As It Occurs To Me

From Podpedia

As It Occurs To Me
The final recording of As It Occurs To Me at Leicester Square Theatre on 20 June 2011. From left: Dan Tetsell, Richard Herring, Emma Kennedy, Christian Reilly
Hosted byBritish Comedy Guide
Original release13 October 2009 – 2017

As It Occurs To Me (or AIOTM (aiotm)) is an internet comedy sketch and stand-up show written and performed by Richard Herring and co-starring Dan Tetsell, Emma Kennedy and Christian Reilly. It was performed between 2009 and 2011 at the Leicester Square Theatre and occasionally at the Bloomsbury Theatre and was made available as a podcast through the British Comedy Guide website. The show ran for three series, including three specials. In March 2014 Herring announced that the show could make a return in a filmed format depending on fans funding the filming of the project in return for extra content from his other shows. After a successful Kickstarter in 2016, the show returned in a monthly format.

Conception[edit | edit source]

Herring discussed the possibility of creating an internet sketch show on The Collings and Herrin Podcast and particularly as part of a presentation with Andrew Collins to the Radio Academy at Millbank, London in November 2008.[1] There he argued that the advent of podcasting meant it was no longer necessary for comedians to have to air their material via television or radio stations and that the "do it yourself" nature of the internet meant greater creative control. Having to answer to broadcasters had hindered many of Herring's earlier projects and the controversy surrounding Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross's "Sachsgate" scandal had meant that rules at that time had been tightened even further. Herring decided to pioneer the idea the following year.[2] While the show is free to download, there is an admission fee to attend the recording in order to cover costs.

Format[edit | edit source]

The style of the show is very similar to Herring's BBC Radio 2 show That Was Then, This Is Now (or TWTTIN) featuring four of the five stars of that show. Whereas the format of TWTTIN was based around historical events of the week of broadcast, AIOTM is based around events or ideas which have occurred to Richard Herring that week; the show usually being written the weekend prior to performance. Herring's habit of turning his show titles into acronyms is continued in As It Occurs To Me, which has the abbreviation "AIOTM", which is repeated by the audience every time it is said on stage. The show is recorded live and put out as a podcast unedited, retaining any mistakes and ad-libs. The rough nature of the show is frequently referred to in the show itself.

An element which sets AIOTM apart from TWTTIN are sections where Kennedy, Tetsell and Reilly ad-lib, sharing their week's stories during the introduction, and also a section towards the end where the Herring asks the audience to share what has happened to them that week, with varying degrees of success depending on which audience member is picked.

Recurring Jokes[edit | edit source]

Tiny Andrew Collings[edit | edit source]

Tiny Andrew Collings is a fictional representation of the broadcaster and writer Andrew Collins, with whom Herring hosted[3] a podcast and formerly a Saturday morning BBC 6 Music show. The character, voiced by Dan Tetsell in a high pitched Yorkshire accent, first appeared as part of sketches based on conversations Herring had with the real Andrew Collins but soon the character invaded the stage and took part in the show. The name Tiny Andrew Collings was first used in Episode Ten of Series One as part of a parody of A Christmas Carol, where he was represented as a Tiny Tim character. At the end of this episode, the real Andrew Collins took to the stage after weeks of Richard refusing to let him have anything to do with it.

Tiny Andrew Collings returned in Series Two, appearing in every episode and becoming less and less (although Herring would argue more and more) like the real Andrew Collins. During the series Tiny Andrew Collings fathered a child, Tiny Tiny Andrew Collings, with his own mother, Tiny Mrs Collings, played by Emma Kennedy. By the end of the series all three characters were killed by Richard Herring. Series Two saw the début of Tiny Andrew Collings' catchphrase "(aside)", used to highlight his two-faced bitchy comments, especially regarding Herring himself. The term "(aside)" is a reference to Shakespearean stage directions, and Tiny Andrew Collings has also been heard using the term "(sotto voce)" before whispering something and at one point exits pursued by a bear; a reference to a stage direction in A Winter's Tale. Tiny Andrew Collings is also famous for exclaiming his own compliments and pretending they came from the audience, with the faux self-effacing phrase "Be quiet, you people in the crowd saying those things".

