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