Funny lady, judith lucy
She's jelly-wrestled Amanda Palmer for the sake of feminism and tried to wee standing up for the same noble cause. She is Judith Lucy.
Judith Lucy’s early days are harder to believe than the words: It’s not herpes, just board short chaffage. The comedian grew up in Perth, WA, under the wing of eccentric parents. Her dad wore make-up and often wrote letters to the Prime Minister in Socratic dialogue; her mum was afraid of running water and wrote a letter to her daughter graphically describing how she gave birth to her – which would be kind of normal if Judith Lucy wasn’t adopted, a truth she learnt when it was let slip at a family Christmas when she was 25 years old. Merry Christmas, Judith. She’s been on the Aussie comedy scene for 27 years, has penned two books, done the sisterhood a solid with the TV series Judith Lucy is All Woman, stepped into Margaret Pomeranz’s shoes as a film reviewer, and has nailed countless one-woman shows, as well as, yeah, a male escort. The latest notch on her belt is her new stand-up show Ask No Questions of the Moth, so we catch up to talk about her career in comedy, and what’s grinding her gears today. What kind of kid were you? I was an unbearable goody two shoes. I was a debater, I was a public speaker, I was the lead in the school play – yes, I was Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker. So it’s a miracle that I didn’t get beaten up more often really, and that combined with the fact that my parents were fairly unusual Irish people and, you know, little details like not having a shower until I was 15, it’s amazing that I wasn’t just a smelly, friendless person in the corner. When did you get a taste for comedy? In primary school I was obsessed with making my best friend laugh. We had these characters, I was called Captain Weakling and she was my sidekick Bog. I would make up these elaborate stories for Captain Weakling and Bog, and used to try to make her laugh all the time. Who was your role model when you were younger? I think it’s probably a weird thing to say, but in many ways my mum was my role model but she was kind of my anti-role model because Mum was a really smart woman, but she was very frustrated and in many respects Mum was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. My brother gave this amazing eulogy at her funeral where he talked about that and said, you know because she was smart, she was talented, she was very beautiful, and she should really have had the world at her feet – but you know, I loved my father and god knows my mother adored my father, but he was a sexist pig, and so she wasn’t really allowed to work, she led a pretty isolated life, and I think I saw my mum’s life and I went “I’m not going to have that life.” What do you know about comedy now that you wish you knew at the beginning? There are so many things. In a way when I think about that sort of stuff, no question there are things that I regret, but I’m really going to say that boring clichéd thing of ‘Yes, but if I hadn’t made all those mistakes, I wouldn’t be where I am now’, and I’m quite happy where I am now, so I would probably travel back and say, “You know what, just keep being a fuckwit, because you’ll work it out eventually.” What are you talking about in your new show, Ask No Questions of the Moth? Well, as anyone who has ever seen my stand-up shows probably knows, I do tend to just bang on about myself and what’s happened since the last time I banged on about myself. I talk a lot about last year, and last year was not a great year in some ways. I put a photo of my family up on a slide for most of the show, and it’s a photograph of me when I’m eight, it’s my first holy communion photograph so I’m looking as cute as a bug’s ear. I’m actually looking like some sort of demented child bride, but anyway, so it’s there and I’m there with my parents and my brother and my grandmother, and I guess if the show has a theme it’s kind of change, and how so much has changed since that photo was taken, and particularly quite a lot changed last year. So I guess that is my deep little theme. But within that I’m also going, “Why the hell have we lost our minds about frozen yoghurt?” so it’s me talking about my life but it’s also observations and a bunch of cheap gags. And I do come on stage dancing with maracas, so that’s got to be a plus. What is the last thing you laughed at? The television show Broad City. I just love Abbi and Ilana, I think they’re fantastic. What is your biggest gripe at the moment? Look, a lot of things are getting my goat, but I’m going to go with the fact that we are drinking juices and other things out of jars. It’s just, it’s a mystery to me. Because I honestly thought that toothless people who slept with their cousins drank booze that could blind or kill them out of a jar, because it was a slightly better option than a trough or a toilet, so I am slightly mystified that this is something that is happening.
Lucy’s new show tours nationally, head to judithlucy.com.au.