A wild-eyed, crazy-haired, 50-something-year-old man famed for his seemingly nonsensical ramblings and memorable one-liners is set to take to the stage of Leicester’s De Monfort Hall this November and outline his manifesto to be British Prime Minister. No, it’s not the ever-unintentionally entertaining Foreign Secretary and former London Mayor Boris Johnson – although he did inspire the premise of the show.
“People have said to me: ‘On one level it’s quite clever, and on another level it’s not clever at all’. I think that’s a compliment, but I’m not sure.”
In fact, that man is Milton Jones, a Hawaiian shirt-wearing British comedian who has spent the past 20 years establishing himself as the master of witty and inventive puns that create a curious juxtaposition with his unkempt appearance.
Jones, who has won several comedy awards, writes sitcoms for BBC Radio 4 and has been a regular fixture on popular BBC panel show Mock the Week since 2009. It was the current political situation and a joke he made about Boris Johnson on the latter TV show that he credits as his inspiration for Milton Jones is Out There.
“An idiot with stupid hair running the country?” he quips. “Bing! That’s where it started. I feel like I’m destined to play Boris Johnson at some point.”
As the UK continues to grapple with the impact of the contentious Brexit vote, Jones sets out to create his own ‘manifesto of nonsense’ and will share his unique take on the concept of individuals getting out there and doing something to change the world. In his show, he promises to hold up the ‘mirror of truth’ to society, lift the lid on the ‘pedal bin of lies of the media’, scale the heights of fashion, and share the ‘ups and downs’ of his life so far.
Nonsense – albeit expressed through meticulously crafted wordplay – has long formed a crucial part of Jones’s onstage rhetoric. But in this new stand-up show, he takes a stab at questioning the importance of such nonsense in today’s turbulent times.
“The show sees me thinking: with all that’s going on in the world, maybe I should be doing something more serious rather than talking nonsense,” says Jones. “I seem to have a crisis of confidence in terms of questioning whether nonsense is of any value. And of course that results in more nonsense rather than less.”
However, Jones is quick to reassure fans that they won’t be subjected to overly political rants like those given by many of his comic contemporaries in recent months.
“It’s all fairly jokey – there’s one pseudo-political joke, which is as near as I get,” he says. “With my stuff, people remember the joke rather than the point. Though my aim with the tour is to add in a couple of moments of pathos, really questioning whether I’m on the right track.”
In the same way that Jones’s punchlines are rarely the ones you’d predict, his stand-up show is likely to be filled with the slightly surreal and unexpected, and of course, plenty of laughs.
“People have said to me: ‘On one level it’s quite clever, and on another level it’s not clever at all,”’ says Jones. “I think that’s a compliment, but I’m not sure. You could take it either way.”
Why not go and see for yourself?
Milton Jones is Out There will be on at De Monfort Hall on 9 November 2017. Find tickets online here.