The Courier-Mail

Family circus inspires new stage laughs

- JOSH DUTTON

COMEDIAN Dave Hughes finds fatherhood a constant uphill battle.

A father of three, Rafferty, 6, Sadie, 4, and Tess, 2, “Hughesy” can never get them to listen to him and describes family life as a circus.

In his trademark Aussie drawl and deadpan delivery, Hughesy plans to highlight his problems keeping his children in line as his Pumped national tour hits Queensland.

“I’m learning how to be an angry dad,” Hughesy (pictured) says.

“I’m like that teacher you had at school, the one you didn’t respect because you could always do what you liked in their class.”

When he is not working in radio or dropping his children at school, Hughesy works on his material.

Stepping away from Channel 10’s news talk show The Project has freed up time to focus on his stand-up comedy.

His renewed focus and fresh approach to work means Hughesy is feeling good at the moment. His side-splitting observatio­nal humour and larrikin character still draws the crowds.

“When I was working a lot on breakfast radio and TV I didn’t have a lot of time to work on new material,” he says. “I was sleep-deprived. I think you’d find 90 per cent of my blood was caffeine back then. I’d do a show and, being paranoid, I’d hide out the back and sneak out hoping no one would mug me on the way to my car.

“You need to work at it and the more you get on stage, the better it gets. Lately I’ve had no one come up to me after the shows and say, ‘I’ve heard it all before’.” The serious side of the news was not lost on the comedian.

Long meetings took their toll and, despite enjoying the TV experience,

there is now a sense of freedom. “The Project was fun but very timeintens­ive,” Hughesy says.

“We discussed lots of problems in the world in those meetings and I’m glad I can avoid those now.

“There were lots of serious topics and you kind of had to wait to be funny.”

He enjoys balancing radio and stand-up and feels he is in good form.

“I’m looking forward to being back in Queensland,’’ he says. “I love the weather and everyone’s very relaxed.

“It’s up there as one of my number one destinatio­ns if you look at my Frequent Flyer points.

“I was there for the G20 Summit and remember asking someone if the Clem 7 tunnel was closed for it, but it’s just that no one uses it. It must be called the Clem7 because only seven cars are allowed in there.”

More than 20 years after Hughesy first hit the stage you can only hope the audience, like his children, does not take him too seriously.

Not yet anyway.

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