As Milton Jones takes his quick-fire insanity back on the road, many fans of his appearances on Mock The Week and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow might be skeptical just how well his style translates into a show 60 minutes long. Allay your fears and doubts. He succeeds with such flair we may be seeing many more Hawaiian shirt sporting fanatics.
Milton Jones’ one liners are sharp and cutting. Raucous jokes stream one after the other, barely allowing you time to breathe. The only time you get to recover is when the comic is one step ahead of you, and you have to take a moment to catch up! This is rare however, as his jokes, while requiring a certain wit to comprehend, are utterly accessible. His ability to include everyone inside his absurd world is astounding; any audience can find this man hilarious.
Mr Jones includes, rather cleverly, political satire and social commentary, into his one liners. Somehow he manages this without putting off those who may not understand the nuances of political comedy, or may be put off by the preachy monologues of political satirists. He plays so casually on the audiences preconceptions, tempting them with a chance for a heckle before firing a punchline Derren Brown-style right back at them having set up the whole thing. Pure genius.
Riffing with the audience, he is never cruel, but instead rewards us with in-jokes he has created. One could come to his gig without any knowledge of history, politics, social stereotypes, pop culture, and geography, and he’ll still make you laugh about each of them.
Milton Jones’ stage confidence is quite remarkable: he is never wanting for subtlety, often letting his audience finish off the jokes, avoiding the bland obvious comedy some touring comics seem to have adopted: not every word has to be spoken. Mr Jones has a respect for his audience, allowing them to catch the punchline before he’s spoken a word, leaving the silence there for them to bask in their own cleverness.
In stark contrast to his contemporaries, such as Jimmy Carr and Stewart Francis, Mr Jones’ comedy is utterly family friendly throughout. This really is something you can sit down and enjoy with the kids…if they can keep up, of course!
While it can be a struggle for the masters of the one-liner to keep the technique from going cold after more than thirty minutes of material. Mr Jones keeps it fresh by including themes such as a picture slide-show, guest appearance by his grandfather, and a musical section. The music is where he falls, however: its omission would certainly have made the show unmissable. Yet don’t think for a moment your stomach won’t be aching throughout.
Overall verdict: If you liked him on Mock The Week and his other televisual adventures, watch this. If not, watch it anyway. His brand of comedy might seem twee on the panel shows, but here he is in his element, and quite brilliant. Fantastically silly, and wonderfully entertaining, this is classic comedy at its best, twisted to suit the modern world and its love of the surreal. Bob Hope through a kaleidoscope, if you will.
Reviewer: Adrian Naik