Festive Season Comedy in Melbourne

Comedy for Christmas! Or Festivus! Or celebrating surviving 2018!

What a great idea for a festive get together with your comedy loving buddies.

Every year the comedy venues of Melbourne put on their Christmas shows and there are also quite a few one-off Christmas themed special shows happening. If you are not in Melbourne, check out the gig guides, some of these performers are touring and there should be similar nights happening in comedy clubs near you.

Here is the Squirrel Comedy annual End of Year – Christmas Gig list in roughly date order – of the local ones we could find out about… 

MON 26 Nov – SUN 2 Dec
A Very Kransky Christmas 

At Alex Theatre –  135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda at 7.30 pm

The Kransky Sisters are on a Christmas Tour of Australia and will grace Melbourne with their hilarious Gothic musical-comedy delights for three nights. (They are also touring Sydney and Perth)

Prices – Adult: $49.90 Conc: $44.90

Bookings: https://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=KRANSKY18

Sat 1 Dec
The Wheeler Centre Presents: Show of the Year

At The Athenaeum Theatre at 7pm

Host Casey ‘Tasty’ Bennetto And A Cast Of Writers, Comedians And Musicians, Including Mama Alto, Steph Tisdell, Shaun Micallef, Jan Fran, Michele Lee, Candy Bowers, WāNi Le Frère, Rebecca Shaw, Laura Jean Mckay And Alan Duffy.


Sat Dec 1 – 9.30pm
Jackie Lime’s Year End Rear End  

At The Improv Conspiracy Theatre

L1 / 19 Meyers Place, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000

The one and only Jackie Lime is back for his final appearance of 2018. Join Jackie, Indiana, Bitch Boy and a whole slew of special guests to celebrate a massive year with the Talkie Time family in an improvised kind of way.

Price $5 at the Door or $5.50 online to guarantee a seat.

Booking: https://www.improvconspiracy.com/shows/unit/2768/buy-tickets

Dec 6 – 7 – 9.30pm
The Chaser & The Shovel Presents: The War On 2018

At The Village Roadshow Theatrette – 179 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, Vic 3000

Join Charles Firth (The Chaser), James Schloeffel (The Shovel), Mark Humphries (Channel 10’s Pointless) And Special Guests To Be Announced As They Dissect Everything From The Leadership Crisis To The Banking Royal Commission.  (Also touring Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane)

Price: $34 – $104.04

Bookings: https://events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/the-war-on-2018-melbourneHzchcPM

Thurs 8 Dec at 7pm
Merry Salt-Mas! One Hour Of Improvised Christmas

At the Improve Conspiracy Theatre at 7pm

Help them ease into the silly season by suggesting something Christmassy to spring them into an hour of improvised comedy. The Heralayan Salt Lamps’ signature show involves creating a completely improvised show with 8 people on stage at once.

Price: $10


Tues 11 Dec at 8pm
Catfish Comedy Christmas

At The Catfish upstairs, Fitzroy

Standup Comedy with Daniel Connell, Danielle Walker and Brett Blake  and more great acts To Be Confirmed

Doors open 7:30, $12 entry and don’t forget to try the Philly Cheesesteaks

Sat 15 Dec at 3pm
Don’t You Know Who I Am? 2018 XMAS SHOW

At The Catfish upstairs, Fitzroy

30 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC 3056

Live podcast recording. The last live show of the year. An all-star cast raising money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation all hosted by Josh Earl from 3:00 PM

Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=446103

Mon 17 Dec at 8.30pm
Local Laughs XMAS SHOW

At The Local Taphouse 184 Carlisle St. St Kilda East

– MC Andrew McClelland, Cal Wilson, Tom Ballard, Sami Shah, Ethan Cavanagh, plus a host of special Christmassy guests.

Price: $25/20

Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=175052&

17, 19, 20, 21, 22 Dec at 7pm
A Christmas Tale a Girls Act Good Production 

At The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne

The all female Verbatim Theatre play that takes a comedic and heartfelt look at the Aussie festivities and celebrates how we can come together to remember the magic of Christmas. Yes! Verbatim Theatre! That is Funny! And about Christmas!

