Interviewing a comedian like Jethro is pretty tough.
It’s not that he’s not friendly – he’s perfectly chatty and amiable.
But you never know if the start of a sentence is the start of a joke, or the start of a genuine anecdote he’s sharing in response to questions.
“When I’m in Blackpool,” he said – good start, I think –“I flush sandwiches down the toilet to feed the birds.”
You see what I mean?
But that aside, the legendary Cornish funnyman, for that’s what he is – a man who’s funny, rather than a comedian who does their turn, is looking forward to a trip North this weekend.
When I’m in Blackpool I flush sandwiches down the toilet to feed the birds.Jethro
He’ll be teaming up with Mick Miller, who’s made Poulton his home, for a real end of the pier night at Blackpool’s North Pier Theatre.
Liverpool-born Mick and Jethro became friends on the comedy circuit, and Saturday’s Blackpool show is something of a return leg for the Cornishman, with Mick having been a star on the bill at Jethro’s own club.
“Mick and myself have been friends for 40 years I suppose,” Jethro, real name Geoffrey J Rowe, said. “We have always said we would do a show together, and it’s a question of how to pitch it – there can’t be any one-upmanship, we are a team, that’s agreed.
“It will be nice to be with Mick, he’s a great comic.”
It’s been a long time since Blackpool was a regular gig for Jethro, and he admits he prefers staying a little nearer to his West Country home these days.
But, of course, the warm welcome from a Northern audience makes the trip worthwhile.
“The Northern audiences are lovely,” he said. “The hardest audience for me is London.
“In the North, if you’re good enough, they’ll be good enough for you. In London, you can get a good laugh but it’s gone and on to the next one. A laugh in the North and they’ll keep with you all the way.”
He promised no ‘F or C’ in his act, but said it’s not quite family friendly and puts a 16 certificate on the night himself.
But at the other end of the age scale – it seems there’s no limits.
“I get a lot of really old women come to see me,” he said. “Aged 80 or so.
“I had five in the front row at Newark a month ago, and to see them old girls – probably all widows – laugh like that, I would do it for nothing.”