Adventures round Norwich were Howard's opener. This is a comic who sits and earwigs shamelessly on other people's conversations and immediately puts them to use in his act. We had tales of the Forum where the crowd was reluctantly bopping to Bob Marley style rhythms and having open discussions about sex; and stories of his chance purchase of a bizarre head massaging device called 'an Orgasmatron', which looked like a mass of upside down coat hangers. His ability to create so much new material specially for us was impressive.
The second half was more structured, centring on the story of a man trying to jump off the top of a building in Bristol. As the crowd gathered far beneath, Russell was amongst them, thinking out reasons to live. All kinds of things came to mind culminating in his brother's first epileptic fit and his family's reaction to it... a story which left him moved and full of hope.
And at the root of it all was a sense that there was so much to celebrate in humanity's quirks and the small pleasures we take in the funniest of things.