Bookings: https://thebutterflyclub.com/show/a-christmas-tale-2018

10, 12, 13, 14 & 15th Dec at 7pm
’Tis the Season…

At The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne a\

Winner of the prestigious Julie Michael Cabaret Award, ’Tis the Season is performed by Maverick Newman and Stacey Thomsett. It’s a comedy about divorce, dysfunction, love and Christmas!

Cost: $25-34

Bookings : https://thebutterflyclub.com/show/tis-the-season

Dec 20, 21, 22 at 8pm
A Swingin’ Bella Christmas!

At The Melba Spiegeltent this year, the legendary palace of festivity and frivolity adjoining Circus Oz /Melbourne Polytechnic / Collingwood TAFE / Collingwood Tech (depending on your era)!

– a finger-snappin’, toe-tappin’ romp through traditional carols, modern favourites and specially-written original songs of the season, executed with airy panache by a horn-laden bevy of brilliant performers known throughout the civilised world as The Bella All-Stars!

Out front, MCs Casey Bennetto and Geraldine Quinn will be joined by special guests:
Selina Jenkins – Thur 20th December
Nina Ferro & Tripod – Fri 21st December
Mike McLeish – Sat 22nd December

Limited tickets remaining
Bookings: https://www.bellaunion.com.au/

Sat 22 Dec at 8pm
Basement Comedy Club – Special Xmas Show!

European Bier Café, 120 Exhibition St Melbourne

There will be fantastic Comedians on the bill as ever….TBA

Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=263827&

Sun 23 Dec at 8pm
The Little Dum Dum Club Orphans Christmas Live Podcast

Downstairs at Basement Comedy Club,

European Bier Cafe, 120 Exhibition St, Melbourne CBD

Come and hang out with The Dum Dums: Karl Chandler and Tommy Dassalo and heaps of their comedian friends. + a little bonus Christmas gift with every ticket sold!

Bookings: http://littledumdumclub.com/?events=orphans-christmas-december-23-8pm

Josh Earl and Daniel Tobias – Josh Earl’s Festival

By Colin Flaherty
Josh Earls Fest

Josh Earl’s Festival condenses spending a day at a music festival into an hour using songs, sketches and even interpretive dance. It is at times nostalgic, derisive, kooky and hilarious. All that’s missing is the dirt/mud, sweat and Tinnitus.

Josh Earl and Daniel Tobias (and a mystery guest) do a brilliant job in lampooning all aspects of the music festival experience. From the quirks of the eccentric performers (an indecipherable Dylan-esque song was especially brilliant) to the annoying punters you encounter (I still don’t understand the recent phenomenon of dudes wearing flag capes!) to the frustrating logistics of a large event, all of their targets are hit perfectly.

Structured as a series of vignettes, Earl navigates the site while keeping in contact with his friends by phone. Each call provides a cue for an amusing song involving an act on one of the festival stages. A number of musical genres are sent up including young indie bands in over their heads, anonymous DJs, poorly treated female acts and poe-faced serious artists. All the songs are distinctive Josh Earl songs, even when Tobias is singing, but don’t rely so heavily on the densely spoken lyrics Earl is known for. These tunes aren’t parodies of specific songs instead they make fun of the situations the characters find themselves in using an appropriate musical style and plenty of witty ideas.

Earl plays the downtrodden festival punter perfectly with his beautifully escalating exchanges with characters presented in voiceover. Tobias is always up for dressing up, so he dons many wacky outfits to portray a number of larger than life creations. Josh Earl’s Festival is a brilliant showcase for their years of musical comedy experience and radiant talent.

The audience on this night unfortunately lacked energy for the extravaganza that Josh and Daniel have created. These punters paid attention and laughed at the right places but didn’t really liven up until some Flaming Lips styled audience interaction at the end. This theatrical production put some distance between the characters and the audience even though we could relate to the situations. This was amplified by the polite seated theatre set up, the lack of excessive volume and a noticeably older crowd (possibly some of Josh’s ABC fans).

