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Byron Shire
January 25, 2021

Interview with Austen Tayshus

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Catch Austentayshus Saturday 9 January at the Mullumbimby Ex-Services at 8pm.

Austen going Viral on 2020

Austentayshus is one of our fiercest satiricists. Speaking the unspeakable, the unflappable self-confessed provocateur is back for three shows in the New Year. 

So what’s his take on 2020?

2020 has been a remarkable year. After 40 years as a comedian I haven’t been able to travel, and even though there are very few towns (1) where I am still welcome, and even fewer venues (2) who will still have me – I’m itching. Isolating from the world though, is not new, as most entertainers are antisocial misanthropic arseholes, so we love our own company. But I do miss insulting people and hassling others. I know it won’t last forever… but what if it does?

What scares you about getting COVID-19?

I know it’s difficult to see me as a mere mortal, with all the inherent vulnerabilities, but I will be 38 on Friday and getting a lethal virus does scare me to the point that I am isolating with Pete Evans and Isobel Lucas, two of the more responsible people I know. Sexual distancing is a priority for both of them. Scary.

What should Sydney do with Avalon?

As Avalon is a suburb full of fuckwits, I think we should send it to Gympie where it will feel at home.

Which country did covid best?

Lichtenstein must have done well, because we don’t hear much about it. A beautiful country that’s as big as Mudgee with a great Jesus Festival.

What was the strangest story around the virus that you heard?

The weirdest story I’ve heard is from Pete Evans, my mate. He said the virus originated in Noosa and it was spread to China by Isobel Lucas who was on a modeling assignment, and she doesn’t trust the Chinese. Weird. I’m inclined to believe it with Pete sitting here right next to me.

Any advice for Scomo?

I think Scomo needs to spend more time in Hawaii and leave things to GB.

Do you think Trump really got covid?

Trump definitely got the virus, but why didn’t he die? Because then he would have been mistaken for Joe Biden. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Why do you think some people get so cranky about wearing masks?

Very handsome people like myself don’t like to wear masks because it cramps our style. Ugly people, and you know who you are, should never be seen without one, pandemic or no pandemic.

What was 2020 like for you? What did you do if you weren’t working?

2020 was a quiet year. I read a lot about death. As we are all getting closer to disappearing I thought this was pretty valid. My favourite book was The Plague, by Albert Camus, the French existentialist.

Otherwise, [there was also] a tremendous amount of sexual activity and gossip, with a variety of tools.

What was your take on the US election?

The US election meant as much to me as most Australians. Nothing. I don’t even know where Massachusetts is. I heard Barry Gibb say this. He is a true Australian, and I love disco. However, congratulations to Ronald Reagan, great to have a mediocre actor following a shit actor.

What’s your hope for 2021?

I wouldn’t mind skipping 2021 and going straight to 2022. Things will be in control by then. I’m talking to the Bureau of Meteorology to see whether it’s possible.

Catch Austentayshus Saturday 9 January at the Mullumbimby Ex-Services at 8pm. 

Sunday 10 January, 5pm and Monday 11 January at 8pm at Byron Services Club.

All tix are $40 on mandynolan.com.au

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