Comic on hu­mour at home and abroad

Aussie comic prom­ises ‘silli­ness’ in Dubai gig

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - cait­

H e won the hearts of Aus­tralia as host of mu­sic trivia show Spicks and Specks, then jet­ted off to the UK to host the 2012 Lon­don Par­a­lympics. From there, his The Last Leg seg­ment con­tin­ued as a pop­u­lar weekly TV show on UK TV. Adam Hills is a stand-up co­me­dian, pro­ducer, host, and fa­ther-of-two. We caught up with the 45-year-old in be­tween feed­ing his two-yearold and pre­par­ing for his Dubai gig.

So you’ve got two daugh­ters liv­ing in Aus­tralia, and your show is in the UK. Does the Hills fam­ily travel with you?

Not all the time. My el­dest daugh­ter started school about three months ago; she started in Mel­bourne so they didn’t come last time. I was in Lon­don for nine weeks - but we’re all go­ing to spend the sec­ond half of the year in the UK. But in short, the five-yearold is a gold fre­quent flyer! So yes they do tend to travel with me a lot. I love that when we get to the air­port, her first thought is ‘where is the lounge?’.

So she’s ac­cus­tomed to a level of lux­ury?

I was talk­ing to Richard Ayoade (English com­edy ac­tor) - he did a film with Ben Stiller, who in­vited him to LA on his pri­vate jet. And Richard said once you’ve gone on a pri­vate jet, you can never go back. So no mat­ter how lux­u­ri­ous you go, there’s al­ways a higher tier!

You’re a pro­ducer now. Shouldn’t that mean you can af­ford your own pri­vate jet?

Haha! To­tally! The pro­duc­ing thing - I’m more about hav­ing fun, than making money. And if you want to be a pro­ducer that makes enor­mous amounts of money, you have to pro­duce at least half a dozen acts, and hope that one of them does a mas­sive (com­edy) fes­ti­val. As a pro­ducer, I find acts that I re­ally like, and I want to help out. And I hap­pily take a fi­nan­cial hit on their be­half.

There are peo­ple out there that I think are great co­me­di­ans and I love them to have the op­por­tu­ni­ties that I had.

You pro­duce Amer­i­can Jake Jo­hannsen, you’re Aus­tralian and you work in the UK. Do na­tion­al­i­ties have a dif­fer­ent sense of hu­mour?

They’re dif­fer­ent styles of hu­mour I think. Es­pe­cially when it comes to stand up. Amer­i­cans aren’t used to co­me­di­ans talk­ing to the au­di­ence and hav­ing a proper chat to them. So they get a bit thrown when you walk out on stage and ask ‘hey what’s your name?’, and just play for five min­utes - which is what I love do­ing. On the other hand, Aus­tralians get a bit thrown when an Amer­i­can co­me­dian walks out and says ‘Hey every­one, here’s my act’ and then dive straight into their act. The Aussies are like ‘Why aren’t you even chat­ting to us?’ In Eng­land, English au­di­ences don’t care what you are do­ing, but you bet­ter be funny pretty damn quickly. And then Ire­land - you can do what­ever you like, but you’re never go­ing to be as funny as the au­di­ence.

Re­ally? You walk onto a stage in Amer­ica, and ask ‘what’s your name? or ‘where are you from?’ they’re go­ing: ‘oh my god, why’s this guy talk­ing to me?’ You do it in an Aus­tralia and you get a bit of fun. You do it in Ire­land, 10 min­utes later you’re think­ing wow! I might get a word in even­tu­ally.

The Last Leg fea­tures po­lit­i­cal mat­ters. Is this a theme you’ll be us­ing on Fri­day?

When I do stand-up, I rarely talk pol­i­tics. To be hon­est, pol­i­tics changes from coun­try to coun­try, and from month to month. I’m more in­ter­ested to talk about so­cial stuff when I’m on stage. So I’ll be talk­ing about peo­ple’s at­ti­tudes to­wards death. I’ll be talk­ing about what it’s like rais­ing small kids. I’ll be talk­ing about what it’s like grow­ing up with a pros­thetic foot. When I’m on stage, I pre­fer to talk about some­thing that’s a bit more uni­ver­sal…and fun. The Last Leg, be­cause we’re on every week, and there’s so much malarkey go­ing on in pol­i­tics, we al­most have to cover it. But on Fri­day, there’ll just be a lot of silli­ness.”

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