A Century of the Red & Black



12 August 1937 - 11 March 2024


12 August 1937 - 11 March 2024

March 13, 2024

Mike McColl Jones, a quiet but diehard Red and Black man who sat at the rear of the old grandstand at Toorak Park, died this week at the age of 86.

Mike was for a few years a contributor to the Lugar, which he read every week for decades in preparation for Saturday's clashes. However, his contributions in the golden age of Melbourne television were far more significant.

He wrote jokes and one-liners for a host of celebrities - Graham Kennedy (pictured with Mike below), Bert Newton, Don Lane, Ernie Sigley, Steve Vizard, Stuart Wagstaff - whose live variety programs in the 60s, 70s and early 1980s dominated television ratings.

Mike also helped out American comedian Joan Rivers, who passed one of his great ripostes about 'being so old he'd seen Halley's Comet three times' to Ronald Reagan, then the United States President. Reagan used it.

He worked for a time for PM John Howard, handling press duties.

Mike came from a family of dentists. The three brothers went to Xavier - Gerald '54, then Mike in '55, and Brian '59. From its early days, Mike was fascinated with television. As he watched, he wrote his own jokes, which eventually he showed his friend Philip Brady, another Old Xav. Brady passed the pages of scrawled jokes to executives at GTV 9 and McColl Jones got a phone call.

Mike was predeceased by his wife Valerie, who died 2019. To his son Tim, his daughter-in-law Nicky and to grandson Max, to the extended family and many friends, our deepest condolences.

Funeral arrangements will be posted here when available.