Curmudgeonly comedian Jack Dee will be performing his latest stand-up show at The Embassy Theatre, Skegness, next week - and Standard readers can win two pairs of tickets in our exclusive competition.
The grumpy star of BBC Two’s hit sitcom Lead Balloon returned to the stage last autumn after a six year break to wide spread critical acclaim and sell-out theatres. And will be appearing in Skegness on Friday, May 17, as part of a 30 date tour.
So after all that time, why was he so eager to return to touring?
“I want to spend less time with my family,” he says in that familiar deadpan tone.
“I think that’s a very good reason for touring. Everyone with children will surely agree with that.
“I think a little bit of absence from your family is actually a good thing.
“There are far too many diligent parents out there overdoing it and putting us to shame.”
The comedian, who has been very happily married to 23 years and is the proud father of four children, was initially nervous about his return to the stand-up.
“At the first warm-up gig I did feel that after that six-year break, I felt like a complete novice. I didn’t know where to begin,” he explained.
“But almost immediately it came back. I’ve never taken it for granted – to do it well takes real application. But I have been gigging all year now, and it’s felt really good.
“During the warm-up shows, I have been thinking, ‘Wow, why have I been away so long?’”
For his return, Jack, will mainly focus on, “observations about home life and living with teenagers.
“My take on it is that adolescence should really be regarded as a form of mental illness.
“Once you’ve accepted that, everything makes more sense.
“It’s very alarming when adolescence happens to your children. Most parents don’t believe it will happen to them.
“But overnight, you lose the person you been living with for 10 years and someone else entirely emerges. Suddenly you’re living with someone who’s metamorphosed into a lunatic.”
Jack hastens to add that his act should not be taken too seriously.
“There is no sense of mission or self-analysis. It’s simply funny stuff that has occurred to me. “I have never been a comedian who writes to a theme.
“That’s why I never give my tours a title – I find it impossible to paint myself into that corner.
“My comedy is more visceral and less prescribed than that.
“The only thing that keeps recurring is that the show is a rolling review of my life.”
Another constant in Jack’s comedy has been his grumpy persona, a fact that has led his friend and fellow comedian Jeremy Hardy to dub him, “A little ray of sleet.”
But his surly miserable exterior only serves to enhance his material.
He continues that, “There’s nothing funnier than someone who thinks life has colluded against him, someone who believes that everyone has got it in for him.
“That’s not a rare comic attribute – Woody Allen is the master of that style of comedy. But it works brilliantly for me.”
To enter the competition simply pick up a copy of this week’s Standard and fill in the form on page 21 stating the name of the BBC Two sitcom Jack Dee starred in and co-wrote.
Details about Jack’s tour visit this website.
And for tickets, call the Embassy Theatre on 0845 674 0505.