Interview with Jimeoin about What?!

By Luke Simmons

Jimeoin is an Irish comedian who takes up a pretty unique space in the hearts of Australians.  In fact, many of you reading this will have grown up with super calm delivery and sharp observational wit.  His career took an unconventional turn in the mid 00’s when his popularity took off in the UK.  However, he’s currently fully entrenched in Australia and is going to be rocking the upcoming Melbourne International Comedy Festival with his 12 What?! shows at the Athenaeum Theatre.

 

– What?! is an invention which most people take for granted…
The toaster. And the printing press. Both amazing

– What?! is the biggest audience you’ve performed for…
O2 in London. 18 000. No I did the MCG for mushrooms 25 years of rock.

– What?! is an observation you’ve tested on someone – but you’ve clearly been all alone…
Hate it when you get an itchy fanny. That’s why I love big handbags

– What?! is a sure fire way a comic can win the audience back…
Buy them all a drink. Say something funny.

– What?! is the strangest experience you’ve ever had on an air plane…

I sometimes have weird dreams were the plane is flying up a big car park ramp with the wings very close to the walls. It has something to do with putting my trust in someone else’s hands.

– What?! is the first food you seek out when you return to Ireland…
Chinese

– What?! is a particular element of Australian culture which frustrates you…
Australia Day. You can’t be any more Australian on a given day

What?! does it feel like to be a third Australian? Do you find it beneficial to use being Aussie/Irish when it suits your comedy?…
I don’t really go for the nationality thing that much in my jokes. Some accent references. But it doesn’t really come up

Jimeoin’s What?! is on at the Atheneum from the 27 March to the 7 April

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/what-jimeoin

 

5 Good Reasons to see Claire Hooper, Asaf Gerchak and KARL CHANDLER

5 GOOD REASONS TO SEE CLAIRE HOOPER – Plums

1. It’s got literal stone fruit, and metaphorical testicles, together in a show at last.

2. There is a story about Don Burke.

3. There is a story about a man whose plums fell out.

4. It’ll make you feel less alone. (Especially if you’ve ever had your plums fall out.)

5. You’ll find out why I would write a whole show about plums and why my husband can go stick that in his plums.

CLAIRE HOOPER – Plums is on at The Cloak Room, Melbourne Town Hall

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/plums-claire-hooper

 

5 Good Reasons to see Asaf Gerchak is a Terrible Stage Name

1. I’m like what would happen if you combined Batman, George Clooney,
a vicious mountain lion, a friendly bearded guy and a great sense of
humor, then took out Batman, Clooney and the lion.

2. I am not a serial killer, which is sweet for you from a
personal-safety perspective. See that? I’ve got your back.

3. I have been nominated for a number of prestigious comedy awards,
which indicates that I am quite good at comedy. On the other hand, I
have never actually won any of those awards, because… I don’t know,
I think I’m too Rock n’ Roll or something. Probably, I mean. Look,
it’ll be fine.

4. You like the kindly tone in which I address you, Gentle Reader.

5. I can do… THIS! (I know you can’t see what I’m doing right now,
but trust me, it’s pretty wicked.)

Asaf Gerchak is a Terrible Stage Name is on at The Horse Bazaar from 26 Mar – 6 April

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/is-a-terrible-stage-name-asaf-gerchak

 

5 REASONS TO SEE KARL CHANDLER HAS (LITERALLY) 1.5 MILLION JOKES 

1. It’s on at 9.45pm, which is heaps better than it being on at 9.45am. Because then you’d have to get time off from work, and you’ll probably get back to work just before lunch, then you go to lunch, and you’ve lost half the day on some stupid, shitty comedy show. I mean, amazing show. You’ve had a great day. Let’s go again.

2. Which other show’s name tells you how many jokes they have in them? None. They’re running scared. They probably don’t even have ANY jokes in them. They’re probably dumb plays. Who wants to see a dumb play? NOBODY. Who wants to see a show with the number of jokes in the title? EVERYBODY. (Everybody that’s cool, that is.)