This is a fun and hilarious piece of theatre about a collective experience which many are nostalgic for or still look forward to every summer, it deserves a big crowd of music comedy fans ready to have a ball. This is one festival within a festival you should attend.

Josh Earl’s Festival is on at Malthouse Theatre (The Tower) until April 23


By Lisa Clark & Colin Flaherty

The 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival is back bigger than ever and the Squirrels are here to help you chose which shows to spend your money and time on. There are shows that we have already seen and also some intriguing shows that have piqued our interest.


A number of MICF shows have run prior to the festival and we have already reviewed some of these. We’ll give the usual disclaimer that Festival shows are ever evolving beasts, so the show’s we have covered may have undergone changes (hopefully for the better!) since we saw them.

Alanta Colley Parasites Lost

Alanta Colley
Alanta Colley

Lisa reviewed her at the 2016 Melbourne Fringe: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=10549

You can book at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/parasites-lost

Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night

This is Lisa’s review from last year: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9937

Book your tickets at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/ali-mcgregor


Here’s Colin’s review from the 2016 Melbourne Fringe: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=10580

Booking details are at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/apocolympics

Cindy Salmon’s Empowerment Hour by Hayley Tantau

Cindy Salmon

Here’s Elyce’s review at the 2016 Meloburne Fringe: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=10575

Booking details are at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/cindy-salmon-s-empowerment-hour


Read Colin’s review from the 2016 Melbourne Fringe: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=10470

Bookings details can be found at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/cull

Gabe Hogan:  Making Life a Double

Lisa’s review from the 2016 Melbourne Fringe is at http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=10491

Bookings details are at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/making-life-a-double

Isabel Angus Presents Bliss

Here’s Lisa’s review of the 2016 Melbourne Fringe performance: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=10515

Bookings can be made at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/isabel-angus-presents-bliss

Late Night Letters and Numbers

This late night show was reviewed in 2013 by Lisa: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3846

Booking details can be found at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/late-night-letters-and-numbers

Mighty Little Puppet Show 

Mighty Little Puppet Show
Mighty Little Puppet Show

The 2016 MICF show was reviewed by Lisa is: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9929

Book your tickets at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-might-little-puppet-show

Political Asylum 

A now annual fixture of MICF, Elice’s review is here: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3785

Bookings can be made at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/political-asylum-s-late-night-riot

Soothsayers: Completely Improvised Shakespeare

Lisa’s review from the 2015 Melbourne Fringe is here” http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9433

Booking details are at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/completely-improvised-shakespeare


The Bugle Live

This is the first ever live version of Andy Zaltzman’s podcast. It promises live guests, people on screens, freshly-hewn satire, lies, puns and high-grade bullshit. Sounds like tonnes of fun. (You can see his own standup show too, sold separately)

Bookings: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-bugle-live

Daniel Kitson… 

Daniel Kitson

The last time Daniel performed here in 2015 it was with his astonishing, gorgeous, experimental play Polyphony. It involved 20 pre-recorded characters (played by actors and comedians) on MP3players being played by audience members. I was lucky enough to see it towards the end of the run, on a night when it all ran beautifully and it blew my mind. If audience participation was the comedy trend, Daniel fashioned it into couture art. We’ve missed out on a lot of his finished shows in Melbourne over the past ten years but he’s making up for it by giving us Three types of Kitson, including a filmed show we never got to see.

1. Stories For The Starlit Sky with Gavin Osbourne

Actually 3 plays in one (of his 3 shows). It will be long, why not bring a packed lunch? 3 of his delightful heartwarming and funny stories from Daniel with Gavin on the Guitar.

Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne – 2nd to 23rd April
(Various Dates and Times) https://goo.gl/AVrCLX

2. Not Yet But Soon – A Work in Progress Stand up Show.

Well its another work in Progress, but having done it in Sydney before Melbourne it should be fairly well formed. An hour and a half, but knowing Daniel probably longer. Its mostly on late too, 10 pm so have a little nap during the day.

Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne – March 30th to April 16th  (Various dates and times)- https://goo.gl/bry3Tv

3. It’s Always Right Now Until It’s Later –  On Film

A 7 year old show we never got to see in Australia, but here it is preserved forever on film and Daniel will be there to introduce it.

 Palace Westgarth Northcote – April 18th, 19th  – 7pmhttps://goo.gl/jVA2N3


A comedy night for charity produced by our own Erin Davidson and we can promise you she has organised a cracker of a lineup. Names she cannot name, but some of the top names in Australian comedy and this may be the only place during the festival you get to see some of them. Also you get to laugh for a good cause.


Josh Earl's Festival
Josh Earl’s Festival

Josh Earl & Daniel Tobias: Josh Earl’s Festival   

Josh has hooked up with Daniel from Die Roten Punkte and they promise famous guest stars in this mini comedy music festival. I’ve had a bit of a taste of this one and it has got my mouth watering for more.


Michael Williams: Escape from a 90s Educational CD-ROM!

One of the recipients of this year’s Moosehead Grants, you can always be rely upon Williams to present an inventive and hilarious show. Last year he was one of our favourites, with the added Moosehead creative seal of approval, this is sure to be a doozy!

Bookings: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/escape-from-a-90s-educational-cd-rom

Sammy J: Hero Complex 

Sammy J Hero Complex
Sammy J Hero Complex

Hero Complex was the Talk of Melbourne Fringe and the talk was: “Have you Seen it? You HAVE TO SEE IT!!!” We were so glad we did. It won Best Comedy Show at Melbourne Fringe 2016 and has just won the first Weekly Award for comedy at Adelaide Fringe 2017. It is side achingly hilarious, and face hurtingly joyous. It’s better to go in knowing as little as possible; yes it is about Sammy J’s love for The Phantom but also about much, much more.

Bookings: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/hero-complex

A Visit With Nan In A Caravan

Five audience members ­– in one caravan ­– with three spiteful old grannies ­– for 15 minutes. These terrifying characters by Thomas Jaspers, Kyle Minall and Scott Brennan will be more so in such close quarters and sure to be hilarious.

Bookings: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/caravan

Watson: Go To Hell!

After scaring the stuffing out of laughing audiences at the Old Melbourne Gaol during the 2015 Melbourne Fringe, Watson (Adam McKenzie, Liam Ryan and Tegan Higginbotham) return with a show of frights and laughs. Another Moosehead recipent so expectations are high.

Bookings: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/go-to-hell

View the entire Comedy Festival program at https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017, so get out and start booking tickets!


A Year’s Round Up and 5 Very Good Festival Shows of 2016

By Lisa Clark

It’s hard to think of any great positive things that happened to the world in 2016. Apart from the odd sporting achievement, it was a nonstop pileup of deplorable crud. Australian comedy however didn’t let us down, delivering performances that will stand out, no doubt, for years to come. So to cheer myself up about the dreadful year that was I thought I’d just do a roundup of good things that happened in Australian Comedy this year.

It always brings me joy to see good comedy coming out of TV, I can remember when I would be rolling in the aisles to so many comedians on stage and felt so frustrated that their voices were not heard on TV except occasionally on the odd panel show. It was one of the reasons I set up this site. I wanted the world to know how wonderful Australian standup comedians are. This year it was so satisfying to see so many live standup performances on TV shows such as Comedy Next Gen and Comedy Up Late as well as the usual Festival Galas and Just For Laughs specials. We saw comedians working in different formats like The Katering Show, Sammy J’s Playground Politics, Who’s Line is it Anyway Australia and Hard Quiz. It’s exciting to watch Comedy Showroom give fresh comedy ideas a go and to see the sweet sitcom Rosehaven bloom so beautifully. Sitcoms have always been so bloody hard to do successfully in Australia and this year we’ve also had Here Come the Habibs doing well on 9 of all places and Upper Middle Bogan as strong, funny and heart-warming as ever in its third season.  This is all along side regular shows such as Mad As Hell, Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery and The Weekly.  There was happily too much comedy on TV for me to cover properly but I’ll leave that to the TV websites. Just to say 2016 was a great year to see Australian standup comedians doing exciting and wonderful things on TV and of course beaming around the world online.

