“I grew up in Strathmore in Melbourne. I enjoyed a normal, traditional Australian upbringing. I lived in suburbia, attended school and went to the beach in summertime.
I worked for an insurance company for a year and then studied teaching. I became a drama teacher and went back to my old school and taught. I taught three or four days a week and performed three or four days a week. I was sort of juggling stand-up comedy and teaching.
I did that for about five years until I was getting so much stand-up work that I gave up teaching. Then the same thing happened with television and I gave up the live work. Now I do a bit of TV, a bit of live work, a bit of everything.
It was probably in the blood lines – my mother and her father were performers. My mother also took us to the theatre from a very young age. I first wanted to become an actor. I think that was something that had a natural appeal to me.
I did one amateur night and then got professional work after that. I’ve always had a leaning towards comedy but I initially didn’t think about becoming a stand-up comedian.
I go from day to day doing different things jotting down ideas. My observations, my feelings, my view on life. It’s not trying to make a statement, it’s not trying to change the way people think, it is just what I feel is funny.
We’re all basically the same. We have the same little insecurities. The things we do from day to day happen to all of us. If you let an audience know that, they find it reassuring that somebody else thinks in a similar way. That’s what comedy is about – it’s all about reassurance and life itself.
Animals are good in that they don’t judge you and they don’t play games. “What you see is what you get”. I really like that.
The way we treat animals worries me. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but it worries me. I have a particular concern about circuses, that animals are treated badly, that they’re demeaned. There’s the excuse that the animals enjoy performing, but I can’t accept that.
People say “Oh, we’re working with dolphins and we’re learning how to talk to them” and stuff but I think if you want learn how to talk to them, go out and learn where they live, don’t confine them for your own experiments. Maybe I’m being naive but it saddens me to see beautiful animals confined.”