3. It’s at the Forum Theatre, in Flinders Street. Which is the home of the ghost of Tony Barber. If you listen closely, you can still hear him inside the theatre at night, wailing, “I’m not dead. I’m actually Tony Barber. The cleaners locked me in here! And the 25 dollars was behind Collette Mann.”

4. Everyone who attends the show gets a prized bull. That’s right, an Angus or a Hereford of your choice, weighing upwards of 900 kilograms. You get it after the show. That’d be pretty stupid, giving you a bull BEFORE the show. There you’d all be, sitting in a tiny theatre, each with a bull! I’m no idiot. You get it after the show.

5. I’m diabetic. But instead of insulin, I need crowds at my show. Or else I go into a fit. Not an epileptic one or anything. More of a hissy one. It’s not great.

Karl Chandler has (Literally) 1.5 million of his finest new jokes is on at Forum Theatre – Pizza Room

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/has-literally-1-5-million-jokes-karl-chandler

Karl will also be appearing in the Little Dum Dum Club Live Podcasts  Mondays at the Town Hall

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/live-podcasts-the-little-dum-dum-club

 

The Art of the YouTube Promo

by Colin Flaherty

Comedians have been using YouTube as a promotional tool for their Festival shows for several years now. One of the most notable was by Australian expatriate Yanni for his 2012 Edinburgh show “Numb and Number” (It’s still online on his YouTube Channel ). In the lead up to this years’ Melbourne Comedy Festival, it seems as though every comedian and their tech savvy dog has filmed a video to lure punters to their show.

Some videos simply have the performer addressing the camera to tell you what to expect from their show, usually with a wacky angle to prevent it from becoming too dry. Others present an excerpt from the show to literally give the potential audiences a taste of the actual performance.

The road of YouTube trailers is rife with dangerous pitfalls. A rough, quick shoot with a handycam may paint the whole production as amateurish (unless this is exactly what you are aiming for!). A lengthy running time may be too much for the short attention spans of some folk unless it has a rewarding punchline.

Amongst the deluge of promotional material are some wonderful examples of promo videos that rise above the mere show reel and really make a lasting impression…


For his show Can you do this? No you can’t, Ronny Chieng runs literally with the title and presents a montage of mundane tasks to prove that he can do anything better than a mere mortal. It gives you a clear idea of what to expect from Ronny and his hyper confident stage persona.


Utilising various colourful online characters for a nominal fee, Nicholas J Johnson has created a series of videos (the above puppet example is my personal favourite) to sell his show Today Tonight, Tomorrow The World. It has a very shyster air that is appropriate for this show about the dirty tabloid world of “Current Affairs” television and his work in general as swindler extraordinaire.


Ross Daniels has gone the music video route (there is also a full length version of this song here) to promote his character piece about 80s Synth Pop musician Graham Clone for the show The Future is Incorrect. It is so well done that it could easily pass as an actual music video of the period in spite of the numerous silly touches.


For their new show Once Were Planets, Watson employ spiffy animation. The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy styled infographics format fits in perfectly with the subject matter and includes many of the pop cultural references that are littered throughout a Watson show.


Lawrence Leung takes a leaf out of Yanni’s book by editing some existing television footage and inserting himself into the action. Rather than re-edit all the dialogue to suit his plot, he cleverly works around the existing lines of Benedict Cumberbatch to create a wonderful humourous exchange. A clever and entertaining invite to his Part Time Detective Agency.

Ronny Chieng’s Can you do this? No you can’t is on at Melbourne Town Hall – Council Chambers

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/can-you-do-this-no-you-can-t-ronny-chieng

Nicholas J Johnson’s Today Tonight, Tomorrow The World is on at Comedy On Collins

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/today-tonight-tomorrow-the-world-nicholas-j-johnson

Ross Daniels’ Graham Clone: The Future is Incorrect – is on at Three Degrees

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/graham-clone-this-future-is-incorrect-ross-daniels

Watson’s Once Were Planets is on at Trades Hall – Old Council Chambers

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/once-were-planets-watson

Lawrence Leung’s Part Time Detective Agency is on at Swiss Club

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/part-time-detective-agency-lawrence-leung-s

Five good reasons to see Cal Wilson Is Guilty, Saturn Returns and Daniel Connell – Mr Personality 1988

5 good reasons to see Cal Wilson Is Guilty

1. I have it on good authority Bradley Cooper/Scarlett Johannson/Justin Bieber/Chewbacca are coming to the show. I don’t know which night. You’ll have to come lots.

