Milton Jones first received wide recognition in the eyes of the British public after appearing on popular panel show Mock the Week. However, the short time frame of the BBC2 program meant that his spectacular talent for one-liner comedy was never given the full coverage that it deserved.
I first saw Milton in 2010 at the Manchester Comedy Club, as he teased the crowds with his witty manipulation of the English language. Stalking Milton to Nottingham, for his ‘Lion Whisperer’ Tour, I entered the Glee Club full of anticipation, yet wary of the short shelf life nature of the one-liner, and potential of repeating tried and tested jokes. However, I was not to be disappointed, as Milton has only gone from strength to strength; accessing a font of never ending wordplay knowledge, and bringing plenty of fresh material to the table.
You may think the classic one-liner does not appeal to everyone; but Milton had the crowd hooked from the word go, appearing on stage in the guise of his Grandfather; complete with a tartan shopping trolley full of props. A quick ten minute opener; Milton’s ‘Grandfather’ stumbles onto stage armed with his notebook of history, resulting in historically themed hilarity.
Breaking up the performance nicely, James Acaster provided some gentle story telling comedy, complete with traditional audience interaction. His appeal centred on his unassuming nature and ability to put down the hecklers with ease (although, to be honest, why anyone would choose to challenge a comedian in an argument is beyond me!)
Reappearing from the wings, Milton exhibited his unique stage presence. Wandering onto stage with a dazed glaze, and scanning the crowd quizzically, he appeared lost, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Milton is entirely at home on the stage; His out of control hair, and statement Hawaiian shirts complete the image of an utter oddball. Yet he uses this so effectively to his advantage, combining surreal images with traditional puns.
At one point Milton revealed a whiteboard with cartoon drawings, and pointed to the image of a music band- “Here’s a picture of the band REM. That’s me in the corner” – simple but hilarious! Not content with risking his last chance to impress, Milton asked the crowd for the answer to his tricky crossword puzzle: “four across, green field?” “Moor!” we replied – and he was happy to oblige.
Milton provides a refreshing, fast paced comedic approach, which is neither bogged down with long convoluted stories, nor relies on crude language and content to get laughs. His jokes have the potential to raise a groan, yet are guaranteed to induce a giggle.