Lee & Herring Press
Interview with Rich & Stew - MARK & LARD - 10th December 1996Rich and Stew were guests of Mark and Lard's on Tuesday 10th December 1996 near the end of their autumn tour.
MARK - Right! Stewart Lee, Richard Herring how are you?
STEW - All right, thanks. How are you? You've both smartened up a bit since we were last here.
MARK - I was thinking I was a bit of a scruffy git. I thought you two have got the look of being quite affluent and having made a bit of cash. Then spent some money on decent clothes and still look scruffy.
STEW - Our clothes have worn out now.
LARD - No, what it was, you see, last time you were on we were all hoping to trap off with Lisa Germano. You waltzed off with her and we were really hacked off about that.
STEW - I went off with Lisa Germano and then I had to have about three hours of American psychotherapy chat back at the hotel. So you were lucky. It was a narrow escape.
RICH - That's what they call it now.
STEW - Never go for a drink with an American singer/songwriter, that's my advice.
RICH - There are never any girls here when you invite me on.
MARK - I know. That's no coincidence. We had some booked on, but they beat a hasty retreat when they heard you were coming in your orange blouse.
STEW - Some might phone in, but that's as close as they are allowed to get.
MARK - If anyone wants to phone up and get off with Richard, then feel free. That would be all right, wouldn't it?
RICH - It is Christmas time.
MARK - You're sitting very near Lard there.
RICH - Ahhh, he touched me!
STEW - If we look rubbish, it's because we've just come off two months of touring and we're like, blinking in the light having just been in a van all day.
MARK - You're look pretty healthy for people who have been on two months of touring, but you sort of cut back on the post-gig activities, haven't you.
STEW - Yeah, we've grown up. People change and you mature. That means going to bed really. Just doing the gig and going to the hotel and going to sleep. That's it.
RICH - It wasn't all that.
STEW - It was mainly that.
RICH - It was really.
MARK - So how was it this time? Because last time you went out on this wave of euphoria following your hit TV series and this time...any change?
STEW - No it was the same. Exactly the same. We didn't have bigger audiences or smaller, it was just the same. We've made no progress in real terms. It was great. It was all right. It went on a bit, it was two months. We did loads of places that we've never been to before and hopefully won't ever go to again.
MARK - Like?
STEW - Mainly the entire south-east of England.
MARK - You're not big down there?
STEW - It was just a dead, dead place.
LARD - Name a town.
STEW - Folkstone.
RICH - Eastbourne, Worthing.
STEW - Anywhere like that.
RICH - There are no young people in any of these towns, they're all walking skellingtons.
LARD - Isn't that your audience.
RICH - It is now. It's like the Pied Piper has visited Folkstone and this time he's even waited for the lame children. It's the politically correct 1990's, he has to.
STEW - We stayed in this hotel in Folkstone and it was like a holding station for old people who had been across the channel for a day out. It was weird because if you go into hotels and there are crowds of kids drunk, like twenty years old, you feel a bit threatened. You think 'Oh, I should be a bit careful in the bar'. Here there were a load of seventy-year-old drunks and they were much worse and more threatening than teenagers. I got in this lift and this old man went, "Where you're going, son?" and I said fourth floor and he said, "This goes to the seventh! You can't stop at the fourth! HaHa!" and he started pushing me and stuff. When we got to the top he said, "You'll have to go all the way down again, now!" and there were like big crowds of old people laughing at me, like in those scenes from sixties films were someone has taken acid and theres people going AhAhhahAHAHHhA! Really like that, so it was nice to get away from the south-east of England into anywhere else really.
RICH - The gigs were lovely there and all the audiences were charming.
STEW - And they were so small we were able to meet them all personally.
RICH - And we made friends and exchanged addresses.
STEW - We're all having a reunion.
MARK - What was the pervading fashion of your youth?
STEW - New Romantics, which we rebelled against by being into the slightly out-of-date punk rock of three years previously.
RICH - Same for me, though we didn't know each other at that stage and anyone who says we did is lying. I used to go out to the Gorge and drink cider in a ripped jumper and spit at Phil Fry. That's how much of a punk rocker I was.
LARD - You're bonkers!
MARK - Would have scared me.
RICH - I worked very hard for my O-Levels, because, obviously, there's no need to go mad.
MARK - We started off with a kind of glib appeal for a Christmas snog for Richard. Not that he should need it! We're just making this up. He's got totty gagging for it everywhere you go.
RICH - Absolutly, which has been proven by the response. We've had literally one fax, almost two faxes.
LARD - It flew in!
RICH - It did. It's from Aimie who said she'd get off with me, which is very nice. I think probably the reason is I probably have lots of people who fancy me, but they don't have faxes or e-mails. I appeal to that kind of person, lower down in the strata of evolution. Thanks Aimie, you know, if I see you.
MARK - You are looking good, because you've stayed off the booze to a degree.
STEW - We've had a very clean living tour, which is good as we are in preparation for our December the 18th gig at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, so please come.
RICH - Oh, very good. Shall we try and mention it again before the end?
STEW - Yeah, we will.
RICH - Please come. Please.
STEW - We had a very clean living tour, which I think was a disappointment to our tour manager, Malcolm Kingsnorth. Who spent thirteen years on the road with Status Quo. He's currently being the voice of an aardvark at a Northampton theatre in a pantomime, but he did spend thirteen years on the road with Status Quo and the stuff they got up too made us look like the wimps we are. For example, a good Status Quo on the road anecdote...
