Hilary Wardle

DVD review: Lee Mack, Hit The Road Mack

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Self styled banter merchant Lee Mack isn’t for everyone. His fast paced performances can feel a bit old fashioned at times; to the extent that you half expect him to be rounded up and carted back to the 1970s variety show he must have escaped from – or possibly the branch of Pontins where he used to work as a bluecoat.

Nevertheless, this DVD shows him at his best and fans of Mack won’t be disappointed. As ever, the show is packed with one liners that even someone who isn’t familiar with his previous work will find funny. If you’ve got a crowd gathered over Christmas it won’t alienate your relatives if you decide to watch his DVD en masse. It also helps that he’s included a handy ‘swearing on/off’ option to make his show even more ‘visiting granny’ friendly.

The DVD extra is engaging too. As with most stand up tour DVDs, Mack recorded a behind the scenes section but rather than being a last minute affair where the comic wanders around backstage asking their tour manager what they had for lunch, Mack actually talks about how he feels about the show and what it’s like to be a comedian in a refreshingly honest way. He shows a very different side of himself- more down to Earth, gentle and serious, though- as you’d probably expect- he’s also very funny at times.

In contrast, the on-stage Mack is much more of a cheeky ‘Jack the lad’. He’s cheerfully rude about his kids and you can’t help but giggle when he’s describing the worst things he’s said to his wife, though you have to wonder how on Earth she puts up with him (especially given his habit of describing the finer details of various darts matches. No one needs that).

If you’re interested in finding out any more about his life than that then you might be disappointed. His jokes are sharp but superficial and he avoids giving too much of himself away. Instead, he trawls the front row for material: picking on the audience – in particular, a man called Dan- relentlessly.

It’s certainly funny (and Dan takes it in good humour), but the chat up lines he directs at Dan’s girlfriend get old quite quickly. Having said that, audience ‘banter’ has long been a central feature of Mack’s act – so presumably the people sitting in the front row knew what they were letting themselves in for. If you go and see him next year, make sure you plonk yourself safely at the back. Or, better yet, just watch the DVD.

Lee Mack: Hit The Road Mack is out on DVD now. Buy from Amazon for £9.99.