Comedian Tom Ballard (known for hosting Triple J’s breakfast show, Tom and Alex) is appearing at this year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival – read our chat with Tom about leaving Triple J, his comedy career, and what to expect in the new show…
How are things since leaving Triple J breakfast? Do you miss it?
I really miss the awesome people I got to work with there and the people who listened to the show, and of course ROLLING AROUND IN THAT SWEET TAXPAYER CASH.
But I’m very much enjoying more sleep and more social time and more time to write all me little jokes the Australian public so desperately craves.
How do you think your replacement, Matt Okine, is going?
Shit. I think he’s shit and all the songs they play are shit and nothing’s funny and it all sucks. In the past month and a half the whole station has really gone downhill. It used to be about the music, man: what a bunch of self-satisfied sell-outs. When will they hear the people’s cry? “PLAY MORE END OF FASHION!”
What can we expect from your new show, UnAustralian(ish), at the Brisbane Comedy Festival?
And heaps of jokes about a 1995 Ballard family holiday and the various ways in which I think this country is awesome and not-so-awesome.
What’s different about this show from your previous stand-up gigs?
It’s actually going to be a little bit more theatrical, I guess. I’m going to have an actual old school slide projector onstage with photos from the holiday and extracts from adorable diaries that my brother and I kept along the way. I’m using a Britney Spears-esque headset microphone and I might be doing a little bit of pretending throughout the show.
AND I’m trying to swear a little bit less. I’ma use me proper words and stuff.
Will you be wearing that Aussie morphsuit during the show?
I honestly did consider it, then I figured I sweat enough onstage just wearing normal clothes, so maybe not.
I feel like people won’t be paying attention to my jokes because they’ll just be laughing at my giant blue paunch the whole time.
What’s been the highlight of your comedy career so far?
Apart from getting to host the Triple J breakfast show, it’s honestly just been the experience of doing things that made me want to do comedy in the first place. I used to tape the Oxfam Comedy Galas every year off the TV onto VHS and watch them over and over again, so the fact that I’ve now got to do that same show (alongside some of my heroes) still makes me tingle.
Supporting Stephen Merchant – and him recording a message for me for my last breakfast show – that was kind of insane.
Oh and bringing laughter and joy to the common people or whatever the hell I’m supposed to put here to make me seem like a good person.
What’s next on the horizon?
I’m extremely excited to be doing the Mardi Gras coverage for SBS 2, I think that’s going to be a gay ol’ hoot. I’ll be touring this show to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth too, so that’ll keep me busy. And then just hopefully heaps of sex with hot people and drug-fuelled bungee jumping. You know, just the usual stuff.