Russell Howard: I re-write rap songs for my dog

The stand-up talks penning songs suited to his pet – and what TV show he watches every night


Do you have a big TV?

Absolutely massive. I come from a working-class family and that’s the first thing you sort out. Get the massive telly then build the house around it. So I get this telly – and it’s crazy big – and my dad comes round and says, “That’ll be obsolete in two years.” I say, “What, Dad?” and he says, “Curved TVs: they’re the way forward, not these.” Oh.


Is your sofa on trend, at least?

I’ve got a big L-shaped sofa and a very nice La-Z-Boy-style chair – a posh one. No one really sits in it except my girlfriend’s [doctor Cerys Morgan] uncle. He loves it, I’m going to get him one for Christmas. Recently we had an infestation of frogs and they keep coming inside. My dog chases them around the room but the sofa is too big to lift up and get rid of these amphibians. So I have a sofa that’s got, I think, two dead frogs underneath. In my living room I’ve also got Philippe Coutinho’s football boot that I bought at a Liverpool FC auction.

I nearly had to throw it away because it stank but it’s still on the mantelpiece. Frogs and boots.

What do you watch in your frog-invested living room?

I really got into Game of Thrones last series. It was incredible. I had watched it before but I found it a bit annoying when it’s about to start and the voiceover says [adopts deep Hollywood trailer voice], “Aaaaand next… the world’s greatest show!” and you think, “Well, it’s not the world’s greatest show, is it?” Then ten minutes in you’re shouting, “Get on the dragon! Get on the dragon!” and you think, “Oh, maybe it is the world’s greatest show.”

It’s wonderful escapism. The world is in chaos and all I can think about on a Monday night is whether the character will get on the dragon. I just love that.

Any TV you like without dragons?

The West Wing is my favourite show of all time. I watch it every night to go to bed. It’s the one show that just rocks me off. What’s sad is that I’ve realised I know more about the infrastructure of the imaginary White House than I do the actual one. I couldn’t even name the current Press Secretary after Sean Spicer but I know a lot about West Wing’s Press Secretary, CJ Cregg, and her various relationships.

Who do you watch TV with?

My girlfriend. My brother tends to come round most nights about five, just as food’s being made. He’ll never say thank you, but he’ll always offer to do us favours, which is sweet of him. Except he mostly just drinks all our milk and eats all our food. He watches Game of Thrones with us.

What about your dog?

Him too. I’m an old man [37] but I’ve got into rapper Kendrick Lamar. I spent a lot time rewriting his song Humble so the lyrics would make sense if my dog sang it. It’s perfect and makes complete sense but you have to really know my dog’s habits.

If you do, it’s brilliant. It took me six hours.

My girlfriend, who’s a doctor and had saved someone’s life that day, came home and I’m saying, “Imagine if the dog was a rapper! Go on, imagine that!” It’s the work of a madman.


The Russell Howard Hour is at 10pm on Thursdays on Sky 1