By Nick Parkhouse
WHILST it may have recently moved to terrific new premises at the Cornerhouse, the Just the Tonic comedy club has been a part of Nottingham life for sixteen years.
It was a fact we were reminded of by host and Nottingham comedy legend Darrell Martin as an expectant crowd awaited the arrival of “TV’s” Milton Jones, a comedian who Martin has been booking at the club for most of that time.
Whilst Radio 4 listeners will be familiar with Jones, he is relatively new to TV audiences through appearances on Comedy Roadshow and Mock the Week.
With the demeanour of a man who looks like he has stumbled on stage by accident whilst searching for the toilets (indeed, he took to the stage in the character of his ageing grandfather), it’s easy to dismiss Jones as an eccentric oddball. However, his puns – in the style of a Tim Vine – are incredibly intelligent and delivered with a great sense of childish wonder.
Whilst sometimes you see the jokes coming and other times they hit you way after everyone else, it’s impossible not to be carried along by Jones’ charismatic style.
His use of song lyrics out of context is particularly brilliant; his perceptive assertion that “we don’t know much about Galileo – other than the fact that he was a poor boy from a poor family…” left the audience in hysterics.
Ably supported by the promising Geordie stand-up Kai Humphries (anyone who can get both Raoul Moat and Mary Poppins into a short routine deserves credit), Milton Jones is arguably the most intelligent, witty and engaging stand-up on the circuit.
You never know quite what is going to happen next and, by the look of him, neither does he.