Seven Sharp co-host Jeremy Wells sat down for a wide-ranging chinwag covering cancel-culture, the decline of the UK panel show, unruly nose hairs and the problem with New Zealand.
During the interview, Wells brought up Howard’s interviews with figures like Greta Thunberg and Jordan Peterson, and asked him where that placed him in the “culture war”.
Responding to the question, Howard said he thinks it puts him “smack in the middle”.
“Like, I just think as a comic, I think if you approach anything ideologically, it’s a mistake. I think the far right and the far left are the same. Because the key mantra is everyone should think the same way as me, which is moronic, because people are different.
“I think sort of being able to and laugh at both sides is important, I think. Otherwise, it becomes, there’s a phrase in comedy, ‘clapter’, it’s when you basically say something to the audience, you know that they’re gonna clap to, you know, ‘we should save the planet, you know what I mean? And everyone’s like, ‘obviously!’
“I always like making jokes inside topics rather than just making people applaud. And I’m the same as anyone, you know, there’s some things I’m hyper lefty, some things I’m hyper right, and I just think, something weird [has] happened.
“It’s something odd that’s happened in the past 10 years everything’s compartmentalised. It happens a lot in America,” Howard said.
“It’s like you’re a Trump supporter and nothing else. You’re religious and nothing else. And I think everybody is a mixture of… We’re all a bit of a buffet aren’t we? There’s some things we’re right, some things we’re left, some things we’re centrist. And as a comic, it just feels like it’s your job to make people laugh about all of it.”
Check out Wells’ full interview with Howard in the video above.