NOTHING TO FEAR
Hailing from South Africa, this funny guy has seen the scary side of comedy a time or two, but it’s served as rich material for his act
The annual Brisbane Comedy Festival kicks off this weekend, promising a month of laughs from a line-up of more than 50 comics flogging tickets like their lives depend on it.
One comic who refuses to bow down to your commercial ideals, however, is Dusty Rich, a South African fellow who hosts Based Comedy nights at Nobbys Arc every Wednesday.
He’s not scared of you, because over in South Africa, his life literally depended on telling good jokes.
“I’ve performed all around South Africa and I think everyone knows it’s not exactly the safest place in the world,” he says.
“When you’re in an aggressive club and you might make a fat joke and there might be a fat person there who might be a gangster and that person might come have a word to you after the show and that person might have a gun in their hand and you don’t believe in guns – I mean I do believe in guns, it’s not like someone pulls a gun on me and I’m like ‘I do not believe in that’.
“And a bullet enters a sternum and I’m like ‘I don’t believe in that blood on the ground’. I believe in guns I just don’t believe in the use of them.
“That’s what’s great about Australia, nobody can pull a gun on you, all they can do is punch you in the head.”
You can get used to those comedic soliloquies from Dusty Rich, who shies away from scripted material in favour of what he doesn’t classify as improv but a “stream of consciousness”.
“I talk and talk and sometimes it’ll lead me down a path of something that’s funny,” he says.
“Someone’s always wearing a funny shirt, someone always has a funny haircut, someone always has to shout out some random comment. Ah, who am I kidding, it’s mainly d**k jokes.
“Sometimes I write something on a scrap of paper but once I get up there 90 per cent of the time I get so excited I forget about it.
“But I don’t think I’ve ever gotten nervous on stage.”
There’s one part about comedy that makes Dusty nervous though.
“I’ll tell you what makes me nervous? Selling tickets,” he says.
“That’s the societal function of telling you if you’re successful – have you sold enough tickets?
“The ones who are really well known and society says that must mean they’re the best, that must mean they’re funny.
“I hate that part – that’s why I love club comedy, ’cause you can find your new favourite comic by chance.
“Whereas to me, selling tickets is like screaming ‘DO YOU LIKE ME? DO YOU REALLY LIKE ME?’ And that’s my biggest problem.”
Catch Dusty at the Brisbane Comedy Festival March 15, 16 and 17. Tickets brisbanecomedyfestival.com
Catch local comedian Dusty Rich at the Brisbane Comedy Festival next month.