Meanwhile comedians on stage have been creating astonishing, hilarious work. I didn’t get to see everything, as usual, it’s just impossible, but I thought I’d share some of my own personal highlights of the year.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival was celebrating 30 years as a Thing and put on a fun party for comedy fans with shows such as Cal Wilson’s Sunday arvos at The Victorian Arts Centre speaking with different generations of comedians in The Decades That Were and comedy tours with Rod Quantock.

Also at the Festival this year was The Wedding of Zoe Coombes Marr and Rhys Nicholson. There have been a few great comedy weddings over the years, but this riotous spectacle which was making a clear statement in support of same-sex marriage could not be bettered. The bridesmaids were Denise Scott, Judith Lucy and Celia Pacquola, MC Hannah Gadsby made a fabulous funny and moving speech. The Priest was Geraldine Hickey, Celebrant Ben Noble. Entertainment was provided by Tina Del Twist, Peter & Bambi Heaven, Hot Brown Honey, The Daredevil Chicken Club, The Butterfly Glee Club, The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic and Melbourne Uni Choirs, Wil Anderson, Adrienne Truscott and The True Australian Patriots.

Other general comedy highlights were laughter filled Sunday afternoons at the live podcast recordings of Josh Earl’s Who Do You Think I Am?  There was the return of The Bedroom Philosopher at Local Laughs singing about haberdashery and a reboot of The Doug Anthony Allstars. Tripod celebrated 20 years on stage with a gift of their songs in book form and performing them with guests on stage, ending the year with one of their best Christmas shows ever. The new exciting discoveries in 2016 included funny musical acts Jude Perl and Sarah Wall & Freya Long of The Astrudes, then the astute, warm, political comedy of Sami Shah, Alanta Colley and character comedian Haley Tantau as her alter ego Cindy Salmon.

Finally, as is traditional, I’m including an End of Year List; 5 Very Good Festival Shows of 2016. As you can imagine it’s hard to pick out only five great festival shows for the whole year, its been a really great year for live comedy.


5 Very Good Festival Shows of 2016
Zoe Coombs Marr
1.  Zoe Coombes-Marr Trigger Warning. (MICF) The show captured the zeitgeist of the comedy world. I was laughing so hard I was worried I’d lose control of my bodily functions. I literally fell off my seat at one point. So many thoughts I’ve been thinking that she wrapped up and detonated. She destroyed me and remade me as a stronger woman. It won the Barry Award for best show at the 2016 MICF and deservedly so.

(Thanks to modern technology and smart TV people it’s been filmed and you can probably see it on ABCiView as part of Comedy Next Gen, not quite the same as live, but do it. WATCH IT. Then watch all the others)



2. Sammy J – Hero Complex. (Melbourne Fringe) Sammy has been wowing audiences for years, but this one had the audience whooping and cheering with pure joy. It’s about the love of unpopular nerdy pursuits, in this case a passion for The Phantom comics and a friendship borne from that. The show is full of secrets and reveals, so it hard to say more except that it is gobsmacking, weepingly hilarious and will have you grinning for hours, perhaps days afterwards. This won Best Comedy at the Melbourne Fringe Festival and will get a run at festivals in 2017 so DON’T miss it.


Zanzoop pic

3. Zanzoop – Feeble Minds. (MICF) Who knew a late night show in a rundown night club about an alien chat show would become the talk of MICF? All three performers added their amazing talents, my highlights being Aaron Chen as Owen Wilson with Tom Walker as Jackie Chan and the heart-warming family reunion of snarky host Zanzoop (Sam Campbell) and his alien dad (Cam Campbell) at the end.


