Interview with Randy

By Daniel Paproth

It has been a great year for Randy, the beloved, foul-mouthed, purple-hued comedian and singer. The musical sitcom that he filmed with good mate Sammy J, the brilliant Rickett’s Lane, is doing good numbers on ABC iView and is soon to be premiered on television and he is enjoying performing his latest solo show, Randy Writes a Novel, to big crowds at Fringe festivals around the country.

Still, the ennui of regular life remains.

What are you doing today? I ask him down the phone.

Just about to put out the washing, comes a deceitfully enthusiastic reply.

His novel is written, but in his show, he can never quite work up the courage to read it aloud. Instead he procrastinates and distracts himself for an hour with several impressive, well-researched and hilarious rants and raves.

I love this show. It basically is just me saying what I want to say for an hour. I wrote this show as a catharsis, which sounds a bit wanky, but Sammy and I had just finished shooting Rickett’s Lane and this was a way of cutting loose, not being confined by a certain style of scripting.

Randy Writes a Novel is wonderfully self-indulgent, and thankfully, the rants – whether they be about McDonalds, relationships, drinking, not drinking, veganism, fist-fucking, religion, art – have the audience in stitches (apologies to Randy for this very poor pun).

That’s when I’m having my most amount of fun. When I started comedy I did a lot of political, hardcore, opinionated stuff and I was very angry and never quite got the balance right. But now I’ve mellowed quite a lot, to the point where I can strike a balance.

But part of the appeal of Randy’s shows is that strong-willed attitude, one that leaves you in no doubt where he stands.

There’s a bit of grit, The ultimate is being able to talk about stuff and share things and have an opinion on it without it going downhill.

It’s dependant on the audience. If they’re not up for it then it goes a bit skewed, if they think I’m being a dick. But then I acknowledge it! And then we can all fucking move on together. I fucking love it.

Randy, as something of an archetypal “struggling artist”, took inspiration from Ernest Hemingway, in particular his quote “the first draft of everything is shit”. Randy devotes a breathless three-minute portion of the show to the whims and wonders of Hemingway’s life, a sort of pseudo-google search but with more laughs and less data collection.

It’s not hard to uncover his life, but he’s an interesting case study of a tortured artist. He was a bit fucked up. And it was that quote that made me look into him more.

What about delivering the spiel live to audiences?

I had to learn the speech and that took fucking ages. I have out-of-body experiences reeling that off.

So even though he isn’t yet ready to read out his novel –

I don’t know if I’ll release it, I might not make it that far, I might only live a few more years!

Randy is finding plenty of joy “in the immediate”.

I’m doing whatever is giving me joy now. That’s this show and the TV show, which I love. It’s just so fucking stupid. When I grew up I was a huge Young Ones fan and Sammy loved Lano & Woodley so it’s great to have a show with so much silliness.

Randy then realises that ours has been something of a serious interview and so asks what I am doing today. I tell him I’m about to go to Ivanhoe, seeking elderly people to photograph for a column I write for another publication.

Maybe that could be my next thing. I’ll write your autobiography, he tells me. It might not be a funny book, just a chilling expose of your lifestyle choices.

I’d definitely read it. Randy is funny as all hell.

Randy Writes a Novel has finished its run at Melbourne Fringe but check out Randy’s Sitcom with his partner in comedy Sammy J – Ricketts Lane which is currently available on Iview and will be appearing on ABCTV from October 14 2015.

Simon Godfrey: Sauce

By Lisa Clark Simon Godfrey's sauce

The thing that made me want to see Sauce is The 5 Good Reasons that Simon submitted (yes they CAN work!). They were so whacky that they made me chuckle and he did not sell his show short. He promised a heavy use of Trebuchets in his show and they might be imaginary but there really is a lot of catapulting going on. And yachts? Yes two of the minor characters are yachts.

There is no dilly dallying with welcomes or warming the audience, we were taken straight into the world of tomato sauce hating schoolboy Max, his nemesis Bartholomew and evil school principal of St Optimus Primary (probably the best pun of the Fringe) Mr Matthews. The mind bending plot, that is quite difficult to recount afterwards, surprised us by having a hint of a political venom in its tail, it involves Madam President of the United States flying Airforce One, Putin, Peterson of The Trebuchet Society and a small nuclear device.

This is a one man show with Simon Godfrey playing all the parts. Simon’s mime and acting skills are wonderful. We were treated to a vast array of characters with silly voices and there were lots of laughs all the way through. There are three Acts so that Simon gets to catch his breath and say hi to the audience in the two brief breaks before jumping back into the mayhem.

The scenario comes from a small premise of a young boy refusing sauce at a school sausage sizzle that escalates out of all proportion reminding me of a Simpsons episode until it reminds me more of South Park. There are interludes of fabulous literal depictions of lines in the script that remind me of the surprise cutaway scenes in The Young Ones and of course it was inevitably going to end in a Goodies style sauce battle.

As is one half of sketch duo This is Siberian Husky, Simon is no stranger to entertaining an audience and it’s all pretty sleek. Simon is adept at employing running gags and call backs into the well written script. The lighting in particular is excellent. Without any sets or props for this complex and convoluted plot the lighting becomes vital in telling the audience where we are. For example the red light signals the running gag in the tomato sauce factory and the green lights remind us that we’re back in the swamp.

Sauce is a riotous ride into some weird and wild territory, there’s a lot going on, so pay attention, it’ll be worth it.

Simon Godfrey’s Sauce is on at The Lithuanian Club til Oct 3


The Merchant of Whimsy

By Colin Flaherty


There was a time when whimsical comedy was a dirty word and its association with the hipster movement added to the sneering. In The Merchant of Whimsy, Clara Cupcakes led a sugar fuelled Whimsy Anon type meeting and took us through the 5 steps of coming to terms with your inner manic pixie dreamgirl.