2. I know where you live. If you don’t come, I’ll hang around your house doing impressions of Chewbacca singing Justin Bieber songs.

3. I reveal lots of true stories, stripping away secrets, peeling off guilts. It’s like burlesque of the mouth.

4. There could a be surprise guest on stage with me. When I say “guest,” I mean “moth.”

5. I admit to the worst things I’ve ever done. Apart from stealing that roman artefact. No one knows about that. Oh.

Cal Wilson Is Guilty at the Melb Town Hall – Powder Room

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/guilty-cal-wilson-is

 

5 Good Reasons to See Lachlan MacLeod and Simon Abrahams in Saturn Returns

One. It’s funny. Which is a good start for the comedy festival. It’s fun for you because we laugh at at our real life traumas. Which is not that much fun for us. For us, every night brings another therapy bill. We’re laughing on the outside but crying on the inside. But for you, it’s funny. No therapy bills. Perhaps a dry cleaning bill.

Two. It’s got music. 12 original songs that poke fun at everything from Uranus to grey pubic hair, Matt Preston to golden Gaytimes. There’s electro synth, piano ballads, ukelele ditties and rollicking dance numbers. There’s even a CD you can buy at the end. And if that’s not enough for you, we wear fancy silver suits. FANCY SILVER SUITS, I SAY.

Three. It’s good. And not just cos we say so. There’s this fancy four star review (http://au.artshub.com/au/news-article/reviews/performing-arts/saturn-returns-190291?sc=1), plus a whole lot of people who saw our sold out 2012 season who will say so. And Tripod – who we recently toured with – they’ll say so too. Won’t you guys? Eh, Tripod? Gatesy? Yon? The other one? Remember us… from the tour, you know… Ummm *sigh*. Plus TheatrePress.com.au said Lachlan was “everyday funny like Hamish and Andy, writes clever and witty lyrics like Tim Minchin, and delivers them with the pathos of Tripod.”. So at least one of us is funny. And the other is a bit funny looking…

Four. It’s deep. Like… yeah. It’s a show with heart. You’ll come out laughing and humming catchy tunes but maybe – just maybe – you’ll even come out having been moved a teensy tiny bit. Unless you’re a heartless bastard, in which case, I totally empathise.

Five. This show is about crisis. It’s poking fun at the traumas of turning 30. We’re really pretty stressed as it is. Have some heart. Even the aforementioned heartless bastards. See our show. We’re already getting old, going grey, going bald and getting fat. Don’t send us broke too.

Saturn Returns is on from  27 March to 6 April at The Butterfly Club.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/saturn-returns-simon-abrahams-lachlan-macleod-in

 

5 Good Reasons to see Daniel Connell – Mr Personality 1988
1. The show features a ceramic owl.

2. Daniel won a Mr Personality contest aged 5, he has a sash to prove it. Last year he asked questions about what happened on that day in 1988, he regretted this.

3. Martin Riggs is an L.A. cop with suicidal tendencies and Roger Murtaugh is the unlucky police officer with whom Riggs is assigned. Together they uncover a huge drug-smuggling operation, and as their success rate grows so does their friendship. (This will make sense if you see this show)

4. It’s at 8:30 every night (except Sunday 7:30pm), I know that’s the time most good TV shows or movies start but you can record those and watch them later. Come and see this live (please don’t record it). (unless you have a sweet camera and good sound and can give me a copy).

