Milton Jones has made a name for himself as king of one liners. In his first trip to Melbourne he lived up to that claim and so much more.
The breadth and quantity of his material was so substantial that if one joke didn’t tickle your fancy, another that would was not far behind. He gave us lots of literal wordplay, plenty of puns and some clever ideas that took a moment to sink in. Some of his lines had been modified to include Australian references and address some local current affairs but he did tend harp on about Australian/New Zealand rivalry a bit too much, but was able to direct it at some vocal Kiwis in the audience.
The constant barrage of one liners and short jokes was quite exhausting for both performer and audience. Jones combated the fatigue by his careful pacing, a dash of silly physical humour and some visual aids/props all while keeping the hilarious lines coming in tandem. We had some “travel slides” with brilliant commentary and some amusing pictures on an overhead projector incorporating the technology into the jokes. The repetition of similarly structured jokes in long runs were also liable for fatigue but led to substantial pay-offs later on.
Some potentially awkward banter with the punters started well until some audience members suddenly got all shy and incoherent when he addressed them as individuals. When he did get any feedback he always had a quick clever comeback, clearly a result of his many years on the UK circuit. The questioning was a little repetitive, which on the surface looked like it wasn’t going anywhere, until he was able to weave snippets from these encounters into clever and witty lines later in the show.
Employing almost every comedic trick in the book, Jones showed us why he is a master of his craft.
Milton Jones is on at Melb Town Hall – Supper Room until April 20