Despite having died at the end of Series Two (reciting the poem Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep), Tiny Andrew returned on the Edinburgh special, claiming responsibility for most of the bad things that had occurred to Richard over the previous month (with the exception of bad review for Herring's Christ on a Bike show). The real Andrew Collins was soon placed in control of the show (due to Richard breaching a court order which stated he was not to parody Andrew any more[citation needed]) and so Tiny Andrew agreed to combine with Andrew to form one single Andrew Collings, ending the horror of the short-lived As It Occurs To The Film Editor Of The Radio Times. Tiny Andrew Collings returned again in Series Three, in a smaller, Series One style capacity.

Cumpkin[edit | edit source]

Cumpkin, which became a regular catchphrase, started life as an accidental mispronunciation of "pumpkin" by Herring as "cumpkin" and was mentioned in subsequent shows after the revelation that "cumpkin" is listed in the Urban Dictionary referring to a sexual fetish involving at least five men. Herring has since encouraged listeners to purchase "cumpkin" merchandise from the Urban Dictionary website.[4] In Series Two, Herring vowed to create all new catchphrases and so, Dumpkin was created as a replacement. For the Edinburgh special the term was dropped and replaced by Shaggis. For Series Three, this changed again to a Minted Cumpkin - the same as a regular cumpkin, but with a packet of Polo Mints thrown in.

Roulette Wheel[edit | edit source]

During Series One, only one pre-recorded sound effect was used, that of a roulette wheel. It was used in place of other sound effects such as a cup of tea being stirred, Michael Jackson's rolling eyeball and even in place of the theme tunes for Countdown and Quantum Leap. The fact that the sound effect is unconvincing and overlong adds to the humour. In Episode Ten, the sound effect is played on a loop for the last ten minutes of the podcast. In the first episode of Series Two, Herring destroyed the CD which contained the sound and explained that profits from Series One had created a sound effects budget. The sound effect has since returned for cameo appearances in Series Two and Three.

One Star iTunes Reviews[edit | edit source]

As with Herring's other podcast, The Collings and Herrin Podcasts, frequent references are made about bad reviews of the show submitted to iTunes, mostly in the form of musical stings, frequently to the tune of New York, New York, performed by Christian Reilly. For the Autumn specials these were replaced by Richard googling his own name and reading out amusing stories he discovered, usually coming from message forums.

High-Backed Armchair[edit | edit source]

Herring refers frequently to his enjoyment of sitting in a high-backed armchair with a semicircular toilet mat in his lap, masturbating while women dance in front of him beneath a mirrorball.

If I Could Turn Back Time[edit | edit source]

A segment in which Herring returns in sketch form to an event from the preceding week, this time with Herring doing what he wanted to do at the time. The highlight of this segment was the now classic "Motorcycle Clothing Shop Sketch" (which did not gain the correct amount of laughter so Rich carried on doing it in S2 EP7 after it had originally appeared in EP6). The musical sting for this segment is based on the Cher song of the same name.

The Moral Maze[edit | edit source]

This segment first appeared at the beginning of Series Three, and deals with moral dilemmas Richard has faced in the last week. After Richard has related the incident, it is left to the audience to decide whether his actions were moral, immoral or amoral. Subjects for moral discussion include stealing a packet of Quavers from a train and not removing an open pornographic magazine from a public bin.

Pippa Middleton's Disembodied Anus[edit | edit source]

When Richard secured an interview with Pippa Middleton's bum, which had been the hot topic of media coverage during the 2011 Royal Wedding, he was more than a little disappointed to have accidentally booked her anus, rather than her buttocks. The anus, voiced by Kennedy, recounts her tragic life, overshadowed by Pippa Middleton's buttocks, when she feels she does all the hard work. Herring tells her he knows how she feels, having worked with Stewart Lee. At the end of her triumphant speeches, she utters the phrase "I am anus, hear me roar!", followed by a long flatulent noise. She has appeared regularly throughout Series Three.

