Venue: The Comedy Tent
Reviewer: Andy Moseley
As a comedian Mark Watson is not really relevant anymore, and in his Sunday slot at Latitude he resorts to old-school emotional blackmail by having his six-year-old son on stage with him to get audience sympathy and support. These, however, are his words, not this reviewers! Relevant or not, Watson still proves himself to be a great crowd pleaser with a lunchtime slot on Sunday, where just a few years ago he was the Saturday headliner.
The presence of his son, along with many other children in the crowd, gives him the vehicle he needs for a set focused largely on how things he grew up with are now completely unfathomable to the younger generation. With topics ranging from Woolworths and camera shops, to the lyrics of Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy, Watson judges his audience to perfection and strikes the right mix between sardonic nostalgia and grumpy old man persona, talking about contactless credit cards and Lukas Graham’s 7 Years hit.
In places he is too gushing in his enthusiasm for Latitude, delivering platitudes without any real explanation, jokes or self-deprecation to accompany them. When sticking to his material, however, he shows that, even though he may no longer be a TV regular, he is still one of the best stand-ups on the circuit today.
His closing observation that ‘enough of you have had a nice time to make me feel alright’ is a typical understatement, and his more bullish ‘I thought I was hilarious’ is closer to the general response to the set. His son will be proud of his Dad, even if it does mean he’s likely to find himself on stage on a regular basis.