The League of Funnymen: Jason Manford Live

  • 12/07/2011 07:58:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones




£12.93 (Amazon)

A quick addition to our scoreboard of stand-up today, and it’s Salford scamp Jason Manford. With his schtick being “cosy observation”, you can pretty much guess what’ll be coming up here, and there aren’t any surprises on offer. Topics touch on being a parent, obsolete names (“you never see a baby called Geoff any more, do you?”), how the penis adds context to the testicles, lady shampoo, and his dad.

Time for one of our theories about stand-up: while it’s expected that every American comic has to have a routine on airports because they spend so much time flitting between east and west coasts (if they don’t perform such a routine once per gig they probably get kicked out of American stand-up equivalent of The Magic Circle or something), with British comedians it’s ‘driving’. Is this why the British public seem more likely to take stand-up comedians to their collective hearts? Our more compact landmass affording our millionaire mirthmeisters that extra shared experience of motorway service stations while touring the country, while their stateside cousins have to try and remember what it was like the last time they flew coach in 1987 if they want to connect with their audience like that?

Yeah, probably not, it’s only a theory we’ve held for about seventeen minutes. It does mean that when Manford does his bit about driving, including the difficulty of putting petrol in your car to the nearest tenner when filling up, we couldn’t help but lament he’d missed the much better punchline that we thought of. Which is this: “and then, after finally managing to somehow squeeze that final pennyworth of petrol into your car, you go in and pay for it… by card”. See, shared experiences between comedian and audience.

Luckily for Jason Manford, that’s the only bit where we thought of a much better punchline than him (no, it IS a much better punchline, shut up). It certainly helps that he maintains a steady air of The Funniest Bloke At Work, the kind of bloke who you’d be a bit disappointed if you go out on a work ‘do’ and he’s not turned up. (Look, our version of that petrol joke works better because, you know, the guy doing the till isn’t even going to be giving you any change! You might as well just have got £22.43 of petrol! That’s why it’s funny! IT IS!) Unless, of course, you always get annoyed by people like that, in which case this DVD isn’t really going to realign your liking-Jason-Manford-or-not-sensors. But, if you’re a fan of faintly undemanding comedy about things like supermarket self-scan tills, you’re in luck. (Yes, we know there’s pay-at-pump, but then the joke doesn’t work. Look, it’s a valid joke. Leave us alone.)

File under: safe bet Christmas present for brother-in-law.

SAMPLE GAG: “The most commonly searched for term on Google is ‘sex’. That’s too broad a term, surely? It’s like going into Tesco and asking ‘where’d you keep your food?’”



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