Most comedians nowadays tell stories. Milton Jones tells jokes.
Good, unadulterated gags liberally spliced with exquisite wordplays are his game and he delivered them with aplomb at Portsmouth Guildhall.
I’d like to say that his wit was dispensed in proverbial machine-gun style, but for all that the fun flows thick and fast, it’s interspersed with the mmmmms and hurrumphs and pauses-for-effect that are his vocal trademark. It was a bit like watching a fusion between Ken Dodd and Clement Freud - and jolly good fun it was.
Jones has a way with words - an excruciatingly clever way with words. ‘Missiles? They don’t even sound accurate?’ he observes. And, as he rightly informs us, if you Google ‘lost medieval servant boy’ you will surely get: ‘This page cannot be found.’
He made the necessary jibes at Southampton (no matter that he quite properly reminded us that the roles are reversed when he plays at the other end of the M27) and one of the biggest cheers of the night came when he hailed the fans’ takeover of Portsmouth Football Club. ‘I hear you’ve bought Pompey. Does that mean you all get a game?’
Jones was preceded on stage by the pacy and provocative Chris Martin and, as a curtain opener, by “Milton Jones’ grandad” who bore an uncanny resemblance to the comedian dressed up as his grandfather.
The old fella certainly got us in the mood for a evening that yielded a bellyful of laughs.
It’s not a patch on the wordplay wizardry offered by the talented Mr Jones, but, in the style at least of Milton, if grandad’s opener got us in the mood, then the main event was certainly grand, son.