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Saturday
Aug232014

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.

fahey 

Thursday
Jul172014

"the world’s favourite comedy festival has no room for women"

The title grabs ya, doesn't it?

LINK HERE

And, yes, this Just For Laughs (With Penii) line up IS ridiculous. But, this, I wanna say, well-intentioned article also delves into some murky ground. The writer says,

"From now on, I refuse to attend any festivals and events where women count for less 2 fifths of the line-up, and I urge you to join me."

How can only support an art that splits into a gender ratio that doesn't offend you?

Here is my reply.

Hi Maeve.

Although I agree the Just For Laughs lineup is ridiculous I also see that as a heavily curated festival, it gets to do what it likes. In doing this it also has the opportunity to show itself to be a bit of a dinosaur. Of course there are many many women who are worthy of a spot. Many.

I also want to make sure the MICF facts are in place. It's a festival, close to my heart. I've participated numerous times. Some times more successfully than others. EVERY time, utterly supported by the behemoth that it is. 

Fact. MICF's director is a man without a penis. She has been at the helm of this multi-million dollar venture for many years. It is Australia's largest cultural event - selling more tickets than any other Australian Festival.

Fact. It is the only festival of it's kind to hold an all girl line up show, UpFront. Started by actual women comedians which is now in it's 20th year.

Fact. It's the only festival of it's kind to hold a workshop primarily for (but not inclusive of men) aspiring female comedians. It was started by another one of those stand-ups without wedding tackle, Linda Haggar. It's called Jeez Louise and it's generated a LOT of local talent. It is utterly supported, both financially and artistically by MICF.

Fact. Of the sixteen Barry Awards given, SEVEN of those have been awarded to chicks. Floozy's. Strumpets. Non-Blokes.

The dangerous territory you're getting in to here, assigning a ratio which, under a specific threshold you wont be satisfied is silly. Would you do that for any other industry? 

Comedy ain't boxing. There ain't weight divisions. It's not even like ballroom dancing. You don't have to do it with a gay partner who insists on leading. Comedy is an art form. If you're GOOD at it, it doesn't matter if you've got a wedding tackle or not. Comedy doesn't even care if you've got a pumpkin for a head. Louis CK. It doesn't matter if you've got an annoying personality. Ricky Gervais. It doesn't even matter if you've married your ex wife's adopted child fercrissakes. Woody Allen. Ok, I'll take that one back. That's icky. 

It's a numbers game. Let's say that in the whole world, there are 100 comedians. Probably only 10 of them will be women. It's just how it is. Exactly like plumbers. Chicks can do it, just not too many feel the urge to shove their arm up a muddy pipe. Like kindergarten teaching. Lotsa chicks, not so many dudes. You see what I mean? It's just a numbers game. 

Comedy should make you laugh. That's kinda it. Pretty simple job description when you get down to it. It doesn't matter if there's bumps in the front of the shirt below the face hole that's telling you the funny stuff. It just needs to be funny stuff coming out of that hole.

It's amazing when it's more than that. Sarah Silverman Sam Simmons It's brilliant when you're mouth is agape and your heart is pounding. Simon Munnery Miss Itchy. If you're lucky, it's transcendent escapism. Stewart Lee , Kristen Schaal. Or, it's simply beyond dick jokes. Reggie Watts. Doug Stanhope . Sarah Millican . Andy Zaltzman Josie Long  Steve Seagren Kristine Levine Sean Rouse... the list goes on. And then there is also, the dick jokers. (You know who you are.)

JFL are doing themselves a disservice to exclude the excellent comics they have to choose from. The same can NOT be said of MICF. To demand a higher percentage of wymmyn to fulfil some arbitrary ratio is just as silly when you've only got 10 plumbers in the game.

fahey younger. comedian. swear word aficionado. lady.

 

Monday
Jan202014

off and running... often running?

As if! I ran once. A few years back now. It was for a TV pilot and I'd written a sketch about a rotund girl who was going to Olympics - come hell or high water. They had me run, on a tan track with an assortment of very young, very lithe, very athletic girls. We were all wearing the same lycra boy-shorts and little tops. My 'little' top may have had more lycra per square inch than all the others, combined.  To clarify, when I say, 'I ran' what I mean is, I took a few angry steps, holding my boobs for ballast then planted my foot and threw my baton to my team mate - waiting 100mts away. It's not MY fault she didn't catch it... with her hands. Them's the breaks of high stakes, international athletics.

