Sanderson Jones

Sanderson Jones

Sanderson Jones: Comedy Sale

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Steve Bennett

In vowing that he would personally sell every ticket to his Edinburgh run, former door-to-door salesman Sanderson Jones has embarked on the archetypal Fringe project. And like most archetypal Fringe projects, it surely proved more demanding than he could ever have imagined when he first came up with the idea.

However, this is not (just) a time-consuming publicity stunt. Because he’s met every one of his audience before, arranging meetings via social media or approaching strangers in the street, he’s on first-name terms with every one of us, adding an intimacy to the room from the beginning. No need to ask the traditional ‘what’s you’re name, where are you from?’ warm-up questions here.

But that’s not all he knows about us. We put so much of our lives on Facebook, Twitter and the like that he can researches people to some depth – and he brilliantly incorporates it into the show. Tonight, we had the sad sap who tweeted how unhappy and empty his life was now term had ended, provoking much sympathy in the audience that was short-lived after Jones revealed that his next three messages boasted of being in Tuscany, on Centre Court and at the Edinburgh Festival. A sharp satire on spoilt First World woes all in 140 characters or less.

Another chap posted that he’d become so institutionalised by Oxbridge life that he didn’t realise there was some grass you were allowed to walk on. Which Jones immediately rectified by producing a roll of Astroturf and organising a rave in the aisles.

This was all brilliant fun, redolent of Mark Watson’s 24 hour shows, where the comedian just takes an idea and runs with it, creating an uplifting, unrepeatable moment and getting the whole audience on board. Sadly, this section couldn’t run for the full hour – think of the research required! – but it was a brilliant icebreaker for the rest of the show, which revolved largely around the internet.

Jones is an unabashed geek, and there’s Venn diagrams, graphs, pie charts, emoticons and abbreviations galore as he shares his passion for all things online. Threaded in with this is his tale of a long-distance relationship with a Melbourne girl he met, appropriately enough, while flyerering.

His enthusiasm is palpable as the throws everything he’s got at this fast-moving show – a quick montage of YouTube clips of men being thwacked in the nuts, one-liners, observational routines and, memorably, an uproarious game of ‘cockhunter’ on a Chatroulette-style site called FaceBuzz. It doesn’t take us long to find one.

A great spirit of fun pervades this hour, and Jones’s energy keeps us all enthused as we tumble towards the conclusion of his romantic tale. By the end, we all feel like friends, a newly-formed social network in real life, with an audience in <3 with Jones.

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Published: 26 Aug 2011

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