End of an era as the last laughs are on Lee

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR TV WEEK -

In Novem­ber 2014, Lee Evans – at the time ar­guably Bri­tain's most pop­u­lar co­me­dian – made his en­trance onto The Jonathan Ross Show in his typ­i­cally mad­cap style – climb­ing through the set and pre­tend­ing to clean the win­dows of the host's fake sky­line back­drop. How­ever the laughs and hi­lar­ity soon sub­sided once Evans sat down on the sofa for a chat. In an emo­tional in­ter­view, the comic re­vealed that he was re­tir­ing from com­edy at the end of his 65-date tour Mon­sters. “This is it. Fin­ished… It’s the end," he said. Open­ing up about his de­ci­sion, Evans spoke about the death of his man­ager – Ad­di­son Cress­well – and want­ing to spend more time with his wife Heather and daugh­ter Mol­lie. “Well my man­ager died last year," he ex­plained. "I’ve ig­nored, I think for far too long, my mis­sus and I want to spend a lot more time with her.” So that was that – the award­win­ning co­me­dian hung up his mic at the end of his tour and rode off into the sun­set leav­ing a gen­er­a­tion of com­edy lovers with mem­o­ries of how he made them cry with laugh­ter. Lee Evans – Mon­sters (Chan­nel 4, 9pm), recorded at Birm­ing­ham's Na­tional In­door Arena, sees the co­me­dian in ac­tion dur­ing that farewell tour. Evans is at his best in front of a packed house, and as usual he has no trou­ble find­ing the funny side of mod­ern life's ir­ri­ta­tions. The aim of Evans' shows has al­ways been to re­flect what we’ve all no­ticed, but never vo­calised, and the main fo­cus of this rou­tine's first half is tech­nol­ogy. Evans is a self-con­fessed techno­phobe, and Kin­dles, Dyson vac­uum clean­ers, and mi­crowaves are all picked apart. His old-school style is much more ap­par­ent in the sec­ond half, which harks back to the ‘my wife’ era of the 1970s. Sure, there are mass gen­er­al­i­sa­tions about men and women and sto­ries of do­mes­tic woe, and the phrase ‘I don’t get women’ begins half a dozen of the anec­dotes, but it's all gentle and play­ful. While he stops short of moth­erin-law ma­te­rial, there are plenty of re­marks about his wife’s bat­tleaxe ten­den­cies, but Evans gets away with it thanks to his love­able de­meanour, en­sur­ing he’s usu­ally the butt of his own jokes, and a mov­ing fi­nale which he ded­i­cates to his lov­ing wife. When this show was recorded, Evans was 50 years old, but his com­edy hasn’t slowed down a jot, and even in his later shows he gave Michael McIntyre a run for his money in the en­ergy stakes.

Last stand Lee Evans performs in his farewell tour

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