Mick takes the mic

Miller storms his first 'alternative' gig

Veteran old-school comedian Mick Miller played his first 'alternative' comedy club in his 30-year career last night – and went down a storm.

The 55-year-old former Pontins blue-coat performed for more than an hour at Manchester’s XS Malarkey club – then was called back for a 20-minute encore.

He played the award-winning venue – a favourite with students – after spending time with a younger generation of comics including Andrew Maxwell and Boothby Graffoe on Channel 4’s reality show Kings Of Comedy.

The gig came about after Mick recorded a pilot episode of a Radio 4 show with club promoter Toby Hadoke.

Writing on a Manchester comedy website after the gig, Hadoke said: “You won't be able to remove the grin from my face with a chisel.

“It's a measure of the man that he wanted to see if he could cut the mustard with a different kind of audience.  And the mustard was well and truly scythed.

“Any comic who trots out the same old ten minutes would have watched open mouthed as he went from subject to subject, with loads of different kinds of humour. Lots of topical stuff in there too, which puts a few old myths to rest, and let's not forget the performance: sharp, assured and timed to perfection.”

And reviewer Mike Landers added: “I'm sure if he had asked them, the audience would willingly have put Mick on the shoulders and paraded him through the streets in triumph.”

Before the gig, Miller – who shot to fame on the Eighties revival of The Comedians TV show –  said he was looking forward to “nailing a few prejudices” about his style of humour.

In an interview, he said: “I think my stuff is quite up to date anyway. I think they’d understand everything I’m talking about.

“ I don’t do mother in law jokes, I don’t do long stories I just do one liners and talk about life really. If it’s funny it’s funny.

“A lot of the alternative lads like my style. I did the Lee Mack show last week on Radio 2. I was highly honoured there.”

Hadoke told Chortle: “I've always enjoyed Mick's stuff - my card-carrying lefty credentials might make it appear that the mainstream circuit is my anti-Christ, but only the horrible stuff that Davison and Manning do.

“I grew up adoring Les Dawson and Tommy Cooper, and feel that there's occasionally a bit of comedy snobbery going both ways: and I think it's a real measure of Mick's character that he did the gig just to have a crack at it.”

“Having had Stewart Lee on a fortnight ago, it was wonderful to provide a comic of equal stature but from a different school.”



Published: 23 Mar 2005

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