Josh Thomas gets straight to the point ............
COMEDIAN Josh Thomas admits he may have accidentally sneaked his gay comedy series Please Like Me past the ABC after first pitching it about a heterosexual male.
Thomas says the initial two-page treatment he submitted four years ago to obtain funding contained a heterosexual central character named Josh and his girlfriend Claire.
However, in between the funding pitch and making Please Like Me his life changed and so did the storyline. Thomas, 25, realised he was gay and inadvertently the show’s premise changed with Claire bumped from a main character to a bit part.
‘‘I started pitching this four years ago and it was a two-page document,’’ says Thomas.
‘‘Four years ago I was straight as well . . . I had a girlfriend.
‘‘Four years ago Claire was in the show a lot more. It kind of, quite by accident, tricked the ABC into funding this gay show.’’
While he plays Josh, Thomas says it’s not a biographical series, although his life experiences are sprinkled throughout the series.
‘‘I wasn’t trying to write about myself, I was just trying to write a show that was good and what I wanted to watch on television,’’ says Thomas.
‘‘It’s easier to borrow some things in life because you want it to be honest.’’
Thomas uses the name Josh in the series to follow the norm of other comedians who have made series and used their name as the main character.
He recognises there may be some initial confusion with viewers.
‘‘It is normal for comedians to have shows based on them and their names, like Seinfeld and Louie,’’ he says.
Though the show is yet to air in Australia, Thomas received a surprise invitation to screen Please Like Me at a film festival in Europe. He is grateful for the invite but stumped as to how and why the series attracted the attention of a ‘‘French man’’.
‘‘It’s been invited to a film festival in Europe already and I’ve not sent it to anybody,’’ he says.
Since the show wrapped, Thomas worked on material for his new tour, Douchebag, which starts at the Adelaide Fringe next week then heads to Brisbane in March before it travels to Melbourne.
Fans of his comedy routine may recognise parts of his stand-up work interwoven into the ABC series. Again he is quick to point out that those anecdotes are also works of fiction.
‘‘People who have seen my stand-up will recognise bits of my life in the show because there’s a lot of meanness in there, but it’s complete fiction,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s not how my life is – the way it happened in the show.’’
Please Like Me stars Judi Farr and Josh Thomas