With the temptation of mining humour from cross-generational conflict and an all expenses paid trip too sweet to pass up, Britain welcomes yet another “comedian and his parent go on a trip” series.
But, rather than taking his mother on a road trip across America – both Ramesh Ranganathan and Russell Howard did last year, so, you know, it’s been done – comedian Jack Whitehall has taken his father Michael on a tour of south-east Asia for a six-episode Netflix special.
Find out everything you need to know about Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father below.
When is Jack Whitehall: Travels with my Father released on Netflix?
Six half-hour episodes of Jack Whitehall’s new series will be released on the streaming service on Friday 22 September. UPDATE: the series is available NOW. Watch on Netflix here.
Who is Michael Whitehall?
Jack’s 77-year-old father is well tuned in to his son’s shtick, and the entertainment industry in general. On top of being a former talent agent and producer who has represented the likes of Colin Firth and Judi Dench, Michael has also made appearances on Countdown, John Bishop’s Britain and short-lived panel show Alexander Armstrong’s Big Ask. Tellingly, he has held a Twitter account since 2010.
In 2013, Jack told the Guardian that his father is the funniest person he knows. “He uses humour in a very disarming way. I’ve seen how people enjoy his company and have always envied that, and have wanted to aspire to that.”
He knows it, too. “I wouldn’t want you quoting me blowing my own trumpet like this, but a lot of people do say to me, ‘You’re the funniest man I’ve ever met.’ Yes, I do make an effort to be amusing,” he said, during the same interview.
Why has Jack Whitehall taken his dad on a backpacking holiday?
There are a few reasons – as you may have noticed, it’s a popular format nowadays. But unlike their predecessors, Jack and Michael are already an established double act, having previously collaborated on talk show Backchat. They’ve also co-authored a book called Him & Me, a winning Christmas stocking-filler from 2014.
The premise is that Jack never got to go on a gap year (the poor thing), so he’s doing it now, and taking his posh, crotchety father with him.
As Jack explains in the trailer, Michael is “very bad with foreign people” – so expect plenty of awkward, mildly culturally-insensitive conversations.
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Where did they go?
It’s not the most extensive tour of south east Asia you’re likely to see. The first two episodes are predominantly set in Bangkok – with a quick stop-off at The Bridge Over The River Kwai – while the third sees them heading to Phuket for a Full Moon Party and to Phang Nga, the beach where Goldfinger was filmed. They squeeze Cambodia and Vietnam into the final three.
Is it any good?
Without breaking any new ground, the two Whitehalls have cranked out a decently entertaining show here. With much of the humour coming from Michael’s unwillingness to adapt – he is 77, after all – Jack Whitehall’s typical posh-boy shtick is somewhat sidelined. At times, however, scenes that feel orchestrated bring us back to reality with a thud, reminding us that these are two seasoned industry pros. Still, if you are a fan of the genre, you won’t be disappointed.
Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father arrives on Netflix on Friday 22nd September