MARK - Are we going to get a fat lawsuit off this?
RICH - No, it actually happened. Okay, it wasn't Status Quo. Let's imagine it was some band. One of the bands he managed was Status Quo and I don't know if this was about them.
MARK - Nicely done.
STEW - What they use to do, whoever they were, they use to take pornographic films on the road with them and project them out of hotel rooms onto the walls of buildings. So there would be eighty or ninety feet images of graphic sexual acts which would bewilder the European passers by and you can imagine how disappointed he was with us, because the worse thing we got up to was...what?
RICH - When we went on the Big Breakfast and I was down by the dressing rooms and I saw Rick Adams nameplate and I pulled it off the wall and kept it as a trophy.
LARD - Oh, shocking behaviour!
RICH - Well, the way I looked it at, it was going to come down soon anyway.
STEW - He probably went, "Oh, my nameplate's gone." and they went, "yeah."
RICH - "We'll replace that." "What, today?"
STEW - "Later in the week, don't worry about it." All we came off tour with, unlike Status Quo's catalogue of disasters, was Rick Adams' nameplate, in a cardboard box.
MARK - Any more scurrilous gossip about them.
STEW - Status Quo, one of them once, did a poo in a matchbox and put it in Malcolm Kingsnorth bed.
LARD - Must have been very constipated or a big matchbox.
STEW - They're very small, are Status Quo. Have you never seen them? People are used to seeing them from a distance in stadiums and they think they look far away, but really they're just very very small. They do owl pellets.
RICH - All the interesting stories we can't tell you, such as the top singer who invited boys to come back to his house to use his swimming pool.
STEW - No, don't.
RICH - I'm not going to say who it is, but boy, you'd be surprised. It'd be almost the last person you'd expect it to be.
STEW - Don't even suggest it.
MARK - Well, we'll try and prize some more of these out. The stories, that is, not pellets from Rick Parfitt's arse.
STEW - Presumably, you could get one of Rick Parfitt's pellets and you could work out what animals he had been eating from the bones.
MARK - You probably could, but I can't imagine really working up the enthusiasm.
RICH - You could just ask him.
STEW - I've got a fax here. Someone faxed and said, did I, Stew Lee ever eat spaghetti messily in a Manchester pizza restaurant? No, I didn't is the answer to that, but there is a bloke going round the country pretending to be my brother. I keep getting letters from people saying they've met a bloke who say's he's my brother. I haven't got a brother, so maybe it was him and if you're the bloke pretending to be my brother, stop.
RICH - This bloke tried to chat these girls up, Tanya who likes Gus Honneybun, two bunnyhops to you. It's a Westcountry thing, don't worry. A man tried to chat her up and her friends by saying he had seen Stewart Lee eating spaghetti messily.
STEW - How sad is that?
LARD - Not a great chat-up line.
STEW - And now they're married, with kids.
MARK - What about you on telly? Have you got a new series coming?
RICH - All right, shut up now.
STEW - There's no need to be sarcastic.
LARD - You're in development, are you?
RICH - They said, "We don't want Fist of Fun, but we'll definitely do something else". We said, "no we don't want anything else," they said "We'll reconsider," and a new bloke has taken over who really loves us.
STEW - It's Rich's dad.
RICH - When they said there was no more series of Fist of Fun he went "WHAT!!!" and he threw down all his papers on the floor and said, "that's ridiculous! Another series of Friday Night Armistice and not Fist of Fun. I resign!"
STEW - It all depends on how much French and Saunders spend on hats. Whatever is left over from the French and Saunders hat budget could make an entire series of Fist of Fun.
RICH - If they have three less hats in their next series, we can have an entire fifteen part series of Fist of Fun. So yeah, probably.
MARK - Probably some time next year.
RICH - Late next year, but we'll be back on Radio One hopefully. I just realised your advent calendar there. In our last show we had advent calendars, so it's a year since we were on Radio One. So we must come back and do another series. Which is what the kids all love, right kids?
LARD - So you're going to a showbiz party are you?
STEW - Yeah, we're going off to the Mrs Merton Green Room.
RICH - Apparently, Noddy Holder is there and lots of old women. That's what I'm interested in.
STEW - It's better though that its old women, because if they let Rich loose on real celebrities he just causes embarrassment. For example, on Friday night we were at another showbiz party where we met the bloke from the Manic Street Preachers.
RICH - James Dean...Harris.
STEW - And I embarrassed myself by going, "I think you're great." and then Rich went.
RICH - I went you shouldn't have called that last one 'Kevin Carter' you should have called it [SINGS] 'Kevin Cosstnnerr'. It made it all the more embarrassing because I went to all the trouble of singing it and then he just went "oh," then he walked away, straight away.
LARD - He's not your friend anymore?
RICH - He said something about me calling his girlfriend ugly. I hadn't. I had just said I'd seen him with a woman in a funny hat in Soho that day.
LARD - He's well known for being tetchy.
STEW - That's how these feuds start.
RICH - It's a shame, because lots of people who write to us like The Manic Street Preachers and us. Now they're going to have to choose between one of the two.
STEW - It's pretty easy to see which one they'd choose.
RICH - Exactly, so that's going to halve our fan club