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March 2010

Milton Jones: Live Universe Tour - Part 1, Earth

featuring Milton Jones

72 minutes (PG) 2009
Spirit DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 9/10
review by James A. Stewart

Milton Jones: Live Universe Tour - Part One, Earth

"If I had unlimited funds I'd hire two private detectives to follow each other." This is just a taster for the comedy of Milton Jones, one of Britain's best comedians. The perennially perplexed looking funny man is a regular panellist on Mock The Week, and presenter of Radio 4's The Very World Of Milton Jones.

In this release, his first DVD, Milton Jones rips through his full repertoire of one-liners as he does a world tour in a single room. Filmed in London, Jones does short stints as if he is in different countries, and the audience buy into this concept, which is entirely in keeping with the surrealist style of the Welsh-named Englishman.

Things start off 'normally' in respect to the tour; London, Newcastle, America, etc. Before, in order to fit the theme of his jokes, Jones ends up on a schooner and other strange, made-up venues. But, nonetheless, the concept of firing around the world on tour is merely a vehicle from which Jones lands joke after joke after joke - all done in a very clean manner. Indeed, a convicted thief in a middle-east country could count on the fingers of one hand the number of swear words in this release.

Unlike some others on the comedy circuit, Jones likes to keep the jokes clean and intelligent. One of the best lines is when he asks if there are any teachers in the audience, when someone replies 'yes!' Jones laments how tough marking is. The teacher nods her head sagely. Then Jones advises her to wrap the kids in a mattress before beating them. Simple, yet effective, and a masterful use of language...

This is not a side-splitting bundle of laughs, it's not meant to be. It is a veritable feast of funnies and days later a joke will pop into your head which you will suddenly realise you have either just worked it out, or simply remembered some absurd one-liner. In respect to breadth of audience, there are similarities between Jones, and Harry Hill, with the later having progressed from surreal comedian of cult fame to prime-time TV show host. In respect to comedic delivery, many would be drawn to comparisons between Jones, and Tim Vine, but where Jones holds the upper-hand between the two is in the subject matter and his ability to turn the mundane into comedy gold.

The downside is that fans of Jones will be familiar with a fair bit of the content on the DVD, but either way, any comedy loving person out there should have Milton Jones: Live Universe Tour - Part 1, Earth taking pride of place in their DVD towers. It's quite simply exceptional.

And, as we started with a thought from Milton Jones, let's finish the same way: "If you're being chased by a police dog, try not to go through a tunnel, then on to a little seesaw, and then jump through a hoop of fire. They're trained for that."



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