Spencer Jones is certainly a performer that takes some getting used to. Appearing as his character The Herbert, a strange and spritely figure with bright clothes and hunched shoulders, Jones approaches the medium of stand up comedy in a way I haven’t quite seen before, throwing out customary communication norms with little regard for them.
In a recent interview with Stuart Goldsmith for The Comedian’s Comedian, Spencer states that it is important to “Let people know you’re under pressure but really happy about it,” and this mantra sums up his style of comedy effectively. The comic gives frequent non-verbal signals to audiences that he cannot quite understand how he is getting away with this; the look on his face suggests a query of, ‘Why am I here, and why are the laughing?’. Often it seems as though he has little control over his own actions on stage, though closer inspection can determine that his act is incredibly closely crafted with the chaos that Jones alludes to serving only as dramatic illusion.
It all seems very innocent; Spencer utilises music, costume and props that all have an air of the home-made about them. His facial expressions are often reminiscent of Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean and it does seem that The Herbert would make a fantastic children’s television character. In the meantime, though, Spencer Jones’ recent performance on Live From The BBC is still available to watch on BBC iPlayer.