The timeless criticism in which people are implored to act their age could never be more apt when directed at Jason Manford. Yet, in his case, it’s more likely that he’d be accused of acting way beyond his years; when he started his career in stand-up (as a fresh-faced 17-year-old in the rough and tumble clubs of Manchester) there were some punters who took offence at being made to sit and listen to one so young. ‘My age is a bit against me because people make an immediate assumption about whether you’re funny or not,’ Manford reckons. ‘I’m actually a bit of an old man in a young guy’s body, always moaning about the Post Office and going down to my allotment.’
While all that may not be strictly true, it’s clear that the comic who appeared on small screens with Johnny Vegas (Ideal) and Bill Nighy (Gideon’s Daughter) before nabbing himself a spot on the 2005 Perrier shortlist with his debut show, Urban Legend, has an affinity with the elders in our community. Modern Worries is the name of the show he recently recorded as a pilot for E4. ‘Modern men aren’t real men compared to our dads and our granddads,’ he opines. ‘My granddad comes round to fix the boiler and he’s 82 and I wonder, why am I not doing it? As we get more and more dependent on technology, things aren’t built properly so they break down as soon as the warranty runs out. My gran had the same fridge for 25 years and I’ve had one for 18 months and it’s gone.’ And they don’t make comics like Jason Manford the way they used to.
Jongleurs, Glasgow, Fri 29 & Sat 30 Sep.