Little Howard and the Magic Pencil of Life and Death
Howard Read and his naughty animated alter ego, Little Howard, to perform in Scotland
You can get away with quite a lot when you’re a comedian hiding behind a character. During his appearance at the 2007 Royal Variety Performance, Howard Read was able to be rather naughty in the guise of someone else: his live animated six-year-old alter ego, Little Howard.
‘Firstly, Little Howard mistook the Queen for Helen Mirren (a few have done that joke since, but we were the first) and then he belched “I am the devil,”’ Read recalls mischievously. ‘The Queen’s response was a complete wall of Royalness, though there was no real telling what she thought as she was in the darkness.’
For over a decade now, responses to Little Howard and his tech-savvy creator have been firmly in the positive. In 2003, their second full Fringe show together resulted in a Perrier Award nomination, while their profile was raised further with factual CBBC show, Little Howard’s Big Question.
Although initially a double act for the grown-ups, Read found a way to make Little Howard work for kids and he’s in Scotland now (and in August) to entertain both sides of his fanbase. ‘It’s like having kids or hanging out with elderly parents: you just switch off the swearing button in your head,’ he says. ‘But you can still be quite rude. With the kids shows, I’m trying to make the adults laugh as well, so you’re always trying to sneak in cheeky little things that the kids won’t get.’
The Stand, Glasgow, Sun 7 Jul