by The Daily Telegraph, March 30, 2018
Russell Howard, the comedian, on hanging out with cannabis growers in Oregon, Bollywood stars and why everyone should check into a bad hotel.
I like discovering strange characters
I once met a man in a bar in Copenhagen with half a rainbow-coloured beard.
Dublin has a wild energy
I can feel it in the audience whenever I’m in the city for my gigs. I love Dublin and the locals are extraordinary. I’m also a Liverpool football fan, so have been enjoying the city a lot more recently for the games.
I had all my bad karma removed
It happened at a temple in Bangkok where I learned how to kickbox at a kickboxing school. I visited Thailand as well as India with my mum recently and we’ve had some very interesting experiences.
There’s a temple where rats are worshipped
It is called the Karni Mata Temple in India, and it was fascinating to visit. We also watched a cacao ceremony [a sacred ritual centred around the plant] take place on Koh Phangan island in Thailand.
Mumbai was magical
Which I was really surprised by and I got an insight into the world of Bollywood while hanging out with some Bollywood film stars while there.
The most memorable places sneak up on you
Such as The Monkey Bar in Mumbai, where I had an incredible night out. The food's amazing and I love the Eighties tunes they play.
I loved exploring interesting slices of Americana
Like meeting cannabis growers in Portland and hanging out with cowboys in a place called Fossil in Oregon, during the trip with my mum for the latest television series I'm doing.
We met some folks who were abducted by UFOs
Or at least they claimed to have been. It was pretty remote and there are only around 400 people living there.
Los Angeles feels empty and overrated
I struggle with it as a holiday destination. It’s the sort of place where you need to know some locals, otherwise it just feels so empty. Plus the traffic is so rubbish.
The best destination for reading is the Maldives
I was there for a relaxing week-long break last year and really enjoyed reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.
A perfect holiday entails sunshine
Books and good food are also a must, and I had all three in the Maldives. I stayed in a hut on stilts, so it was easy to slide into the sea and go for a swim before breakfast.
I’m a very early riser on holiday
I am invariably down at the pool on a sun lounger even before anyone can put a towel on one.
It kills me when you’ve been promised sun and it doesn't arrive
I went to Mexico a few years ago and the weather was disappointingly average.
I had the wettest holiday ever in Bournemouth
I recommend booking a really bad hotel
To begin with, that is, and then moving to a very good one - it will make you fully appreciate your holiday.
New York's nightlife is special
I always love hanging out with friends there like John Oliver [the comedian].
London is so beautiful in the summer
I love spending it in Regent’s Park and the Edinboro Castle pub in Camden, which has the best beer garden for a summer drink.
Bring a likeable weirdo on your travels
Then go with them to the ends of the Earth. Also travel with someone positive and pack a good book.
I’m 37 and past caring about grooming on a plane
I just put on a hoodie, zip myself up and look like the Kenny character from the South Park cartoon series.
I’d love to travel around South America
I’ve never been there, but also want to return to Liberia where I visited a village last year for Comic Relief. I met some children there who had been affected by the Ebola outbreak. Be great to know how they’re doing.
Russell Howard & Mum: USA Road Trip airs on Comedy Central (Sky 112; Virgin 132) through April. Russell Howard also recently hosted the annual Teenage Cancer Trust concert at The Royal Albert Hall. For more information about Russell, see russell-howard.co.uk .
Interview by Roz Lewis