Apart from shows at London venues such as The Talk of the Town and the Royal Albert Hall, the legendary Brooklyn Jewish stand-up comedian Jackie Mason has played a number of one-man West End seasons.
The World According To Me
Previewed 7 February 1989, Opened 15 February 1989, Closed 15 April 1989 at the Playhouse Theatre
Jackie Mason Live!
Opened 5 March 1990, Closed 10 March 1990 at the London Palladium
Jackie Mason Brand New!
Opened 22 March 1993, Closed 24 March 1993 at the Dominion Theatre
Much Ado About Everything
Opened 9 November 1998, Closed 6 December 1998 at the Playhouse Theatre
The Millennium Show
Previewed 8 October 2001, Opened 10 October 2001, Closed 25 November 2001 at the Queens Theatre
"The great question facing the veteran Rabbi turned comedian is how can a New York comic find anything funny these days? He answers it speedily. Out he bounds, wearing a chic suit with an air of rumpled surprise, as if unable to believe he's successful enough to afford it, and launches into a string of head-on routines about the issues of the day... Comedy can heal or lacerate, and in Mason's soft-grained delivery the emphasis is on the former. In an unexpectedly moving moment towards the end, he thanks us for coming. There's nothing wrong with lifting your spirits, he explains, it might give us the willpower to help others. 'Meanwhile,' he adds with a twinkle, 'you're helping a Jew make a living.' The fish-faced Mason is irresistible as he pinpoints the neuroses of every creed, especially his own. Belly laughs? Try howls. Yet there is nothing about the World Trade Centre bombing itself. Some things, he knows, you just can't joke about." The Sunday Telegraph
"If you have never seen him before, you have no, absolutely no, excuse for missing one of the world's great comedians. Jackie Mason is the quintessence of Bortsch Belt humour. He drags one Jewish neurosis after another out from under the covers. His confidence is so unassailable that he can turn the biggest theatre into a corner table of a Times Square coffee shop. Still, it has to be said that anyone who has caught any of his recent London visits will be afflicted with a certain sense of deja vu. The evening may go under the title of The Millennium Show, but it is not entirely clear which millennium he has in mind, as I would guess that about 70 per cent of the material has been aired before. True, an old Mason joke still beats most of the competition, but it was impossible not to feel short-changed. The opening sequence turned into a parade of greatest hits, from designer labels to Bill Gates, nouvelle cuisine to e-mail. Almost half an hour passed in this genial manner before we touched new ground." The Times
Previewed 13 February 2012, Opened 23 February 2012, Closed 17 March 2012 at the Wyndham's Theatre
Comedian Jackie Mason in London with a month long season of his 'farewell' tour.
"As always he carves the world thus, into Jews and the rest, with the most barbed digs aimed at his own kind and repeated observations about the way we all get suckered into paying more for less as the unifying theme. Some of his second-half riffs about marriage, sex and women, though, push from refreshing straight talking into borderline offence-giving by today's uptight standards. The secret of keeping a comedy legend intact lies in the timing: while it's stirring to see Mason take a final bow, he's probably right to get out while the going's good." The Daily Telegraph
"This job is not easy, Jackie Mason tells us in his farewell London show: 'That's why I'm getting out.' Granted, anyone who also dishes out unflinching overstatements such as 'Nobody ever lived that enjoys an opera' is not to be taken entirely at his word. But, truth be told, this patchy two-hour show suggests that the 75-year-old former rabbi is not the force that he once was. Sure, he remains a delight in the micro-level of sheer shtick... and the observational comedy of the first half has plenty of joys to it... yet sometimes it feels as if he's reciting rather than performing to us... The second half is both newer and more reactionary... Moments of magic still remain, but this mix of familiar gripes and clumsily contentious new material is not the dream send-off for a comedy great." The Times
Fearless - Jackie Mason in London at the Wyndham's Theatre previewed from 13 February 2012, opened on 23 February 2012 and closed on 17 March 2012.
Ready to Rumble!
Opened 1 June 2015, Closed 6 June 2015 at the Adelphi Theatre
He's back! Jackie Mason in London for a strictly limited season of his stand-up show.
Jackie Mason's last West End show Fearless played to sell-out audiences in 2012. It was due to be his farewell UK show, but Jackie Mason says: "At my age I'm supposed to have passed away a year and a half ago already, but since I'm still here I need to keep busy." Please note this show is only recommended for ages 16 and above.
When this show opened Alex Hardy in the Times highlighted that "the publicity promised all new material and Mason almost delivered. He covered a few topics he has touched on before but this was far from a heritage hits set... Yes, the odd moment of bristling political incorrectness slipped in, but in the main Mason felt like a comedian of the present, not from the past. You would be foolish to bet against another farewell tour coming to a theatre near you soon." Bruce Dessau in the London Evening Standard described how "despite occasional dips there were plenty of flashes of Mason magic... He was often at his best simply insulting his audience. Spotting one fan not laughing enough he glanced down and said: 'Did you pass away? I'm talking to you.' It was probably an old line, yet like many last night, a thoroughly crowd pleasing one."
Ready to Rumble - Jackie Mason in London at the Adelphi Theatre opened on 1 June 2015 and closed on 6 June 2015