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Entries in Doug Anthony All Stars (1)


DAAS - Reconstituted. Made from local and imported ingredients.

DAAS, the Doug Anthony All Stars (Tim Ferguson, Paul McDermott & Richard Fidler) the aggressive, provocative, les enfants terrible of Australian comedy were the genesis of what became my comedy life. It all started way back in the days of answering machines, VCR's and waiting for your pictures to come back at the chemist before you could check out your 'selfie' and it was a time that had nothing to do with me.

Now - no one can remember the exact start of it all. Or how it happened. But my baby brother, tiny wee Noel was seen by the DAAS boys, somewhere. To be clear, it's hard not to see Noel. He's 6ft 900" tall and 6ft 1 and 1/4" across the shoulders. A mere slip of a gal.  So, one thing led to another and I found myself driving him to ABC studios in Ripponlea to be in a sketch with the Dougs on The Big Gig. I dropped him off then went back that night to watch the taping. That night an entire world opened up. What a live comedy baptism! I don't remember the sketch, neither does Noel or Tim. But it's fair to say, it went well and some things were thrown. 

Noel went on to appear in many m-a-n-y DAAS sketches. He also appeared in things with other Big Giggers (my faaaave) the ultra absurd, gently maniacal surrealist, Flacco (above, with Noel) Shirley Purvis and her boy Darren. Jean Kitson. Glynn Nicholas. Various things with legendary Phil Scott, etc etc. But, mostly with the Dougs and Flacco. Noel also appeared in their TV show, DAAS Kapital in various guises. "When we wanted a giant man, we called, Noely." says Tim. It was a glorious, wonderous time. Everyone at the Big Gig was open and friendly. They actively encouraged, put up with and welcomed me with open, patient arms. The DAAS boys, in particular. I'll never forget it and I can never thank them enough. 

DAAS wound up their little dog and pony show in 1994 the same year that Miss Itchy, debuted. There's probably a connection there. From fawning fan girl to willing participant. 


Fast Forward 20 years, DAAS announce they're touring again. I arranged for tickets SO fast, my head was spinning, for Noel and I. Just like old times, except now he's old enough to drive himself. And he hasn't got enough to hair to put up in a mohawk which makes him too tall to be in his own car. (that happened. I had to drop him off once because he had a giant do and couldn't fit into his car and drive himself. He travelled, reclined from the hills to the city in my car. I wish I could find that photo!)

Now, most reunion tours are abjectly awful. Self indulgent and sad. This is not one of those tours. Sure, Paul's hair is not quite as I remember it. Tim is now in a wheelchair because he's too lazy to stand (up to the MS that's trying to slow him down), and Richard is absent. However, he is seamlessly replaced as 'the guitarist' by Flacco's keeper, the unfairly talented Paul Livingstone.

How was the show? Mind blowing. Extraordinary. It was 2 and a half hours (non-stop) of breath takingly uproarious, noir dark, streams of consciousness peppered with savagely brutal social commentary.  Just like it used be. Now with extra poignancy and depth. "He's in a fucking wheelchair, ladies and gentlemen." mocks Paul. My heart broke and swelled with joy about million times in that 180 minutes. Livo played, overplayed and destroyed the guitar, a newspaper with snare drumsticks and sang back up/yelled back up. Plus, to hear Paul singing again, so beautifully angels killed themselves out of jealous despair, "I'll never sound as beautiful as that." And they wont. To experience all that again. I'm lost for words. 

I'm so sorry for every single person who doesn't get to see them.  Because, everyone should have the opportunity. When comedy becomes a complete art, it fills you up. After that show Babe, I'm totally chockers.

Thank you.  For everything.