Rich Hall, the grouchy, deadpan, comic genius quit his job as a hurricane namer for the United States Meteorological Service two decades ago and hasn’t looked back.
Looking like a Pearl Jam roadie, Rich is a master of absurdist irony while eschewing the human condition. He particularly likes to lay into Americans and life across the Pond at every opportunity. As Rich Hall the stand-up, he has visited the Edinburgh Fringe Festival several times and performed at the major comedy clubs in Britain and across the world. He is well known in the United States for appearing and writing on The David Letterman Show – for which he won two Emmy Awards. In 1998, Rich Hall created the character Otis Lee Crenshaw, a redneck jailbird from Tennessee, who has been married seven times, all to women named Brenda. A singer-songwriter, Otis writes bourbon-soaked, Tom Waitsian tunes and blends this with audience banter, producing a perfect fusion of music and comedy. Since then, Otis Lee Crenshaw has been charming sell-out audiences each year at the Edinburgh Festival, throughout the UK (on tour), at several festivals in Australia including Adelaide and Melbourne and at London’s famous Comedy Store, where he had a monthly slot for six months. At the Edinburgh Festival 2000, Rich Hall is Otis Lee Crenshaw won the highly prestigious Perrier Award.
Rich has written and presented his own TV shows in the UK, in particular How the West Was Lost (2008) a thought-provoking documentary for the BBC. He also wrote and starred in Rich Hall’s Cattle Drive, Rich Hall’s Election Special and Rich Hall’s Fishing Show with Mike Wilmot. He also recently completed a highly acclaimed BBC documentary on the state ‘California Stars’ (2014).
In the United States Rich Hall has appeared on The David Letterman Show and Saturday Night Live. In the UK, Rich has appeared on: Have I Got News For You, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Jack Dee’s Sunday Service and Edinburgh Nights.
Rich has won the Barry Award, the biggest prize in comedy at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, for his live show. The award – named in honour of Barry Humphries – was gratefully received by Rich who said ‘This is fantastic. It’s a real kick in the pants. To all the other magnificent comedians: I’m lucky to be in your company.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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