A Festive Treat For Fans
Jack Whitehall is the marmite equivalent of stand-up comedians; you either love him or hate him. This much is especially true with his latest special, Christmas with my Father, which combines the usual flamboyance of Jack’s routines with a variety of different sketches and ideas, most of which working really well to reinforce the strained relationship existing between Jack and Michael Whitehall.
Part stand-up/ part variety talk show, Christmas with my Father is an hour of festive comedy that works reasonably well. The first half sees Jack take to the stage for a stand-up routine involving personal and relatable Christmas stories, before turning the attention to his Father and nativity school plays.
When Michael takes to the stage, the two engage in various back and forths that feel slightly exagerrated to get the most amount of laughs from the audience. At times this does border into the realm of contrived, especially the instances involving Michael’s confusion regarding stuffing the turkey and breast jokes. For those who have seen Travels With My Father however, these embarrasing and awkward moments form the crux of their on-stage relationship and it’s easy to look past any issues with this.
Between home videos of his childhood Christmas dinners and special guest appearances from Hugh Bonneville and the boys from Queer Eye, Jack mixes up the comedy with video footage of his makeover quest for Michael and a special Christmas book called The Grouch. All of this builds to a spectacular finish to round out the show, in true Christmas panto style.
Of course, a lot of the humour here revolves around the usual array of jokes Jack’s known for, so if you’re not a fan of his style then this isn’t the comedy for you. If, however, you’re a fan of Jack’s comedy or enjoyed the relationship woes between Jack and Michael in the past, Christmas with my Father is worth a watch. There’s some nice Easter eggs dotted throughout the show too – including Jack’s unusual makeover results and Winston dressed as an elf – combining to make this a real festive treat for those in-tune with Jack’s comedy.
It won’t be for everyone and at times the humour does feel a little too scripted and forced, but if you can look past that then there’s some great stuff to get stuck into here and an enjoyable hour of comedy to get you into the Christmas mood.