I only know how to be a comedian
TV host, radio personality and stand-up comic Tommy Little tells Stellar about onstage fails, clicking with kids and why hed make televisions worst Bachelor ever
Tommy Little on why hed be televisions worst Bachelor.
Tommy Little did it once, but hes in no hurry for a repeat performance. Last year, the 34-yearold comedian ummoxed his social media followers by sharing photos of himself in some rather steamy poses: shirt off, physique taut, upper arm and shoulder muscles bulging and a rippling six-pack. Only for charity, he insists with a laugh. And those days are done and dusted.
Little, the youngest of three children who was born and is still based in Melbourne, gets a lot of mileage out of the fact hes still single. Google it: he talks about it. A lot. And if he werent so busy juggling his commitments on radio (co-hosting the Carrie & Tommy radio show alongside Carrie Bickmore), TV (a regular co-host on The Project, again with Bickmore) and standup gigs, he could probably land himself the plum gig as Australias next Bachelor. Not that he thinks much would come of it. If I was ever to do The Bachelor, it would be the shortest season ever, he tells Stellar. Because I think the car door would open at the start and the girls would take one look and go, Oh no! And shut the door and drive off.
His friend Peter Helliar, another Project colleague, isnt so sure. Discussing one of Littles early shows, which focused heavily on his lack of success in the dating department, Helliar recalls, Watching this good-looking guy in a V-neck, constantly scratching his neck to show off his guns… it was a little hard to believe that this was a man who would have girl troubles.
But he does. And now many of his mates have started families. Hes also enjoying being a doting uncle to his two young nieces as well as spending time with Bickmores children
every afternoon since they started broadcasting from her house. I am getting strangely clucky, Little admits.
Kids like him, too. Bickmore tells Stellar her eldest daughter, four-yearold Evie, constantly asks when Little is coming to visit, sometimes just ve minutes after hes left. He really engages with kids, probably because he is a big kid himself, she says. They gravitate towards him. Hell make a great dad one day.
Until then, Little makes do with a bromance hes had going with fellow comic and Rosehaven star Luke McGregor for years. The two have been housemates since McGregor and his partner split, and Little offers a glimpse of what happens when theyre both actually home: We have pretty wild nights, and by wild I mean we sit down on the couch and have a cup of tea, play some Lego, he says. Its pretty f*cking rock star.
If work remains Littles true love, its probably because it was also his rst. He estimates that he did more than 100 stand-up gigs before he nally got paid, and often it was in beers at the bar instead of cash. I did my rst gig and I just loved it, he remembers. I got lots of laughs. The second one, I got
lots of laughs. By the third one I thought, The king of comedy has arrived!
I felt strange afterwards: I was proud, which was new to me
And then I died one of the most awful deaths ever I tried to write new material for every gig. I was so naïve I actually thought that would be how I would make myself different as
It has been a long time since his material has fallen at, but he also no longer fears awkward silences from the audience. You often realise why it hasnt gone well, so then you adjust and change things, he explains. But I also revel in those moments, that energy when everything is silent. I dont give a sh*t. Everybody is on the edge of their seat. And that feeling of How am I going to get out of this? is something I nd fun.
Little claims theres a reason stand-ups like him can withstand those wild adrenaline surges: Because we cant do anything else! I am a comedian because
I failed at everything else in life. It was a last resort. I wanted to do acting. And I was really sh*t. And since then I have been red from every job I have ever had. Its only a matter of time before I get red from the jobs I have at the moment.
He has an almost chronic inability to shy away from challenges especially when theyre for a good cause, and particularly if they will play well on TV. Consider last year, when he agreed to a nude bungee jump (his second) to raise money for Bickmores brain cancer charity. Or the decision to run his rst-ever marathon in -20°C temperatures in Antarctica, with no previous experience.
I partied enough for a lifetime so that [ice marathon] was something new, something different, he says. It was f*cking awful. I was physically destroyed by it. I still cant really walk down stairs. And I have only just started running again, but short runs. The whole experience was the best and worst thing I have done. I had a strange feeling afterwards: I was proud, which was new to me.
Sure, his knee still seizes up from the run, and hurling ones naked body hundreds of metres through the air dings a persons dignity. But Little says he has no regrets. Except for maybe some of the multiple tattoos on his body including one he got after a few too many of those free beers. Ironically, it reads no regrets. I also have a list of my exes names tattooed up my side, he confesses somewhat sheepishly.
When Stellar reminds him he is in good company Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie still sports a tattoo that spiritually binds her to Brad Pitt, for instance he perks up. The answer to all my problems is sitting in front of us, he quips. [I should date] Angelina. We can go and get laser sessions together holding hands. I would cry, and she would just be stone-faced. Why did I never think of this? It would be so simple. And she comes with all those gorgeous kids. Problem solved.
TOMMY WEARS Ben Sherman jacket, bensherman.com.au; Zara hoodie, zara.com/au; his own T-shirt (worn underneath); Country Road jeans (worn throughout), countryroad. com.au; (opposite) Lacoste shoes, lacoste.com.au; his own T-shirt and watch
(from top) Tommy Little going shirtless in the name of charity last year; performing stand-up in Adelaide last month; taking a dip with radio and TV sidekick Carrie Bickmore and her daughter Evie in January.