November 9 2008
TV exposure is everything to a comedian. After years dropping in to the city’s Just The Tonic Comedy Club, a few seasons of captaining Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Jason Manford is pulling in 600 people -- it may have been capacity if it wasn’t for the “Biblical” weather last night - to the Playhouse.
On the back of a scheduled slot on Tonight With Jonathan Ross, he’d extended his UK tour three months in to next Easter. A slot that, of course, is now not going to happen.
It’s a shame. Manford could be the next Peter Kay. And not just because he’s rotund and cherub-faced, from the North-West and tee-total.
Like Kay, he sources old school comedy that’s largely clean; Sleeping arrangements with the wife, road rage, the logic of mothers and ‘trying’ for a wee and toilet etiquette in the Gents’.
And he gives great value, doing 40 minutes of Q&A after the allotted two hours.
Maybe it’s the early start, the weather or that it’s Sunday night but if there is a quibble with tonight’s show it’s the audience not being vocal enough. Apart from “Basil Brush” that is - a guy with a wild but random laugh that seems to disturb rather than inspire Manford.
It’s where he is at his best - sparring with the crowd but aside from a driving test flirt there’s little for him to feed off.
That said, he could widen his appeal by keeping away from laddism -- doesn’t wash his hands after a toilet stop, football, porn!?
Excuse the awful pun, but I'll give him 8/10.