Lee Mack – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Lee Mack – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

There was a time, you suspect, when all comics were like Lee Mack. Jolly chaps ­ 'always cheeky, never blue' to use his catchphrase ­ bantering and joshing their way around the nation's music halls.

Perhaps it's all the grainy footage of bygone stars, or later revivals like The Good Old Days, but there's something warmly reassuring in this approach. In an era when stand-up tends to be defined by aloofness, arrogance and sneering, Mack stands apart for his relentless determination to have fun, to make a mockery of everything, no matter if he's the one who ends up looking the fool.

The good humour comes across as entirely natural, and marvellously infectious. His closest comedy ancestor has to be Eric Morecambe ­ and while they are impossible specs to fill, Mack's playfulness the closest anyone's come for quite some while. It's because, like Eric, this is comedy with a good heart.

Though his style is old-fashioned, Mack puts a modern spin on his act. There's no resort to creaky old puns or tired pat gags; instead he keeps his material fresh and funny. The jokes are well-crafted and they keep coming thick and fast, offering no let-up until the audience succumb. And it's hard to imagine one that wouldn't surrender very quickly.

Mischievous, hyperactive, impish ­ there's clearly something of the cheeky child in Mack, which is what makes him almost impossible to dislike. Combine that with his determination that the gag ­ not some posturing attitude or trite platitude ­ is always king, and you have the elusive star quality.

Already a guaranteed audience-pleaser, it surely won't be long before everyone knows Mack's name.

Review date: 1 Jul 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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