Where was I?

photo: James PenlidisOh yeah, we are, off and running. Haggar and I have decided/been lured back to/are completely helpless to resist [to do] another Melbourne comedy festival. It's been.... a few years. A decade or so. It's actually the 20th anniversary of Miss Itchy ever appearing on a stage. It was SO retaridiclous! Haggar wore a boiler suit that was half robot, half cuts of meat and 3D body parts. "Don't touch my duoduncan."

I wore a heritage top, spray painted gold with ballerinas all over it and a misshappen, homemade golden tu-tu. "Hmm, yes, it's huge, but there's something wrong with it.  I know, bring it out the carport and I'll run over it a few times with Mystique (the 6 cylinder-but-only-runs-on-4 Datsun 240k)!" 

I did have my black wig "Don't worry, I've got black hairs!" Haggar wore a bald cap with two coarse grey horse hair (genuine horsehair) plaits down the front with a few whisps floating here and there at the back. "I'm gonna get a perm one day."

We were Miss Itchy, but we didn't even have names, we just called each other, Miss Fahey and Miss Linda. Redic!

The first appearance was at a night at the Limmerick Arms, in Sth Melbourne called, Purge. (which I've spoken about before)

The response we got that night cemented the belief that we DID have something there... it was definitely THE most fun you can have in a wig with your best friend so we just kept doing it. And doing it. And doing it.

Sometimes it worked. Sometimes, it still worked but the audience didn't think so. We got some fantastic reviews and some horiffic reviews. We just knew, we loved it. And we continued to do it until we didn't love it, any more.

We did a couple of festivals. Then were lucky enough to get an invite to Edinburgh. That experience was transformative. We had a great season of terrifying shows. We tried stuff that even WE were too scared to do - under the insistent tutorage of the impressive and formidable Karen Koren. We came home from that trip determined not to do it again, until we had a new look and a new direction.

The following year, we won The Barry.

photo: Dr Peter MilneThis year, we're just hoping like hell we'll break even!

Ah comedy, you're a brutal whoreish mistress. We really must look in to getting you a manservant.

Coincidentally, tickets for Miss itchy's Late Night Larvae are on sale, NOW!

Book your tickets through Ticketmaster, here's a link.

It's an all new show with BAT LOADS of insane shit! We're really excited about it and thrilled to the back of our lips, teeth and gums to be working with the father of all things Itchy, really the Third Itchy, the Very Reverend, Dr Tim Harris (he's Alphonso's Dad. And Dr Grog. And Garth Minchinsky. And Dr Alexander Buchanan. And Gerald Peas. And Fergus McShite. And dear ol' masturbatin' fearin', Uncle Sandy. and and and... you get the picture, Tim's beyond BRILL!).  And this year we'll be joined by the ever lovely, nine bits of talented, Jennifer Wong. We call her Jeff. She's ok with it! See? Win/win!  Plus there'll be guests. Some will sing. Some will sell. Some will cower and cry for their Mommies. What more do you want?!

        

It's going to be - nice.

Proper and decent and nice. BOOK NOW!!

Miss itchy's Late Night Larvae - it's everything you'd expect in a late night chat show... if you've sustained a crushing skull wound and aren't a fan of oxygen.

 

Tuesday
Dec312013

End of Year Clip Show

It has been, lovely!

Thanks 2013 it was ace being all up in your grill.

2013YearInReview from fahey, ben, spike, morrison on Vimeo.

 

See you in 2014!

Music by, The Mattoid

 

Wednesday
Dec252013

Xmas 2013

Merry. Happy. Joyeux Noël. Crimby, Crumbly Chris Miss.

Kids have made out like ruthless bandits. Bonsoir Fancy Pants; actually surprised this year! (yay woyf!) and woyf's gifts leave all others to shiver, pale in their feeble shadows.  Yay Me!!!!!

We've had a pretty fortunate and wonderful year. New jobs, new opportunities, happy, healthy kids and old careers rekindled with a kind of flame thrower intensity that can be seen from all corners of space.


2014 promises to be a tearer of balls and a winner of, Best In Show at every Royal Aggy up and down the Eastern and Western seaboards.

Please enjoy this year's subtle renderings of a 'fun Xmas movie' - "It should really have Zombies in it, Mum." So, Zombies it is! 


Much love to you and yours from us and ours. xoxoxox

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