4. Micheal Williams: An Evening with Michael Williams (who is trapped under a boulder) – with Jack Druce. (MICF) Michael has moved from delighting us with his clip board of sophisticated cartoon humour to giving us an all singing, all dancing audio visual extravaganza and puppet show.Michael Williams 2016 A delightfully silly show had the audience gasping when the boulder suddenly came to life and was fun for the whole family. Michael has received a 2017 Moosehead Award, so am looking forward to his Moosehead show in 2017!


5. True Australian Patriots (MICF). Noticing in the MICF programme that three of Australia’s most promising comedians had teamed up to lampoon right wing protest groups had comedy fans very excited and we were not disappointed. Anne Edmonds,Damien Power and Greg Larsen are all at the top of their game and gave us a riotous late night of political satire and bizarre love triangle that hit the perfect tone and bashed us right in the comedy solar plexus. True Australian Patriots


Happy Hogmanay from the Squirrels and hoping 2017 brings you more laughs than sorrow. X


Josh Earl – Square Peg

By Elyce Phillipsjosh Earl

Josh Earl has a history of struggling to fit in. From growing up in Tasmania to making friends as an adult, he’s always been a bit out of place. In Square Peg, Earl explores the idea of finding your tribe. Through a witty collection of songs and stories, we are transported through Earl’s life, right up to his stint as host of Spicks and Specks. It’s an interesting story that will have you laughing the whole way through.

Earl’s love of music is at the heart of this show – both in the story and in his performance. His musical talent is on display from the get-go. The songs in Square Peg are well-crafted and never fail to amuse, with their clever lyrics and fun melodies. A song from the perspective of a local footy club coach back in his home town of Burnie was a particular stand-out and a good representative of Earl’s style – sweetly funny, lovingly mocking and never punching down.

Although the songs form the backbone of Square Peg, the stand-up elements of the show are just as strong. Earl’s story about his discovery of Nick Cave had the audience in fits of laughter, helped along by some fantastic impersonations of his parents hosting a dinner party. A short play in the middle of the show is absolutely hilarious and was the highlight of the show for me. Earl’s on-stage persona is very likeable. He interacts with the audience well, drawing them in and even helping out-of-towners with the more obscure Australian pop culture references.

Square Peg is a heart-warming piece of work from a talented musical comedian. Earl’s storytelling is engaging, affable and above all, funny.  If you’ve ever felt out of place in the world, this show is for you.

Josh Earl – Square Peg is on at the Victoria Hotel until April 19


Interview with Josh Earl and Ged Wood about Clued UP!

By Lisa Clark 

Melbourne has been blessed by the influx of talented comedians from other states and a generation of the best musical comedians in the world. Tasmanian born Josh Earl fitted into Melbourne scene straightaway building a strong following and fine reputation over many years with his warm family based tales, funny songs and interesting hair. We spoke to Josh about his latest project, hosting a live quiz called Clued Up! which is being performed at Wesley Anne bar in groovy Northcote on two Sunday afternoons in August.

We also spoke to its creator and producer Ged Wood who was once a standup comedian and now produces a lot of comedy for television including the Warehouse Comedy shows, Spicks & SpecksMyf Warhurst’s Nice, and the sadly lamented Letters and Numbers.

First up, Josh Earl…

L: How long have you been doing standup?

Josh: This year marked my ten years as a comic, which makes me only forty years behind Fred Basset

L: What got you started as a performer?

Josh: I was in Launceston and part of an improvised/soap opera thing (It was better than that sounds) and each week I would come out and play a song. A guy in the audience wanted to do a stand up night, of which Launceston had none, asked me to perform and so I did. At that gig a guy was in the audience from the University, and he was bringing down Rod Quantock and Duff and wanted me to MC the event. After that gig I was pretty much hooked.

L: Do you think winning the Best Costume in the Brooklyn Primary School Fancy Dress Parade three years running from 1986 to 1988 gave you the taste of fame that got you hooked?

Josh: No, but it did get my Mum a lot of enemies at the school gates of Brooklyn Primary school around those years

L: Who has influenced you?

