Mess Around – Melbourne March 25

Mess Around – Melbourne March 25

Oh dear, I may have gone too far…

OK, tonight’s show (the first of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival) started the usual way. I found some interesting people in the crowd – a couple of teenagers called Tom and Tessa – a few latecomers, some young girls in the front row (who copped more abuse from me than they deserved for their youth) and then an IT manager called Chris. As is my wont, I decided to haul Chris on stage for a photo for the blog.

Chris seemed game for a laugh and said he could tell a few jokes, so I suggested he could become a regular part of the show. Maybe every Thursday could be Chris Hughes night, and he could tell a few jokes as part of each show. The guy sitting next to Chris claimed to be his “agent” so we began haggling over a fee.

I told the audience that the theme of this year’s show is that each and every person in the room is more interesting to me than so-called “celebrities” and used Shiloh Jolie Pitt (apparently the first born of Brad and Angelina) as an example. I then decided that my mission for the rest of the Festival would be to make Chris Hughes more famous than the Pitt offspring. That’s when it got weird.

I asked around and found someone in the crowd that worked for Business Review Weekly magazine, and another who had a contact at The Age. I figured we could use them to make Chris a star. But how to make him famous? I figured the best ways to become famous right now in Australia are – 1) make a joke about Bindi Irwin 2) be involved in an inappropriate on-air scandal or 3) be photographed semi nude in the shower.

Chris baulked at all three, but did concede to the final one. After consulting his agent however, he upped the ante. Chris told me he would only take part in all this, if I promised to publicise a charity called the Simon Rhoden Foundation which raises funds to deal with Cystic Fibrosis. I agreed but then said that we should set ourselves a target.

It was then somehow decided that if we could raise $20,000 by the end of the Festival, Chris would strip to bicycle shorts. $50,000 and he’d strip to Speedos (or as it was put to me – “budgie smugglers”). $100,000 and he and his agent would nude up. I again agreed, but since the season is already sold out, and the crowd won’t be able to buy tickets to see it – we should do it in a public place.

So if we can raise $20,000 for the Simon Rhoden Foundation by the end of the Festival, Chris Hughes the sexy IT guy will strip on stage at Federation Square in Melbourne on the final night of the Festival.

I then took this sexy photo of Chris the IT Manager to use for publicity;


and asked for captions. The best included:

“Bond…James Bond…Retired”

“Got Spam?”

“Byte me!”

“Is he looking sexy or has he just thrown his hip?”

“Isn’t your e-mail address”

“You’d be amazed how much RAM I can squeeze into these pants”

but the audience favourite was:

Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?”

So, the challenge is this: to raise as much money as we can by the end of the Festival for the Simon Rhoden Foundation, by making an IT Manager called Chris Hughes a star. It was suggested that we should start by creating posters of Chris with the above slogan.

Sadly I ran out of time in the show, so I asked Chris and his “agent” to come back to the show tomorrow night, along with a German lady and her boyfriend who happened to be sitting next to them. I’m not sure what they can bring to the party, but her German efficiency combined with the fact that he is a butcher might lead us somewhere. I also invited an intelligent and classy woman in the audience who was a landscape gardener. Again, not sure why, maybe she can manscape him before the strip.

I have absolutely no idea where this will go from here. Hopefully the Age and BRW contacts will lead us somewhere. Maybe Chris’ IT skills will help me find a way to link my blogs to the charity’s website. Perhaps the butcher is a marketing whiz.

Keep following it all here on my daily blog, and I will keep you updated as the Festival proceeds.

Oh God, and it’s only Day One.


PS Don’t forget to check out the shows I am producing this year – Wilson Dixon, Adam Vincent, David Smiedt and Pedro Tochas.


  • Jen

    26.03.2010 at 01:16 Reply

    Hi adam,
    Firstly I have sent you an email as directed to via your website.
    secondly I wish I had of made tonight show. Tonight gets a big middle finger salute to the Football and for making a 25-30min car ride into one that lasted over 2 hours making me miss the show (my best friend also missed out because i had the tickets). Good luck for the rest of the shows and i hope Chris gets many donations and also hope you can reply to my email. I look forward to continuing to read your blog.
    Jen – currently sad and dissapointed due to tonights football traffic situation.

  • Dazza of Darwin

    26.03.2010 at 07:45 Reply

    Hey Adam,

    Great show!!

    I reckon social networking and trad media combined should make this guy a star???

    Perhaps if your the handouts at the end of the night could include a link back to this blog post, and you ask every audience member to post that to their Twitter and facebook, with some slogan like ‘Chris Hughes is the sexiest IT MAnager & stripper fundraiser in Melbourne’ (or maybe something…. I dunno, catchy) with the link, it could also generate a lot of interest.

    In case chris hasn’t thought about it, after we’d left the show I remembered that paypal had an ability to accept/receive payments for donations – Good luck – will be watching the blog as we leave Melbourne to go back home on Tuesday!!!