5. There might be some singing and dancing in this show, there might not be……

Daniel Connell – Mr Personality 1988 is on at the Forum Theatre in the Carpet Room throughout the Festival

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/mr-personality-1988-daniel-connell

Interview with Tegan Higginbotham about being Touched By Fev, and other things…

By Lisa Clark

Tegan Higginbotham has been around the Melbourne comedy scene a long time, yet still seems like a fresh faced kid. Last year she told us about her new hobby – professional boxing in her debut solo standup show Million Dollar Tegan which gained a lot of praise and thankfully didn’t end with her coach euthenising her. This year she is talking about her childhood obsessions in Touched by Fev. She began her comedy career performing wild fast-paced sketch shows with Rob Lloyd and Adam Mckenzie as the Hounds. This has morphed into Watson without Rob and they will be performing Once Were Planets this year. Apart from her work with Watson and her own stand up solo show, she will be doing her regular Monday night spot at The Shelf at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year. Tegan is clearly very busy at the moment, but she kindly found some time to answer my questions.

How Long have you been doing comedy and how old were you when you did your first comedy gig?

I was 17 when I did my first gig. So I’ve performing for 2ish years. (ish).

Did you always want to perform on stage?
Unfortunately, yes. I was that annoying kid who made my parents sit down every night to watch my latest piece of theatre. I just never would have thought that one day I’d actually be enjoying them laughing at me.

Who in comedy has inspired you?
Celia Pacquola, Judith Lucy, Nick Cody, Justin Hamilton and my good friend Adam McKenzie.

Does your work with Watson inform your stand up and visa versa?
I think that the joke writing skills I’m learning from stand-up have most definitely helped with my writing for Watson. But I was actually surprised how little all the years of performing sketch helped when I finally got the balls to get up on stage by myself. It was a whole new game. I kept running out of breath because I was waiting for someone else to start delivering lines but it NEVER HAPPENED

Do you think the timing and running around with Watson helped you be a better boxer?
Better” would imply that I’m any good. I’m terrible at boxing. Just ask the trainers.

When did you decide it was time to do solo standup?

I felt like it was a natural progression. And I’d been hanging around with stand-up’s for so many years I felt it would have been wrong not to give it a go. But specifically, I was 21 when I bit the bullet.

Was it hard to step out on your own away from the support of Adam McKenzie & Rob Lloyd?

Absolutely. Not only in the sense that performing solo was difficult, but the support they offer after a show is invaluable. When you’re part of a group, you all ride the hard shows together and share the blame, so to speak. Whereas having to pick yourself up after a bad stand-up set can be a very tricky task indeed.

Did they prepare you for life as a comedian?
Adam and Robby taught me right from the get-go that to be a successful comedian you have to work incredibly hard. During our very first comedy festival we would often be performing three times a night, so doing that now seems quite natural. In this way, they did help. Robby and Adam also exposed me to a very unique style of comedy that I would have missed completely had I just gone straight into stand-up and I’m very lucky that I got a fabulous opportunity to experience that and experiment with them on stage.

When you were growing up did you ever see yourself as a comedian, who punches people as a side hobby?
I saw myself as Ripley from Aliens. So the punching thing was certainly there. It’s the comedy I’m surprised by.

Have you enjoyed working on The Shelf?
Defintely! But it still scares me. Sometimes I find myself standing on stage with people who are SO much better than me and I have to stop myself from freaking out or yelling “You’re from the TV! Say hi to my Mum!”

How do you plan to juggle 3 shows at this years MICF?
With a mixture of coffee, Lindt and pure adrenaline. Wish me luck.

Have you done much hosting at comedy gigs?
A little bit. I’m hoping to do more and more over time. It requires a really fabulous set of skills that I haven’t quite mastered yet. Harley Breen, who is another comic I look up to, once pointed out to me that when you’re performing a solo-show, you ostensibly have to be your own MC. So it helps to be good at it.

When did you start thinking about this as a topic for a festival show.
A long time ago, actually. I usually think of my shows long before I attempt to write them. In fact, I already know what my very last show will be.
I second guessed “Touched By Fev” a bit and considered doing something else for a while. But for me, there was too much to talk about and I’m genuinely interested in the subject matter. It felt right.

