“I used to do a line about having a fatal peanut allergy and the other boys playing Russian Roulette by forcefeeding me Revels. Then Mars brought out an ad with the same joke”
The care and precision Jones puts into his work is legendary. “There are two things that really annoy me in comedy – the first is when you get a request from someone in the audience for a certain gag and when they’re shouting out the request they also include the punch line,” he says.
“The second is when people repeat my jokes back to me and it’s a paraphrase so it really only goes out at 80 per cent of what it should be. Reviewers do that a lot with me. I’ve spent years working on some lines. Sometimes you sense you’ll be close but it’s still not finished. And a lot of these times all it takes is to literally change a syllable and it works perfectly. It’s like trying to put a cartoon in to people’s heads – and you have to have it so that just as they think it’s going one way then you must bring it another.”
Jones was brought up in a Christian household. “I really believe that without my Christian faith I wouldn’t have the courage to do this,” he says. “Becoming a comedian, you have to first go through the pain barrier. I always equate it to learning a musical instrument, but all your practice is done in public. I’ve known plenty of really funny people who have given up during those early stages. You have to scale that sheer cliff face before you reach the plateau – once you’re on that plateau it’s relatively easier and you will get plenty of work.”
“How my faith informs my work as a standup is that I don’t swear. This isn’t a policy – it’s just how things are for me. I do have a faith, I believe in a morality. I think it’s disingenuous of comics to say that comedy is outside of morals. Comedy does have the power to shake the foundations of ideas and attitudes and that is worth exploring more than setting out to shock with your material. Which means not hitting on weak people. Some of the more ‘shocking’ type of comics do have work which is brilliantly crafted, but it can exist in a moral vacuum.”
He’s heard it all and more now from his colleagues on the circuit about his faith and nothing fazes him. “On tour you live with comics cheek by jowl, you’re eating with them, drinking with them, travelling in the same car as them. Hopefully my faith is borne out of my day-to-day existence. It is a way of life and I struggle – I live it out imperfectly. People do go on about me not swearing as if it’s a big thing, but there are other ways to shock and awe. I suppose I’m different in that, unlike them, I’m preaching to the unconverted.”
(Dot Dash) Superb new album from the Australian band boasts superb sounds, terrific harmonies, fantastic jangles and endearing tunes.
(Parish) This is the first tune from the new recording project of Today FM DJ Donal Dineen (right), a lush sunset house (Warner Bros) Dusted off to relive Rhymin’ Simon’s fantastic show at