Mr Miller

BRIGHTON 2015 (30)Max Miller was born in 1894 in Brighton and he was one of the big names in variety theatre and music hall, but he was very much of his time, and by the time he died when he was sixty-eight, already that style of comedy was waning… or was it? There are aspects of comedy today, the risqué jokes, humour pushing the boundaries, the collusion between comic and audience – I think there is a lot he would recognize.

He was born into a poor family, and his name was Thomas Henry Sargent; his wife suggested his name change to Max Miller and after a journalist called him a cheeky chappie, the nick-name stuck. Although he died relatively young, and although the old style musical acts and variety performances were dying too at that time, he has had a profound influence on comedy ever since.

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