Fairly loud though he is, Rich Hall is a comedian who creeps up on you. His appearances on TV shows like Buzzcocks and Have I Got News For You haven't been the motormouth type you get from too many lad panellists. Just a few lines will do for Rich, but they're the sort you'll be retelling for years afterward in the pub. His timing is brilliant, the lines razor sharp and the topics refreshingly different.
The BBC obviously noticed too, rewarding him with the chance to film a series of documentaries on his home country, the US. Though born in Montana, Rich's abiding interest is the South. Redneck country, as his early lines would have it, but more recently as a misunderstood place all too easily caricatured for a quick joke. His film The Dirty South set the tone, and others followed on the mythology of the West, Inventing the Indian, and Continental Drifters.
Soon there will be a new one out, titled intriguingly You Can Go to Hell, I'm Going to Texas. That's a line from couture pioneer Davy Crockett, him of the raccoon hat. Voted down by the public in his native Tennessee, Crockett decided to move to the Lone Star State and ended up in the heroic but doomed defence of the Alamo.
Rich Hall has also won accolades in the US. Writing for the David Letterman Show, he won two Emmys. He was the inspiration for Moe the barman in the Simpsons, written by Matt Groening.
Will we get some wild frontier moments in the latest show? The only way is to get along and find out.
An evening with Rich Hall
Tuesday 12 March
01723 357869, www.scarboroughspa.co.uk
- Published in On Stage: Features