The Courier-Mail

Fam­ily cir­cus inspires new stage laughs

- JOSH DUT­TON

CO­ME­DIAN Dave Hughes finds fa­ther­hood a con­stant up­hill bat­tle.

A fa­ther of three, Raf­ferty, 6, Sadie, 4, and Tess, 2, “Hugh­esy” can never get them to lis­ten to him and de­scribes fam­ily life as a cir­cus.

In his trade­mark Aussie drawl and dead­pan de­liv­ery, Hugh­esy plans to high­light his prob­lems keep­ing his chil­dren in line as his Pumped na­tional tour hits Queens­land.

“I’m learn­ing how to be an an­gry dad,” Hugh­esy (pic­tured) says.

“I’m like that teacher you had at school, the one you didn’t re­spect be­cause you could al­ways do what you liked in their class.”

When he is not work­ing in ra­dio or drop­ping his chil­dren at school, Hugh­esy works on his ma­te­rial.

Step­ping away from Chan­nel 10’s news talk show The Pro­ject has freed up time to fo­cus on his stand-up com­edy.

His re­newed fo­cus and fresh ap­proach to work means Hugh­esy is feel­ing good at the mo­ment. His side-split­ting ob­ser­va­tional hu­mour and lar­rikin char­ac­ter still draws the crowds.

“When I was work­ing a lot on break­fast ra­dio and TV I didn’t have a lot of time to work on new ma­te­rial,” he says. “I was sleep-de­prived. I think you’d find 90 per cent of my blood was caf­feine back then. I’d do a show and, be­ing para­noid, I’d hide out the back and sneak out hop­ing no one would mug me on the way to my car.

“You need to work at it and the more you get on stage, the bet­ter it gets. Lately I’ve had no one come up to me af­ter the shows and say, ‘I’ve heard it all be­fore’.” The se­ri­ous side of the news was not lost on the co­me­dian.

Long meet­ings took their toll and, de­spite en­joy­ing the TV ex­pe­ri­ence,

there is now a sense of free­dom. “The Pro­ject was fun but very timein­ten­sive,” Hugh­esy says.

“We dis­cussed lots of prob­lems in the world in those meet­ings and I’m glad I can avoid those now.

“There were lots of se­ri­ous top­ics and you kind of had to wait to be funny.”

He en­joys bal­anc­ing ra­dio and stand-up and feels he is in good form.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to be­ing back in Queens­land,’’ he says. “I love the weather and ev­ery­one’s very re­laxed.

“It’s up there as one of my num­ber one des­ti­na­tions if you look at my Fre­quent Flyer points.

“I was there for the G20 Sum­mit and re­mem­ber ask­ing some­one if the Clem 7 tun­nel was closed for it, but it’s just that no one uses it. It must be called the Clem7 be­cause only seven cars are al­lowed in there.”

More than 20 years af­ter Hugh­esy first hit the stage you can only hope the au­di­ence, like his chil­dren, does not take him too se­ri­ously.

Not yet any­way.

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