Q&A

Co­me­dian Shane Ja­cob­son talks toi­lets and em­bar­rass­ing his kids.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Con­tents - In­ter­view by MEG MA­SON Lit­tle Big Shots is com­ing soon to the Seven Net­work.

Your break­through role was as the epony­mous star of Kenny, sort of like The Of­fice of the plumb­ing in­dus­try. If pressed, could you

un­block a lav in real life? I ac­tu­ally have more skills in that area than I’d care to ad­mit. I’d say peo­ple would be bet­ter off call­ing a real plumber – but if you were re­ally in an emer­gency I might be able to help you out. One of my great­est memories is that I was at Cathy Free­man’s house and her toi­let was blocked. She said to me, “Do you ac­tu­ally know how to fix that?” And I did! I’m never go­ing to win a gold medal for this coun­try… but I’ve sorted out the toi­let of some­one who has. You were also a pretty high­rank­ing boy scout in your day. You must have a few other badge-wor­thy skills we don’t know about. Sadly, there’s not a lot of call for ty­ing knots in my life. But when the oc­ca­sion does arise, I will stand back and think, “That’s a pretty good­look­ing knot.” And, look, I’m go­ing to step in if some­one’s strug­gling to light a de­cent fire. As a per­former, you paid your dues do­ing stand-up com­edy and char­ac­ter pieces at cor­po­rate func­tions. Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Sales Rep of the Year Awards could have been a tough au­di­ence, but were they at least a good prov­ing ground? Ab­so­lutely, and I still love the im­me­di­acy of work­ing with a room full of live hu­mans who re­spond to what

you say straight away. You soon find out if they find you amus­ing. Or un­a­mus­ing, as the case may be. Fast for­ward to 2012 and there you are play­ing factory man­ager Mackie in The Bourne Legacy along­side Jeremy Ren­ner. How

was that? It was fan­tas­tic work­ing on a film of that scale. In Aus­tralia, we don’t tend to have those Hol­ly­wood-level bud­gets. And I’m happy to ad­mit that I have a bit of a man crush on Jeremy Ren­ner. I’m OK with it. I just don’t know if he would be. Now you’re host­ing the kids’ tal­ent show Lit­tle Big Shots. Did no one warn you about the chil­dren and an­i­mals rule? Well, kids can be un­pre­dictable but this is the very show that wel­comes that fact. It’s a per­fect can­vas for them. They’re not be­ing judged – in fact, there are no judges on the show. It’s just about us cel­e­brat­ing what kids can do and be­ing them­selves. The show’s unique in that way: a tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion with­out the com­pe­ti­tion bit. Are you glad you won’t have to make a nine-year-old ba­ton twirler cry by telling him his jour­ney is over? I’m not sure I could do it. I’ve got four kids, all un­der the age of 11. And my job is to make any­thing seem pos­si­ble, give them the free­dom to ex­press them­selves and have a crack at any­thing. Are you blown away by what lit­tle peo­ple can do? Yes, but I am more mys­ti­fied as to what the hell I did with

the first 10 years of my life, apart from learn­ing to walk and eat with a spoon with­out stab­bing my­self in the eye. I thought I was a ge­nius be­cause I could comb my hair and tie my own shoes. It turns out I was wrong. The host of the US ver­sion of the show, Steve Har­vey, got into hot wa­ter in May for post­ing a memo that banned any­one from en­ter­ing his dress­ing room with­out an ap­point­ment, or talk­ing to him un­less he talked to them first. Are you plan­ning a sim­i­lar em­bargo? I don’t know what the cir­cum­stances were, and we’re def­i­nitely at dif­fer­ent points in our ca­reer, so un­til I’m as fa­mous as Steve, I’ll prob­a­bly send a memo in­sist­ing that peo­ple talk to me, to make it ap­pear they all like me. I don’t reckon my fam­ily would let me get away with something like that. Celebrity or not, your kids must find you em­bar­rass­ing. That’s just how it goes. Is your dad-joke game pretty strong? They’ve been em­bar­rassed by me, I’d imag­ine, ev­ery day since they were born. That’s my job and I plan to be noth­ing but [em­bar­rass­ing] for the rest of their lives. When you’re not on­screen or on ra­dio, where can we find you? Out­line an ideal Sun­day. I’ll be at home with the fam­ily. I’ve got a fair bit of grass to mow and I’m a man with a ride-on mower. A large one. With a drink holder. It’s a bit of an ob­ses­sion, look­ing af­ter the lawn, and I’ll be hon­est, I usu­ally leave it un­til the af­ter­noon so I can have a beer at the same time.

``my kids have been em­bar­rassed by me since they were born´´

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