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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Very Amusing - I Just Stumbled Upon Aunty Donna - The Australian Comedy Trio

Once upon a time I was the manager of the Sydney Comedy Store at Fox Studios, and at the time I was probably the youngest person to ever manage a stand-up comedy venue that size, the largest in Australia. I had tried my hand at comedy stand-up but when I felt the venue was run down I approached the then owner and asked him for the chance to re-vamp it. He saw my enthusiasm and milked it for all it was worth and a pittance of a salary. But such is the exuberance of the young, they often overlook the cunning of the older people who will gladly exploit that enthusiasm.

Janey Sweetapple, I think that was the name of the existing theatre manager at the time, who did not know about websites, internet ticketing, digital marketing etc. It was when the world was making that sluggish change from advertising in The Drum Media newspaper to new digital means such as MySpace, and Facebook was still 2 years away. I soon took her job.

In the year I spent managing the unusual temperaments of comedians and slowly exhibiting what was possibly the early stages of alcoholism, or, at the very least, alcohol dependency, I could feel myself being sucked into the world of comedy. A world of dark places where in order to conjure up the funniest and wittiest remarks you needed to have a very dark side which you went down the rabbit hole of to come up the other side holding a gag.

On the weekend I was discussing this experience, which was circa 2002, with a documentary and television producer who was delving in the world of comedy more recently. We discussed the fate of some of the comedians we both knew of and one of the sad facts about a life in comedy is that most of the comics don't make it. A handful can sell out the Enmore or the Opera House, fewer have the stamina to maintain it as a lifelong career and even fewer end up making it onto the silver screen and beyond. What is more, it's often hard to find really fresh new talent. Which brings me to my point. The said television producer asked me if I had seen the recent trio Auntie Donna - which I hadn't. His son then piped up 'Dad, it's weird, it's not funny' which immediately piqued my curiosity.

Aunty Donna is fresh talent. And though I cannot tell you why I laughed that hard, and whilst I cannot say that I found it quite as funny on my second and thirtieth viewing, it certainly is fresh and it is absurdly funny and I love that it contains a lot of humour that very much relates to Australian society. My favourite episode being the Tea Party which I post below.

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