Poo Stories[edit | edit source]

Emma reads out scatological anecdotes contributed by listeners and the live audience: hospital lab technicians receiving stool samples in "unofficial" containers (e.g. a Lidl carrier bag), an elderly relative retrieving an apparently undigested pea from their own excrement and eating it, and so on.

Christian Reilly's Song[edit | edit source]

From Series Two onwards, AIOTM has featured a song by Christian Reilly, in a similar vein to the songs featured by Reilly and his band in TWTTIN. By Series Three, this song was a regular feature and either addressed a topic in the news that week, or something which has happened in AIOTM. Most songs are a parody of a popular song.

The songs featured, and the episodes they featured in, are as follows:

Series 2

  • Episode 1: IMF (Impossible Mission Force)
  • Episode 2: Whitey's Not On The Moon
  • Episode 3: Brown Rice
  • Episode 4: Terrorist State of Mind
  • Episode 5: Spill Your Mess
  • Episode 6: Let's Take Bono's Money
  • Episode 7: Cum On England
  • Episode 8: Russian Spy

Edinburgh Special

  • Caledonian Girls

Autumn Specials

  • 1: Let Me Take You By The Hand
  • 2: Crazy Monkeys
  • 3: Eight-Five Pounds and Eleven Pence

Series 3

  • Episode 1: Wonky Face
  • Episode 2: Little Anus
  • Episode 3: All That He Wants (Is To Be On Telly)
  • Episode 4: Judge Me On My Dancing
  • Episode 5: Growing Extra Limbs
  • Episode 6: Cumpkin in the Wind

Reception[edit | edit source]

The overall response to AIOTM has been positive. The podcast entered the iTunes podcast chart at number 2,[5] remaining in the top 10 for the first six weeks of broadcast and was named in tenth place in Dave's Top 10 Comedy Podcasts within two weeks of its debut.[6] The show has also been nominated for a Loaded Lafta for Best Podcast.[7] Show Ten, performed on 14 December 2009, was sold out, however Richard Herring and Emma Kennedy did not have sexual intercourse, as promised in the previous episode.

In 2010, the series was nominated for a Sony Radio Academy Award for "Best Internet Programme".[8]

On 7 February 2011, As It Occurs to Me won comedy website Chortle's first award for internet comedy.[9]

Release[edit | edit source]

In 2011 all of the podcasts plus a variety of extras was released on the As It Occurs To Me: The Complete Cumpkin CD from the indie comedy company Go Faster Stripe.

Performance Dates[edit | edit source]

Series One: 12 October - 14 December 2009

Series Two: 17 May - 5 July 2010

Specials: 17 August, 11 October, 18 October, 1 November 2010

Series Three: 16 May - 20 June 2011

2017 Web Series Revival[edit | edit source]

As It Occurs to Me returned for a six-part video web series in 2017 after a successful Kickstarter crowdfund of £107,000 in 2016.[10] The first episode appeared on YouTube on 28 August 2017.[11]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Collings and Herrin Podcast 37a Andrew Collins and Richard Herring, British Comedy Guide Accessed 18-12-09
  2. Comedy Review: As It Occurs to Me @ Leicester Square Theatre Nicky Carpenter, London List Accessed 18-12-09
  3. The Collings & Herrin Podcasts,
  4. Herring1967 Twitter 6:12 AM 10 Nov Richard Herring. Accessed 18-12-09
  5. Warming Up - Tuesday 6 October 2009 Richard Herring Accessed 18-12-09
  6. Top 10 comedy podcasts Dave Heckler, UKTV. Accessed 18-12-09
  7. X Factor's Jedward up for comedy award Accessed 18-12-09
  8. Boosey, Mark (6 April 2010). "Sony Radio Award nominees announced". British Comedy Guide. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  9. [1]

External links[edit | edit source]