Shows: Laugh your pants off with Dave Hughes ...............

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

NORTH­ERN Rivers co­me­dian Greg Sul­li­van says he and his Laugh Your Pants Off en­sem­ble stand-up com­edy show co-star, head­liner Dave Hughes, go way back.

‘‘I slept on Hugh­esy’s floor about 18 years ago,’’ Sul­li­van says.

Tee-to­taller, Carl­ton sup­porter and for­mer Aussie rules player Hughes has gone on to be­come a firm favourite with au­di­ences thanks to his reg­u­lar stints on tele­vi­sion se­ries in­clud­ing Spicks and Specks, Thank God You’re Here and Rove Live be­fore go­ing on to join the reg­u­lar panels on Chan­nel 10’s The Pro­ject and also the AFL talk show Be­fore The Game. He also hosts a break­fast ra­dio show, Hugh­esy and Kate on Nova.

‘‘I have no idea why he has been so much more suc­cess­ful,’’ Sul­li­van says.

‘‘He was very clean liv­ing, even back then. I think he was up and out ex­er­cis­ing be­fore any of the other co­me­di­ans in the house­hold were aroused.’’

Hughes and Sul­li­van are joined by Cal Wil­son, the cool, calm Colin Lane and tal­ented lo­cals Mike Van Acker, Mandy Nolan and Jimmy Pou­los and Sean ‘‘Flan’’ Flana­gan, from Hot Tomato’s Holm­sey and Flan Show for the one-off Laugh Your Pants Off show in Jupiters Theatre to­mor­row night.

Sul­li­van says it’s al­ways a thrill to per­form in such sol­u­bri­ous sur­rounds.

‘‘It’s kind of like surf­ing a big wave rather than a lit­tle wave – you do the same things but your mis­takes have lots big­ger con­se­quences. If you do the right things, there’s a lot more of a rush,’’ he says.

‘‘But you can never be too con­fi­dent, oth­er­wise the com­edy gods will smite you.

‘‘There’s a fine line be­tween con­fi­dence and ar­ro­gance. You need to make the au­di­ence feel at ease and re­laxed that you’re go­ing to make them laugh but they still need to like you. No one likes some­one who’s too full of them­selves.’’

Sul­li­van, 37, moved to Mul­lumbimby, in north­ern NSW, from Bris­bane af­ter he lost his gig on Triple M’s break­fast ra­dio show, The Cage, with Ian Skip­pen, Greg Martin and Emily Jade O’Ke­effe in 2001.

‘‘I’ve been liv­ing in Mul­lum for two years. The day af­ter I got the sack from Triple M, my wife and I looked at each other and said ‘let’s go live in the rain­for­est’,’’ he says.

The fa­ther of two boys, aged six and eight – ‘‘two red-headed chil­dren, who are gonna have buck teeth’’ – says he now spends his days try­ing to look busy to avoid hav­ing to do his share of the house­work. The award-win­ning stand-up co­me­dian and writer has been work­ing on a new show for the Bris­bane Fringe Fes­ti­val which he hopes to take to the Melbourne In­ter­na­tional Com­edy Fes­ti­val next year.

‘‘If I’m writ­ing a new fes­ti­val show, I have to come up with a lot of ma­te­rial for one hour,’’ he says.

‘‘It’s a huge chal­lenge. To be hon­est, there are not that many peo­ple who can pull it off, al­though a lot of peo­ple try.’’

Sul­li­van says he’s been fine-tun­ing ma­te­rial since he be­gan per­form­ing as a 17-year-old.

‘‘I’ve been per­form­ing for 20 years and have changed quite a lot as a per­son in those 20 years,’’ he says.

‘‘My show re­flects that. You start to de­velop a world view – es­pe­cially in the past few years, since I’ve had chil­dren. While I love mak­ing an au­di­ence laugh, I also have ideas I want to test.

‘‘Some­times of late, that can up­set peo­ple, which is re­ally dif­fi­cult for me. You be­come a co­me­dian be­cause you want ev­ery­one to like you but even­tu­ally it’s just not enough.’’

Laugh Your Pants Off plays Jupiters Ho­tel & Casino to­mor­row at 7.30pm. Tick­ets are $49.

– SUZANNE SIMONOT

Dave Hughes and (inset) Greg Sul­li­van play Laugh Your Pants Off.

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