15–19 January | All shows 7pm, except Sunday 19 at 5pm | $30/35
Dave Hughes doesn’t have to perform stand up. He’s probably one of the busiest people in the business – on radio every morning, a TV personality and host of Hughesy We Have A Problem, but every year Hughsie still finds the time to create a new comedy show for the festival circuit. He doesn’t do stand up because he has to, he does it because he wants to.
‘You still have to be able to take risks. I love the thrill of creating a new bit of comedy more now than I ever did. I never want to be not able to find a new bit. Performing stand up comedy is my fun.’
While stand up comedy offers an atmosphere of camaraderie, there is often a feeling of competition between acts – of wishing you’d come up with that joke first or the act before you didn’t ‘kill it’ so hard. Working as the host of TV shows where you want everyone to be as funny as they can has changed the way Dave views himself and the work of others.
‘When you are a host you want everyone to be funny. You don’t have to be the funniest person in the room. There is no reason you can’t be like that every day. I mean if you could find that attitude of approaching life like you are the host, then how much more relaxed would life be! I gave that talk to kids at my wife’s school – she’s a teacher. Be the host of your own life…’ says Dave, who’s certainly expert at hosting his own!
The January shows at the Brunswick Picture House see Dave develop some of the ideas he riffed on his breakfast radio spot.
‘I write notes down every day and especially doing radio when its based on me mining my own life, and those notes that you write down become like gold. It’s not until you take it to stage that it becomes stand up – you work with it and say let’s make it into something – I have to write bits every day; what’s funny about daily life, doesn’t get less funny – it’s just that you don’t see it, or you don’t notice.’ Noticing is essential to the craft of comedy.
So when it comes to mining his life Dave Hughes has a whole new mindset to riff on. You see, Hughsie has just become a vegan.
‘I watched Game Changers and it made a lot of sense to me. There are all these people banging on about saving the world, but still eating meat. Albert Einstein said the answer to saving the planet was to eat a plant based diet. People love to protest, but won’t do anything.
‘In my limited 8 weeks as a vegan I noticed that, as a vegan, you are definitely in the minority. I’m thinking of doing a vegan only show…’
Making your material about who you are today is what keeps Hughes’ material fresh.
‘Some comedians are doing the same routine from 1997 – might be why you’re not working… you can’t pretend the 2000 Olympics was last week mate…’
No matter how successful he’s become, Dave Hughes still has that down-to-earth larrikin charm that we all fell in love with. Smart, insightful, self-deprecating, Hughsie is definitely the host of his life. Why not be on his show – or at least in the audience?