Josh: When I was starting out my act was entirely music and I was heavily influenced by musicians such as Jonathan Richman, Belle and Sebastian and The Lemonheads, a lot of my earlier songs share similar chord structures to Lemonheads songs (Don’t tell them). But in terms of Stand up my influences are mainly my family seeing as a lot of my act is talking about my parents and my childhood growing up in Burnie, that’s influenced me way more than any comedian has.

L: You have a young family, how does this go with being a comedian?

Josh: I try not to talk about it too much on stage as I feel that half the majority of audiences at comedy clubs don’t have their own kids, and those that do are looking at me thinking ‘he looks too young to have a kid, do you think it’s true or just a bit?’ So when I do talk about being a Dad it is in the context of something else such as Skyping my Mum, or a story about how my Dad will sit on the toilet with the door open.

L: I get the impression that your mate and sometime comedy partner Justin Heazelwood (The Bedroom Philosopher) sometimes struggles about whether he is being pigeonholed as a comedian or a musician. (Tripod too) Have you thought about being a straight musician? Or do you see yourself as an ‘All Round Entertainer”?

Josh: I know my capabilities as a musician. I am an average guitar player and singer, but I think I’m a very good songwriter and storyteller. I see myself more as a comedian who uses music. With my festival shows I think the breakdown in the last couple has been 25 minutes of songs, 35 minutes of stand up.

L: What in your career do you think has prepared you for hosting a game show?

Josh: I think I’m a good listener, and I’m very punctual. I think that means I can hear when they answer the questions and I will turn up on time to start the show. Also I am a very quick talker so if the show has a fast money round we’ll get through a bunch of questions

L: Are you performing at Melbourne Fringe this year?

Josh: I am performing one night at Asher Trelevan’s show  The Experiment which sounds like it will be great [Asher describes it as a kind of ‘anti-comedy comedy club’ with Caribbean music, someone’s small dog and the best of Melbourne’s odd-ball comics.]

L: Tell us about Clued Up!

Josh: Clued Up! is basically a game show with competing teams of comedians, but as it is the brainchild of Ged Wood, I’ll get him to answer the rest of the questions 
– Ged?

L: Who else is working on Clued Up?

Ged: Well creatively and conceptually it’s pretty much just me…these shows a really a test run of the format. In terms of talent I’m really really excited about the people who have taken a leap of faith and come on board. Not Least Josh Earl who agreed to host without much convincing. Then there are the players, some old comedy mates of mine and some fresh faces as well. I’ think there is a good spread of performance styles and personalities. You can check out all the line ups on the website clueduptv.com

L: Is August a bit thin on the ground for comedians – because of the Edinburgh exodus? Have you had problems finding guests for the show?

Ged: From my initial list I had to strike 10 to 15 people off straight away due to Edinburgh which was a shame. Luckily we are in Melbourne and my list of people I wanted to be part of this was quite long due to the fantastic talent we are spoilt with. I actually find it helpful in a way sometimes to have your list of available people cut short. It means you have to make less hard decisions!

L: Do some performers balk at being on a game show because they are worried about looking like dills if they get the answers wrong?

Ged: In all honesty it only came up once and that person said, “you know Ged I will probably not know any answers I hope you don’t mind if I look stupid cause I don’t”. The most popular people on Spicks and Specks weren’t the ones that knew the answers (Hamish Blake, Ross Noble, Frank Woodley).

L: Is this a long term on-going gig, or are you doing a short season of shows?

Ged: A short run of two dates. Filming the second date. Hoping some savvy TV executive will come along and decide it’s the next big thing and snap it up. Otherwise, if people like it I could foresee doing more dates. Perhaps something in the Fringe Festival.

Clued up! will be presented at Wesley Anne, 250 High Street, Northcote on August 11th and 18th at 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

Comedians being quized by Josh will include: Adam Richard, Adam Rozenbachs, Claire Hooper, Emily Taheny, Harley Breen, Justin Hamilton, Kate McLennan, Lawrence Mooney, Nick Maxwell, Rusty Berther, Tegan Higginbotham, and Xavier Michelides

Check The Website clueduptv.com for more information

http://www.stickytickets.com.au/12120/clued_up.aspx for tickets
$15 seated
$10 Standing