Hit the Road Mack

hit_the_road_mack_600Hit the Road Mack is the newest standup tour and DVD by Lee Mack. It includes a behind the scenes making-of featurette and an optional non-swearing track for the faint of ears.

Traditionally puns are meant to be the lowest form of comedy, but as someone whose favorite brand of comedy is the academic, high brow gags, I also consider deft wordplay equally impressive to the horizon-expanding or motivational speech type comedy. Lee Mack loves his wordplay.

The Chef’s Special.
That’s nice. Equal opportunity employment.

As a fan of said high brow comedy, it’s difficult not to cringe at just about every Lee Mack joke because they are all, by design, in bad taste. It’s the taboo that’s funny. You laugh because you know you’re not supposed to. But you can’t say he isn’t fair. He has a go at everyone from women and their pay to people from the west country to us Americans:

If you’ve seen Going Out Live, it’s difficult to tell you this DVD is better or worse, not because they’re so different, but because they are almost exactly the same. All of the jokes are new, but they come from the same place. Like Going Out Live, there is a joke magic show (which will make you uncomfortable), jokes about the Olympics, lots and lots of crowd banter, and making fun of people who get up to use the bathroom partway through. There’s not so much dancing this time though. He also does another Q&A, where we learn that it may be the last season of Not Going Out because the C key doesn’t work on his keyboard and he “can’t be dealing with writing the fucking thing” anymore.

Half of the show is crowd work, and it’s always impressive the way Mack does it. This show, he claims various abilities, like the ability to know what kind of car audience members drive, whether they’re a bath or shower person, and their personality based on their star sign. He’s had plenty of time to prepare for this on Would I Lie to You, where he’s claimed to be able to tell whether people are a coffee or tea drinker by the sound of their stomach and whether there’s a dead fly in the room based on the room’s smell. However, lest you think this is improvised, he rattles through all his pre-written gags that he doesn’t get to use after a “Where you from” falls to pieces when a woman names a city he’s never heard of.

I said, ‘Where you from?’ not ‘What’d you get for Christmas?’
That one’s New Jersey.

The best bit has to be his rant about the spelling of Siobhan (pronounced Sheh-VAWN). The encore is pretty good, too, but I won’t go into it. You’ll have to get the DVD, which just came out in December 2014 and is available in PAL/Region 2. If you don’t care about the behind the scenes featurette or the non-swearing track, the standup set is on YouTube.

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