Interview with Luke McGregor

By Noel Kelso

Luke McGregor is a stand-up who came to prominence after winning Best Newcomer award at the 2013 Melbourne Comedy Festival. Since then he has continued to perform stand-up both in Australia and the UK and has appeared on television on the ABC’s Dirty Laundry Live with Lawrence Mooney and acting in It’s A Date.
I spoke to him about his new show at the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival – I Worry That I Worry Too Much.

Noel: Do you find it easy to write your routines, or is it more like a long, slow process?

Luke: It can be sometimes. It’s like when you hear a musician say that a song just came to them, it’s the same with comedy. You sometimes get a piece that comes through and it’s fully formed, but it may need a bit of tweeking, but essentially you’ve got it ready to go. Other times you might have a bit you think is funny – or there’s something funny about it and you can’t quite work-out how to word it. Sometimes you just take in front of an audience and just talk it out, and you may have a couple of bad gigs, but eventually you’ll end up with material. Some pieces can take a lot longer than others, definitely.

Noel: You won Best Newcomer at MICF 2013 – is recognition by your peers important to you as a performer?

Luke: yes. You can get very down on yourself when performing and doubt yourself a lot. If you have a bad gig you might actually think about retiring. But with something like that – and when you see the people who’ve wone it previously – it does help. It’s kinda like a nice little thing that you can’t argue with and makes you think that maybe I am doing the right thing. I have a lot of respect for those who have won it before like Ronny Cheung and Matt Okine. Those two guys are just legends. It was really nice to win.

Noel: Did growing-up in Tasmania influence your decision to enter the performing arts?

Luke: I guess so. I did it on a whim. I did my first gig because I went to watch my housemate perform in RAW and someone pulled-out, so I asked if I could get up. And that was how I got into comedy. I think that no matter where I was I would probably end up going into it. I think it was more school that had an influence. I used to try and get away from bullies by making them laugh. So I just kept that up, I suppose

Noel: Your on-stage persona appears nervous and ill-at-ease. Is that purely performance or is it your actual personality just turned-up to eleven?

Luke: Pretty much the second one, yeah. I just don’t try and hide anything which can be good or bad, but I feel that if I’m really open it’s better than trying to hide. I feel people kind of relate to me more if I just open-up and let that come out.

Noel: You traveled to the UK to perform last year. How did you find the audiences across there?

Luke: They were great. Really switched-on. They got subtle stuff and nothing was really lost on them. The comedy that comes from there is incredible. I was really nervous at first because I’d never done anything outside of Australia before, but they were great. There’s just so much of my favourite stuff comes from there. I got into Alan Partridge whilst I was there. I watched all three seasons in one go.

Noel: Which comedians have inspired you?

Luke: Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray were heroes growing up. They have such presence on stage. More recently Zach Galifianakis, David Chapelle, Brian Regan, Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais – there’s quite a few now. Basically anyone who talks about their own experience or view on something as opposed to just jokes. Like Louis CK just talks about his life and is just really open. Chapelle is just a genius.

Noel: You’ve had your fair share of acting roles. Is that something you’d like to do more of or do you just see it as an additional part of your skill-set?

Luke: Yeah. I’d like to do it more. I really enjoy it. I think I should take acting classes, so far Ive been pretty much playing myself with slightly different words. I haven’t really played anyone too different. I haven’t played a tough-guy who rides a motorcycle yet. I think it’s a lot of fun. If I could keep doing both stand-up and acting that would be great.

Noel: So what can you tell us about your show this year – I Worry That I Worry Too Much?

Luke: Well – I’m worried that title is no good for a comedy show. It’s basically a show about me
talking about all the stuff I worry about, seeing if anyone else worries about the same things and then trying to collectively get over it in a funny way. Hopefully people will enjoy it.

Luke McGregor’s show I Worry That I Worry Too Much is on during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from March 27 to April 20 at The Portico Room, Melbourne Town Hall, corner of Swanston and Collins Streets.

Shows at Adelaide Fringe Festival previously reviewed by Squirrel Comedy.

The Adelaide Fringe is soon upon us, it’s a fabulously varied festival with a big comedy contingent that gives punters a chance to catch up with shows from last year’s festivals as well as discovering exciting brand new work, some of which will make it’s way to other capital cities throughout the year.

This year we hope to bring you some reviews in the early part of the Festival. Meanwhile here are some reviews we prepared earlier.

Eurodad – Adam Rozenbachs 
Palace Nova – Cinema 9

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League
Garden of Unearthly Delights – The Spare Room

The Producers Bar

Radio Variety Hour
The Producers Bar

Rom Com Con – Mace & Burton
Bakehouse Theatre – Main Stage

Simon Taylor – Funny
Garden of Unearthly Delights – The Spare Room

The Last Temptation of Randy
Garden of Unearthly Delights – Le Cascadeur

Wolf Creek The Musical
The Producers Bar

Wizard Sandwiches: The Last Lunch
Tuxedo Cat @ Raj House – Room 2

The above shows were all very popular and are highly recommended by us, some are even award winners.

The Adelaide Fringe Festival is on from the 14th of February til the 16th of March. All  information can be found at their website

5 Good Reasons to see Victoria Healy Presents We ♥ Comedy

5 Good Reasons to see Victoria Healy Presents We ♥ Comedy:

The Variety

Each night three 15 minute spots of impro, stand up and sketch comedy.
The Big Names

Jimmy James Eaton, Claire Hooper, Luke McGregor, Girls Interrupted, Lessons With Luis, Geraldine Hickey, Simon Keck plus loads more!
The Cheap Tix

Only $13 presale. $10 on the door
The Hostess

Oh stop it guys….shucks.
The Venue

The Imperial is the home of comedy at Melbourne Fringe. Cheap drinks for any ticket holders and participants.