If the advertising for this show hadn’t already made it clear, this show was whimsy overload. From her kooky outfits to the vaudevillian music and atmosphere to the hand crafted animated interludes everything was extremely cutesy and twee. It was fascinating to see how she manage to insert plenty of current cultural references into the script, both in the juxtaposition to the old fashion atmosphere and how she gave them the whimsical treatment.

If the thought of an hour of wall to wall whimsy sends you rushing for the insulin, be assured that this show both celebrated and ridiculed whimsy in equal measures so there was plenty to tickle all fancies. It also ventured into some dark places to show that things were not all unicorns and ukeleles in this world, providing welcome light and shade and ensuring unpredictability.

Cupcakes entertained using her circus skills. Her stunts often seemed random and silly but were perfectly integrated into the narrative. There was a fair bit of old school clowning, pratfalls galore, mime, a silly song or two, and some impressive hula hoop action. It was pleasing to see that humour played a pivotal role in this show, not just relegated to amusing patter between party pieces. This character was larger than life and her ineptness in keeping things together provided many laughs.

Storming through the room like a bossy child, Cupcakes constantly got audience members involved in the show. Even though she employed a lot of bullying and a little bit of personal space violation, the actual tasks assigned were largely enjoyable for all involved. Audience humiliation was kept to a minimum with Cupcakes ensuring that she remained the butt of all jokes. Often punters were left holding or wearing props when their help ended, leaving them unsure if they were to be called on again.

Music played a large role in this show and when they failed to hit their cues, the amusing chaos kept all smiling. Short videos featuring Cupcakes as a paper doll were used to introduce the next section and keep us engaged while she changed costumes. These almost spelt out what would happen in the next part, both what Cupcakes would emerge wearing and what props would be used but there were many twists and turns to keep some surprises up her sleeve.

This was a very silly show with plenty of heart and a message to take away. If you don’t mind if things getting a little touchy feely, embrace your kooky side and get swept away by the hilarious Clara Cupcakes.

The Merchant of Whimsy is on at the Lithuanian Club until October 3rd
For booking details visit

Damien Power – I Can’t Believe I Cared

By Daniel Paproth

Damien Power

One of the first things I do every time Melbourne Fringe rolls around is check for shows from Melbourne International Comedy Festival that I missed out on seeing. That shouldn’t leave many considering I did the Funny Tonne this year, but somehow I missed Damien Power’s Barry Award-nominated show.

His brother, admittedly, is probably more well-known (Will is a championship-winning IndyCar driver) but Damien’s show is outstanding. The scene is set with some great golden-age hip-hop like Dr Octagon before Power emerges with salt, presumably to bless us before the show though we never really find out.

The show that follows is an hour of knock-out comedy in which Power, among other things, brags about his ability to fix printers, expounds on the mind-opening abilities of psylocibin mushrooms, humanity’s innate need for connection – how warm is the lady at your local ethnic fruit shop?! – as well as porn’s disconnect with reality and the heavy-handedness of Maccas’ marketing strategies.

Quite thought-provoking is a bit exploring religion and insanity – we’ve all walked briskly past a homeless man ranting and raving in the street, but what if that was flipped? What if all the great religions of the world had not existed but instead were simply sprouted by kooky people on the street? Sometimes comedians’ tendencies to explore big, philosophical issues like this fall flat, but Power keeps the preaching to a minimum and the laughs at a high.

Power is filming his show on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week for a DVD so be sure to get along and experience it before it finishes. Recommended

I Can’t Believe I Cared is on at the Imperial Hotel until October 2nd.
For booking information visit

Dilruk Jayasinha – Sri Wanka

By Daniel Paproth Sri Wanka

If you’re a Melbourne comedy fan and have heard a very loud, joyful, almost hyena-like laugh during a show, chances are it was Dilruk Jayasinha, sitting in the crowd supporting his fellow comedians. Thankfully, he brings his infectious laugh on stage in his own show as well.

After a successful season during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with his show Immigrateful, Dilruk returns with an hour of comedy that is almost entirely new. In his MICF show he explored his experiences as a Sri Lankan in Australia, also touching on this country’s strained relationship with refugees and asylum seekers as well as racism – both casual and catastrophic – that seems to, unfortunately, make up part of our culture.

Sri Wanka still touches on these themes, particularly in a hilarious detour about the casually racist comments he has received when touring comedy away from Australia’s big cities. Sharp digs at Queensland and Perth are welcome and warmly received by the Melbourne crowd, but there’s also a more introspective element to Dil’s latest show. He’s a man who’s aware he is overweight but really enjoys drinking and eating. There are  also several very funny stories about; toothbrush wars, partying drunk, walking home drunk, waking up drunk… as well as some well-meaning advice from dad that doesn’t quite come out as expected.

Dilruk delivers all these stories and jokes in a very likeable, affable way that makes him a delight to watch on stage.


Sri Wanka is on at The Imperial Hotel til Sept 29

The Desperettes – A Lady’s Guide to the Art of being a Wingman

1. Tips and tricks for picking up.  A Lady’s Guide to the Art of Being a Wingman is your sure-fire strategy for bagging that hotty, regardless of who or what you may be into, where you are or what you’re wearing.

2.  Modern dating is ridiculous.  You know it, we know it – so why not gleefully demonstrate it for the sake of a giggle or 9.
3.  Killer music.  This is one going-out soundtrack you won’t forget, sung by three of Australia’s best cabaret vocalists.
4. Girls in suits … what’s not to love about that?
5.  Pink beehives….. YES! PINK BEEHIVES!
The Desperettes – A Lady’s Guide to the Art of being a Wingman is on at Dr Sugar 1-4 Oct