Interview with Kitty Flanagan

Kitty Flanagan

Brunswick Picture House  |  Monday 6 & 13 Jan  |  7pm

Kitty Flanagan is, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable comics to listen to. She has this cutting comedic common sense and she’s not afraid to cut right down to the quick. Kitty maintains her spot as one of the most reliably funny, fresh and innovative comics around by continually challenging herself to develop new material. In preparation for the comedy festival season, she is performing her trial shows at the Brunswick Picture House. She chatted with The Echo.

Trial shows have become very popular of late, particularly in our region. Why is everyone coming here to try out their unfinished work on us? Is it because we’ve got amazing audiences, or that we are too far away to affect city reviews, or perhaps just too stoned…?

It’s nothing that devious. We’re just easily led. All it takes is for one comic to do a show at the Bruns’ Picture House and discover the Northern Rivers as a great place for a holiday – then the rest of us hear about it and before you know it, we’re all inventing a reason to ‘try out new material’ in order to have a tax deduction/holiday in Brunswick Heads. We’re like lemmings jumping off the bridge at Bruns’. One does it – we all do it.

What do you get at a trial show that you wouldn’t get at a fully polished show?

Obviously you get to see the comic up close and personal in a small venue, but best of all you get to see genuine emotions and reactions. Comedians are completely ‘present’ when they’re trying new material – there’s no room in your head to be thinking about anything but the gig you’re doing right now. So you see real excitement (and relief) when something works, and disbelief and sheer panic when something doesn’t. That’s the best bit, a comedian panicking right in front of your very eyes!

Do you think comics are by nature as critical of the world, as they are of themselves?

Certainly the ones I like best have a knack of pointing out the downside in an entertaining way. I don’t know how funny I’d find it watching a comedian telling me how wonderful the world was – that would feel more like being at a motivational speaker seminar. I guess the trick is to point out the negative, but not make people feel depressed about it.

You just published a book on rules, which I don’t have btw, but to summarise – what are your top five rules?

It changes all the time, but at the moment, these are my faves:

19. The most important bathroom rule of all – FPC: Flush, Pause, Check. Leave nothing behind.

31. If you smoke, you smell. Which is fine, no judgement – I’m just letting you know.

171. Don’t put banana in the fruit salad. It’s too overpowering. It makes the whole thing brown and slimy and makes everything taste like banana.

163. For cafes: If the avocado is hard as a rock, don’t serve it.

252. A fashion rule: If you look like a rolled roast, go up a size. We all age, we all get a little thicker around the middle; there’s no shame in buying a bigger size.

Three people you’d never want to share a hot tub with?

Oh Mandy, you know me! You’d be hard pressed to find three people I would share a hot tub with. I’m not into communal bathing – especially not in hot tubs; those things are petri dishes, full of flakes of skin and pubes and kept at the perfect temperature to breed bacteria and disease.

Your version of a top day?

I’d start by taking my dogs for a walk on the beach (it’s the best thing in the world having a section where you can take your dogs at Brunswick Heads – please don’t ever let the council change it!) Then I’d have the delicious Nordic potato hash breakfast at Table View. After that I don’t care. If I get a walk on the beach with my dogs and have potatoes for breakfast, I can call it a day.

If you had a job at Bras n Things how would you greet people?

Welcome young lady! I see you’re looking at some teeny tiny underpants – good for you. I know it’s hard to imagine, but one day you will be like me, and you will seek out giant underpants. Look forward to that day – because I cannot tell you how comforting it is to be able to pull your underpants up over your belly button. Heaven!

I know how you feel about burlesque, but let’s just say that you had to do a season – what’s Kitty F’s Burlesque name?

Milly Molly Muffklunk or Betty Bigpants. I can’t decide.

If you were a super hero in some upcoming blockbuster – what’s your super power?

Talking to animals

What made you smile today? (That’s such a Byron question!)

I saw a middle aged lady marching along, wearing the same giant floppy hat as me, and realised that’s exactly what I look like – I’m not wearing it any better than her, I too look like a mad old bat in a hat. I was quite happy about it.

If you lived next door to Chris Hemsworth, what would you go next door to borrow?

Money. I reckon he’s got heaps of it.

Monday 6 and 13 Jan, 7pm at Brunswick Picture House. Tickets from

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