How do you write a show, in bits and pieces, in big chunks?
I actually don’t have a set style of writing just yet. Last year it was matter of experiencing boxing, then simply taking note of what happened. This show has involved more research and delves a little further in to personal stories.

Are you disciplined, do you have a routine or is it more organic?
Organic.

Do you think you can make this festival show appeal to people who know nothing of Aussie Rules or Brendan Fevola?
The show is also about Harry Potter, so I’m hoping that if people aren’t massive AFL fans, they’ll come for the Potter instead. That being said, I have written this show with a non-sporty audience in mind as well, and I’m pretty sure that they’ll still understand everything hat’s going on.

What’s your favourite thing about taking part in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival?

I have been thinking about this answer for 20 minutes now. I just have to pick something, don’t I?
Um…oh god! It’s so many things! It’s the laughter; both from an audience and from myself as I watch Adam try to keep a straight face each night. It’s the incredibly warm feeling you get when someone enjoys something that you’ve written. It’s huddling with other comics on the steps of The Melbourne Town hall and sharing battle tales. It’s feeling a little bit spesh for a whole month. It’s meeting new people and eating pizza at 1am on Swanston Street and so many things. I honestly can’t choose.

Tegan Higginbotham’s Touched by Fev is on upstairs in The Spleen Bar throughout the Festival – There are NO performances Mondays, Fridays & Sundays

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/touched-by-fev-tegan-higginbotham

Watson – Once Were Planets is on at Trades Hall

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/once-were-planets-watson

The Shelf – is on for three nights at Toff of Town

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/the-shelf

 

5 Good Reasons to See Dave Thornton, AUNTY DONNA AND THE FAX MACHINE SHOP, Bron Batten and her parents

5 good reasons to see DAVE THORNTON – Tall & Pointy 

1.)  No ads. I won’t ask you to skip ads after 5 seconds, how to find singles in your area or ask if you want to advertise your page on Facebook.

2.)  I may or may not be using the phrase ‘Unicorn spaff’ That will be worth the price of admission alone.

3.)  It will make your hair thicker and most lustrous. No wait, that’s salon level shampoo isn’t it?

4.)  I’ll be using a microphone. Have you seen these things? I don’t need to yell and you will all be able to hear without cupping your ear. The 21st century truly is amazing.

5.)  I won’t be using fusion words. You know words like chillax or amazeballs. I don’t want to make a frenemy out of you. Crap, ok I got that one out of system but I’m done now.

Dave Thornton – Tall & Pointy is on at the Banquet Room, Victoria Hotel for the duration of the festival

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/tall-pointy-dave-thornton

5 Good Reasons To See AUNTY DONNA AND THE FAX MACHINE SHOP

1) The following four points will be presented in Japanese Haikus

2) A Warm Spring Morning,
Rice Farmer Begins His Day,
The Sun Warms his Soul.

3) The Coy Pond is Full
The Coy Pond, Splashing with Light,
What Joy the Coy Have.

4) The Young Labourer
Rides to His Workplace, Sunrise.
The Boy Learns Ethic.

5) She Kneels to Master,
He Takes Her By the Warm Hand,
Pride In Her Soul.

AUNTY DONNA AND THE FAX MACHINE SHOP is on at the Portland Hotel except for on Mondays when it will be at the Melbourne Town Hall.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/aunty-donna-and-the-fax-machine-shop<

5 Good Reasons to See Bron Batten and her parents in Sweet Child of Mine

1. It features Bron Batten and her parents- live onstage!

2. The Sydney Morning Herald called it ‘Excruciating and hilarious…’ (in a good way)

3. Her Dad tells awesome Dad jokes

4. It won the award for Best Experimental Performance at the 2011 Melbourne Fringe Festival

5. It’s funny and also arty (in a good way)

Sweet Child of Mine is on at 7pm at The Northcote Town Hall, 4th-12th of april

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/sweet-child-of-mine-bron-batten-her-parents