  • Kate McQueen

    26.03.2010 at 13:49 Reply

    Hi Dave, Wonderful choice with sexy IT guru Chris Hughes and his wily secret agent. It seems serendipity has sent some much needed support & publicity in our direction! THANK YOU. I am Kate, the co-founder & Executive Office of the Simon Rhoden Foundation, established in memory of Simon, who passed away from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in 2002. We have been helping those with CF ever since. We fund a specialized massage service to help relieve the CF symptoms and the CF sufferers really want and need this service. Thank you for your support and for choosing Chris and us (!?). We will help in any way we can. Our website email : for any queries. Please feel free to donate directly! (We can fwd the BSB and Accnt details if appropriate). Well done Chris and secret agent. And top work Adam !
    Kate, on behalf of the SRF committee & foundation. Enjoy the rest of the Festival ! Looking forward to the strip IT show bonanza. THANK YOU AGAIN .

  • Jane Lindhe

    26.03.2010 at 15:51 Reply

    Hiya Adam,
    Great show last night. I am that pesky BRW journalist from the crowd last night. Feel free to get in contact if I can help in any way. I don’t like Shilou Jolie-Pitt much either.

  • Kellie and Jessie

    26.03.2010 at 18:02 Reply

    Hey Adam
    we love you lots…
    we are the girls you yelled at in the front row yesterday, what a beautiful day
    we were just wondering since we are not booked into see your show again till the 7th and dont think we can wait quite that long, would you be able to get tickets for us for tomorrow or the next day, Saturday or Sunday
    if so, amazing, if not, disappointing
    we will pay any price we just want to go again and again…
    after all you did yell at us…
    Thank you (maybe)

  • Kate McQueen

    26.03.2010 at 18:41 Reply

    Ah, Hi ADAM, I am not sure who Dave is, perhaps I got confused when typing the letters are rather similar… I have recently had a baby so that could also explain. How embarrassing. Ok, well, have great show tonight. Maybe Dave, your alter ego will be there too? Apologies, Kate McQ

  • Kellie and Jessie

    26.03.2010 at 18:45 Reply

    hello Adam
    we love you lots…
    we are those two girls that you yelled at form the front row of your amazing show
    anyway we are not booked in to see your show till the 7th and we were wondering if you would magically be able to get us tickets to you show for tomorrow or the next day, cause we just don’t think we can wait that long…
    if so, amazing, if not, disappointing
    thank you (maybe)

  • Lizzie C

    26.03.2010 at 19:28 Reply

    Hey Adam
    After last night’s show I figured all us Chris Hughes fans needed a place to rally, hence I created the ‘Official Chris Hughes Fan Club’ on Facebook. Although, after last night’s show we’ve apparently all moved on from Facebook…
    In any case, the link for anyone interested is:
    thanks for a great show!

  • ellie

    26.03.2010 at 21:52 Reply

    hi adam 🙂

    my name is ellie

    im the girl who has the contact at the age. FAB! so you are my favirote comedian. im just asking how i can get the recording of that nights show because i cant get it.
    thanx and keep yup the gr8 work 🙂

    from ellie

  • jo

    26.03.2010 at 22:44 Reply

    hey adam just saying thought the show was so amazing!! but personallyy i think u should of let the whole crowd come back everynight!! as i said if u need any help distributing posters send some down torquay way and i shall get them throughout torquay and geelong!! good luck wwith the rest of the shows!! and may chris be a very very famous man soon!!

  • Joe

    27.03.2010 at 10:37 Reply

    Hey Adam,
    Thought the show was fantastic! Buzzed that Bacchus Marsh got a mention too. I wonder how Mr. Passionate-about-pizza, Arthur, would react to your impersonation of him – would love to give him a copy of the recording, that was hilarious!
    Great work.

    P.S. Is there a way we can monitor Chris Hughes’ progress with the donations? Like a cheesy cash thermometer with Chris’s head on the top? hahaha

  • Tessa

    27.03.2010 at 14:08 Reply

    hey adam,
    Im Tessa one of the 13 year olds from your first show i thiought it was the best one i saw all weekend i loved all the storeys you told they were good, the next night i saw chris in a chinese resturant after your second show we talked for a minute and i thought that was pretty cool i hope the making him famous works!

  • Tessa Mitchell

    27.03.2010 at 16:33 Reply

    Hi Adam,
    It’s Tessa, I was with my twin Tom at your first show. We had lots of fun, and thought it was the best show that we went to at the festival. Thanks for putting our names of the blog.
    We saw Chris in Chinatown last night and recognized him! He’s getting famous already.
    Tom & I tithe $10 a week to different causes & we decided to give it to you guys this week and next week too.
    Mum joined Twitter & we are joining the Facebook page too so we can keep up with what happens.
    Mum says to say she still loves her “Hope” TShirt that she got from your show a few years ago, thinks you’ll be a lovely dad and had no idea the answer to the Shiloh question.

  • Joann

    28.03.2010 at 14:06 Reply

    Hi Adam
    Again, thanks for a wonderful night. And for not minding when I asked if you could move back so I could see more than your nose hair!!! May I suggest that you include yourself in every photo for the calendar – will sell heaps more that way I’m sure. Good luck and I will wait to hear details of Chris’s grand unveiling!!!!

  • heather

    29.03.2010 at 13:11 Reply

    Hi Adam
    Loved the show on Friday night! So glad that you finally thought of having a bucket at the door for donations for Chris – I didn’t like to yell out the obvious on Friday! Good luck to Chris and the foundation with their $20,000 goal.

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