“You can’t please everyone all of the time” says Mason. Given that he’s been making people laugh for the better part of 50 years, he’s done pretty well.
The self-named “Ultimate Jew” started by saying that if he stank, he’s not coming back! However, Fearless marks the final British tour of his career, so he was already on the winning foot.
As someone who loves stand-up, I have of course heard of Jackie Mason, seen a few sketches on shows, but never live. He is a comic who knows his audience and his fans – in that respect who am I to argue he isn’t – in his words – amazingly talented? His style of delivery has inspired many a comic since he started out. Fearless he is.
Last night was the 3rd preview of his 5 week run at Wyndham’s Theatre, and there were plenty of laughs, albeit mostly from the rest of the audience rather than myself. Don’t get me wrong, I did laugh, they just laughed more. Especially at a slightly awkward impression of an Indian doctor… which I think was a culture difference to be honest – I’ve always had good NHS Indian doctors therefore, not so funny. But if you’re a Jewish and a New Yorker, I guess the more recent influx of Indian GPs to the medical profession over in USA is a source of priceless humour.
As for the rest of his material – he makes himself and his fellow Jew the butt of his jokes, and a gentile like myself is allowed to laugh, because frankly, he’s damn funny when he says it. Other topics are the Olympics (“you pay millions? For what? So a few gentiles can go swimming”) and the habit of paying more and getting less. Starbucks and French restaurants are clearly not a favourite of his. He wins a few chortles from discussing the “Miliblands”, and the less than successful presidency of Obama (“but oy what a speaker”). The women/wives jokes in the second half were bordering on offensive, but taken in context and given it’s Mason telling them, he manages to get away with it.
And so, as his final bow, he plays his game his way. He is a tremendously successful comedian because he has consistently told jokes for people who will find him funny – and maybe that’s the way to go – surrounded by the people who love you, for they are the ones that make everything you have done, matter.
Reviewed by @Anna_Comical_
Charing Cross Rd
Friday, 17th February, 2012