HOW I MAKE IT WORK...
AUSTRALIA’S FIRST LADY OF COMEDY HAS SPENT 30 YEARS ON OUR SCREENS AND STAGES. AT 48, SHE TALKS ABOUT SEXISM IN THE STAND-UP INDUSTRY AND PAVING THE WAY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
Comic Julia Morris talks sexism and stand-up.
Ithink humour is something that’s inside you. I assume there is some sort of algorithm for it, but I’m not bright enough to work it out. I’ve gotten where I am by creating opportunities for myself. I’ve moved countries many times, living in the UK and the US. I think gathering momentum worldwide helped me when I returned to Australia.
There is a lot of rejection in acting and comedy, but I’ve learnt over the years to accept that. No one can really take a job from you if the job is right for you.
I don’t think it’s harder for women to succeed in comedy. All you have to be is funny. When you are coming through, I think it’s easy to believe that the boys are getting more opportunities – and they probably are – but I haven’t noticed it.
Still, out of every single comedy festival comes the article, “Why aren’t women funny?” I don’t know how I have survived so many years if we aren’t. If people don’t find me funny, it’s because I am not their sense of humour.
We have gone through the days of people yelling out “show us your tits” at shows. I used to be like, “Oh, gosh, I don’t even think you want to see them. Do you want to see the bigger one or the smaller one? They will be pretty amusing when I get them out, but surely we can think of something funnier.” Dealing with crap onstage is part of getting better. There are many girls who have paved the way for this next generation of comics to have big stardom worldwide.
Being a comedian and a woman, there are inevitably going to be questions about what it’s like being a female comic. My husband Dan [Thomas] is a retired comedian. I don’t think he ever would have been asked about being a “male” comedian. Thankfully, I’ve been a headliner for so long that I’m not a “female comic”, I’m a comic.
I don’t really think reverse sexism exists. I’m not objectifying Dr Chris
[Brown] when we muck around on camera on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! He writes most of those jokes. I’m not touching him, ogling him or doing anything he finds distressing or confronting. People ask why it’s OK for me to do what I do, and not men. I think, after the millions of years that women have dealt with it, maybe the boys can get a little slice for a while.
Who Do You Think You