Spencer Jones is a stand up comedian and actor best known for his absurd style of character comedy, as The Herbert, where he utilises music, mime and props. Perhaps the true essence of escapism, Spencer’s stand up is ridiculous, illogical and childish, and The Herbert is a truly endearing character, with a cheeky glint in his eye that forces an audience onside within minutes. Jones has also recently been involved in Ben Elton’s latest sitcom, Upstart Crow, where he portrays the Shakespearean comedic actor Will Kemp. Jones presents two shows as The Herbert at this year’s Edinburgh Festival: Proper Job and Eggy Bagel.
To learn more about Spencer, I asked him these seven questions…
1) How did your character The Herbert develop?
I had done stand up badly, I had done some sketch stuff but that didn’t work out, I did characters and I liked that and I was okay at it but it wasn’t until I did a little bit of clowning training (and I mean tiny!) that I thought about performing in a different way. The Herbert is what I would like to be like but can’t. The real character is Spencer Jones. He’s the one I pretend to be around normal people. He’s really serious, with a really bad temper behind the wheel. But I was christened Spencer Jones and that’s who my Mum knows, although I act differently around her to my mates. My mates call me Jonah and Jonah’s a bit of a gobby prat. I am also extremely sensitive and change my opinion on a daily basis. When I read this answer I will cringe. I have no idea who I am but I would say Herbert developed out of me being a dickhead and wanting to get paid. I started by just shouting into empty pint glasses and that made people laugh a little. I have no idea how to answer questions.
2) What do you not care about?
I care about everything but there are some things I really care about such a small amount I am going to list them. Being skint. Cars. What people wear. Actually, I don’t care about anything. Apart from food, water, home, family, and trying to be nice to people. I don’t care about using really cheap shower gel.
3) What is the last thing you broke?
This massive bar of Dairy Milk chocolate. Half price in Plumstead Co-op round the corner. Get yourself round there. I’ve done half a bar. I will see how I feel and then neck the rest. It’s gonna be a great night.
4) Where would you like to be right now?
At a Chas and Dave gig by the beach with my bitches (lovely girlfriend and one year old daughter) and son. Or I really want to by a small, cheap lawnmower, so B&Q or Homebase. But they aren’t twenty-four hour. It’s 11.38pm right now.
5) What inspires you?
My kids are very inspiring. I am the third funniest person in my house. Very annoying but handy. Also, my bank balance. No matter what I do I am always skint.
6) What is the most important skill for a performer to have?
Don’t be a dick and never give up.
7) Does the future scare you?
No. It cant come quick enough. I’m always waiting for the future but it never comes. I think it’s coming tomorrow but then tomorrow comes and it’s today and tomorrow is still where it was yesterday. Always out of reach. Like the horizon. That’s another thing that gets on my tits.