Edward James

DVD review: Jon Richardson, Nidiot

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Jon Richardson has long been a big name is comedy circles (and a hero for the higher-than-average number of fans with OCD) – but his relatively recent work on 8 Out Of 10 Cats has led to a sharp increase in his fame.

Nidiot is Richardson’s second DVD, following 2012’s Funny Magnet. Filmed at Hammersmith Apollo in front of a sell-out crowd, the show deals with Richardson’s newfound happiness, and his coming to terms with the idea that he doesn’t have to be unhappy to be funny. Pleasingly, he’s right on that score.

The show’s title is Richardson’s way of describing his tendency to overthink – he causes problems in his own life, not by being an idiot, but rather being a nidiot.

Richardson’s confidence in the cavernous space of the Apollo is impressive, especially given his neurotic onstage persona (and constant reminders that this is not an act). He effortlessly brings a couple in the front row into the introduction to the show with some beautiful off-the-cuff material and quickly slides into the well-rehearsed storytelling on which the show is built.

Nidiot deals with Richardson’s “old” self, his chronic pessimism and the change in his life brought about when a few friends decided to set him up. There is a fantastic routine contrasting Blind Date with Take Me Out, and an exploration of society’s attitudes to dating as a whole, which like much of the show is very well thought-out and expertly performed.

Of course Richardson talks about growing up, about the differences in life after youth has been passed by, and specifically about regrets held for not doing things. This is where the overthinking nature of Richardson’s psyche comes into play, as he explores his reasons for not joining in with the impulsive ‘blokey’ activities of his friends and colleagues, on nights out, holidays, and stag dos.

The spontaneous activities he has pursued to counteract this all end with hilarious consequences, and are well worth retelling onstage.

Jon Richardson weaves a plethora of stories into a deep and open personal biography, blending sharp observations with silly stereotypes, purposefully outdated references, and some Noel Fielding-esque mime to create an hour and a half of laugh-out-loud funny material.

A few of the routines will be familiar to anyone who has watched some of Richardson’s recent TV work, but recontextualised and packaged as a full show, his material is endlessly rewatchable.

Jon Richardson: Nidiot is out on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download from Monday 1 December. Buy from Amazon for £10.