A cou­ple of standup guys

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

MEL­BOURNE celebrity TV pan­el­list and standup comic Peter Hel­liar, who with Tom Glee­son will do a show at the Port Dou­glas Yacht Club on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 14, is happy to get out of town for a gig.

“Peo­ple used to ask me my favourite gig and I would tell them I love play­ing re­gional places be­cause those au­di­ences re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it when you come to town.

“And then the more I said it I re­alised I hardly ever get to do those dates any­more.

“So I said to my man­ager that if any­one from a ru­ral area wants me to go out there then to let me know and I’ll do my best.

“I’ve known Tom for years and it’s the same thing with him.”

So that helps ex­plain why two of the most recog­nised faces on na­tional TV are leav­ing the bright lights of the stu­dios for the lower wattage of a re­gional town (al­beit one in par­adise – a point not over­looked by the pair who are bring­ing their fam­i­lies too).

Hel­liar still does heaps of standup – in fact, he sees it as his main­stay. “It comes in waves a lit­tle bit,” he said.

“Usu­ally around Fe­bru­ary it’s the start of the fes­ti­val cir­cuit and you’ve got to start get­ting match fit.

“I’ve done a cou­ple of gigs re­cently and I’ll have done a cou­ple more be­fore I get to Port Dou­glas.

“I still con­sider my­self a standup co­me­dian who happens to do some other stuff.

“I never wanted to be one of those guys who steps away and then it goes pear-shaped as soon as you step back into a room for the first time in years. It’s im­por­tant to me to keep it up. I love it. And it’s still the big­gest test in the area I work in, to get on stage with noth­ing but a mi­cro­phone.”

Hel­liar has made this test a bit harder by hav­ing Tom Glee­son on the bill.

“Tom, I think, is the best standup guy around at the mo­ment,” he said. “Then one day it dawned on me I’d have to be go­ing on af­ter him.”

One thing they have sorted out is the fun­ni­est guy is­sue. It’s of­fi­cially in the con­tract that they are equally funny, he joked.

And to sort out who fol­lows whom, they toss a coin, and then next time the other guy goes first.

Peter Hel­liar and Tom Glee­son: On the same bill and of­fi­cially equally funny

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