Cheap Drinks? Surely you only need ONE good reason!  This should be a great way to get a taste of some really fabulous performers who are doing Melbourne Fringe this year and a lovely way to cap off a night at the Fringe.

We ♥ Comedy is on at The Imperial at 10.15 Tue-Thurs

Winners of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards 2013

By Lisa Clark

What an amazing fabulous festival it has been.

As usual the winners of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards were announced on the final night at the Festival Club in the Hifi Bar. This year American UK resident Rich Hall was rewarded for his fifteenth show at the festival in Melbourne. We give our heartiest congratulations to all the winners (as well as all the nominees. how do they choose between them?)

The Full List of Award winners is below.

Funny Tonne Award – Nick Taras who saw 147 shows

The Golden Gibbo – Simon Keck for Nob Happy Sock

highly commended by The Golden Gibbo – Standard Double by Kate Mclennan and Wes Snelling

The Piece of Wood – David Quirk – Shaking Hands with Danger

Directors Choice Award – Mel Buttle – How Embarrassment

People’s Choice is Arj Barker – Go Time

Best Newcomer – Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

Barry Award – Rich Hall.

Given out previously…

RAW Comedy – Demi Lardner

Class Clowns competition –  James Warren


Squirrels Top 5 Picks of the Festival

Well the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival is winding down this weekend.

We no longer hand out awards, because it is just too difficult for us to see everything, or even see the same shows as each other. Instead most of the Squirrels have picked their Top 5 shows. If they are still running we recommend that you might like to see some of them this weekend. It was really hard to narrow it down to only five.

Of course the festival isn’t over yet and we may see something that changes our list but we wanted to put this up before the festival was over so you could gain from our recommendations.

You’ll notice a few of the names crop up more than once. Some sold out shows are putting on extra performances in the final weekend like the play Choir Girl that had finished its run of three performances, but has added one on Sunday afternoon.

Check out the Melbourne International Comedy Festival website for details and keep festivalling ’til you drop!!

Lisa Clark 

Hannah Gadsby – Happiness is a Bedside Table

Dave Bloustien – The Grand Gignol

The Writers

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

Sammy J – Potentially


Caitlin Crowley

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

Hannah Gadsby – Happiness is a Bedside Table

Michael Workman – Ave Loretta

Best Comics Worst Gigs

Dave O’Neil – 33 Things I Should Have Said No To



Cathy Culliver 

Dayne Rathbone – It’s Me Dayne

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

Simon Keck – Nob Happy Sock

Dr Professor Neal Portenza

Ryan Coffey – Late & Loud


Colin Flaherty 

Fabian Lapham & The Actual Musicans:God Fights the Dinosaurs & 9 Other Stories That Will Awesome You in the Face.

Simon Keck – Nob Happy Sock

Set List

Choir Girl – Sarah Collins

David Quirk – Shaking Hands with danger


Elyce Phillips 

Lessons with Luis – Famoucity!

Lords of Luxury

Sam Simmons – Shitty Trivia

Lawrence Leung’s Part-time Detective Agency

Mike Birbiglia – My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend


Luke Simmons 

Khaled Khalafalla – Devious

Brendon Walsh

Bev Killick – Goes “There”…Again

Daniel Connell – Mr Personality 1988

Trevor Noah – The Racist


2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival finishes on Sunday 21st of April

MICF Award Nominees Announced

There are seven Nomineed shows for The Barry Award this year.

Hannah Gadsby who is doing two shows – her personal show about surviving her teen years and becoming an adult – Happiness is a Bedside Table and her art show which this year is called Nakedly Nudes and is becoming a bit of a tradition and sells out pretty quickly.

John Conway – The New John Conway Tonight Show. An anarchic crazy late night chat show.

Kitty Flanagan, for Hello Kitty Flanagan. A stunning performer who came back to Australia from the UK a couple of years ago for which are all immensely grateful.

Max & Ivan Are Con Artists –  British performers who’ve been getting some good reviews. (I’ve clearly not seen them)

Michael Workman with another magical lyrical story Ave Lorretta.

Rich Hall he’s so fabulous his show doesn’t need a name. He kicked ass at Political Asylum’s Late Night Riot too.

Trevor Noah The Racist. He’s South African and have heard fabulous things about him.


Now for this year’s Nominees for The Golden Gibbo! (Named in honour of the late Melbourne comedian Lynda Gibson it is awarded to “a local, independent show that bucks trends and pursues the artist’s idea more strongly than it pursues any commercial lure”.)

Kate McLennan & Wes Snelling for their Moosehead awarded, site specific work Standard Double. A character  based show set in a hotel room that can only hold a small audience.

Simon Keck – Nob Happy Sock – For his moving and amazing show about depression with the most heart stopping opening of the festival

Slutmonster and Friends (Jessie Ngaio, Lucas Heil & Wes Gardner) – a gorgeously designed, joyful celebration of sex, silliness and puppets.

Tommy Bradson – Sweet Sixteen or the Birthday Party Massacre. Rock Musical satire of suburbia.

The Writers (Bob Franklin, Stephen Curry and Stephen Stagg) – What goes on in the mind of Bob Franklin?


The Best Newcomer nominees were announced on Tuesday April 16th they are….

Damien Power – Monkey’s in Space

Dayne Rathbone – It’s Me Dayne and The New Conway Tonight Show.

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

and Steen Raskopoulos – Bruce SpringSTEEN LIVE IN CONCERT!

Congrats to all the 2013 Nominees, Winners will be announced next Saturday April 20th (well… actually early Sunday morning)  at the Comedy Festival Club Hifi Bar