JoJo Smith

JoJo Smith

JoJo Smith started her working life, first on the punk rock fanzine The Ligger, where she interviewed The Clash, Ian Dury and the Sex Pistols, and then music papers including Smash Hits, NME, The Face and Record Mirror. It was a positive review in the latter that led to her being invited to work for Dexy's Midnight Runners as their PA.

After Dexy's she became a bingo caller at Butlins, before returning to journalism, becoming a showbiz feature-writer job at the Evening Standard.

Being diagnosed of Repetetive Strain Injury, combined with an interview with Bill Hicks, inspired JoJo to leave journalism to become a stand-up in the early Nineties.

But she combined comedy with her previous job for a 42-part late-night ITV series, Funny Business, about the art of comedy in which she interviewed everyone from Jimmy Cricket to Jo Brand.

JoJo made her TV stand-up debut on Craig Charles' late night ITV show, The Funky Bunker, and she also supported the Red Dwarf star on his national tour.

As well as being an established circuit act, she has also played in South Africa, Shanghai, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and both the Sydney and Melbourne comedy festivals.

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JoJo Smith – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Gobby JoJo Smith batters her audience with an unrelenting stream of coarse filth – using crudity alone to provoke a reactione, even if it’s one of pure disgust.

She starts of with some bog-standard put downs, picking randomly on punters for being bald or having shirts she deems to have come from Primark, even if they’re perfectly ordinary garments. But, of course, it’s just a ruse to assert her authority.

Next comes a celebration of drunken, slaggish young women on the pull, a routine clearly designed to forge a connection with the sort of rowdy crowds certain comedy clubs tend to attract. She is so used to these tough environments, that she dares not venture anything subtle in her act - nothing interesting even – for fear they wouldn’t get it. It may work, but there’s no escaping the fact it’s lowest-common-denominator stuff.

That’s never more so than the bulk of her act which – and there’s no delicate way of putting this – is all about her saggy tits, baggy vagina and the various foodstuffs she likes to shove up there for gratification. If you found that sentence distasteful, imagine the impact of a full routine in that grossly unedifying vein.

It’s blunt, aggressive material, trampling over all sensibilities. But there’s not much wit to this, just filth for filth’s sake, designed purely to shock. And judging by the number of ‘Eeuuughs’ she gets in response, that’s exactly what it does.

But getting a knee-jerk reaction isn’t the same as being funny – which is where the routine falls down. I found it all utterly dull – not because I’m shocked by a woman talking dirty; but because I’m not.

Strip away any outrage, the routine is exposed as being very empty indeed. Filthy can be funny, there are plenty of comics who prove that, but it doesn’t follow that filthy EQUALS funny.

Smith’s been at this game long enough to know her style, though, and this is obviously what she does. There’s no doubt it’s effective late-night crowd control, but inspired stand-up, it ain't.

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Published: 14 Jun 2007

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