With his trademark gaudy Hawaiian shirts and shock of tousled hair, Milton Jones cuts a peculiar figure among his contemporaries on the stand-up scene. Striking appearance aside, he’s distinguished himself on stage, radio, and television with his bizarre but brilliant deadpan one-liners.
His wacky also extend to his live shows, which have included a joke odyssey featuring music, an overhead projector, and a cameo from an elderly relative. How would Milton describe the experience?
‘I say to people it’s not the kind of show that’s going to change your political opinions or give you a new direction in life, but if you like stupid, stupid, stupid then it’s the show for you.’
Milton’s skill with puns and clever wordplay has seen him attract a dedicated fanbase from across the ages. ‘I’ve done years of club work and there’s nothing like playing to your own crowd. I get a very wide demographic having done Radio 4 and Mock the Week, and I see pensioners and kids in the same crowd. I often look out and think this lot should be first on the lifeboats.’
“One-liners are weird in that sometimes just changing one or two words can make all the difference… if for some reason you set them off on the wrong course in their imagination, it can go wrong.”
Writing comedy for all requires a methodical approach to finding pitch perfect jokes. As Milton explains, ‘There’s a lot of trial and error. One-liners are weird in that sometimes just changing one or two words can make all the difference. Because you’re trying to draw a cartoon in people’s heads, if for some reason you set them off on the wrong course in their imagination, it can go wrong.’
Luckily he always has a captive audience at home for testing new material. ‘The kids have got a bit fed up with not being allowed to eat until they’ve given either a thumbs up or thumbs down.’
Milton’s family has its roots in London, and he appreciates the capital’s wide-open spaces. ‘I was born in Kew and I live in Twickenham, so basically I’ve moved about two miles my whole life. Kew Gardens and Richmond Park are old haunts.’
So, if you’re looking for unique comedy in the city, you know which Londoner to seek out.
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