In the lead up to my Sydney Comedy Festival show ‘Looking For Mike Brady’, I’ve been thinking about my comedy because people see me doing stand up and say, “oh I love that trashy single mother character,” and I think I’m just being me, the me I see myself as. So I don’t think I’m playing a character (she and I are very close) but some audience members who don’t know me think I’m exaggerating my behaviour. Now I get why comedy people are private, often reclusive so they can pour all their energy into their work. When I lived in London I used to walk past Benny Hill’s place and when I looked in his front windows he was always sitting very quietly by the fire, looking a little sad. To give out that much mayhem and happy I think you need to have quiet time to balance the fun and madness coming out of your head. Life is funny but not every day
A shining light has gone out in the comedy world. The brilliant British comedian and writer Mel Smith has died. I first saw him on TV on Not The Nine O’clock News with Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson and Griff Rhys Jones. I loved Mel Smith’s rubbery comical face and dead-pan interviewing style. When I lived in London I saw him in a play called The Gambler and I chatted to him afterwards. He was gracious and funny and we talked about how much Australians love to gamble. Mel Smith was a gentleman with a dazzling wit, a naturally funny goof who made millions laugh, mentored young comics and wrote some of the sharpest gags I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Thank you Mel Smith for sharing your sparkle and your wit with the world, you inspired me to try to be funny. Hope you’re having a laugh, a flutter on the gee gees and a pint wherever you are.