Mess Around: The Blogs Are Back!

Mess Around: The Blogs Are Back!


Well, it has been a while between blogs – mainly due to the fact that I haven’t been doing any shows – so Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Australia Day.

Spicks and Specks has officially returned to the ABC, and I have officially returned to the stage – having already completed a few trials of my new show “Mess Around”.

Basically the idea this year is to simply “mess around” with the audience as much as possible every night, in order to prove my theory that there is enough material in the crowd to provide a show. So far, that theory has been justified.

Here’s what has happened so far:

Trial 1: Vibe Bar, Fitzroy. The most memorable audience member was a woman who ran Murder Mystery weekends. After ensuring she wasn’t actually murdering the guests herself, her husband piped in that “when she realised you were on tonight she said ‘I wish I had brought clean underwear so he could sign them’ ”.

She followed with – “You’re the only celebrity I’ve ever, you know, thought about sexually”

When I asked if this was a one-off, she replied “No, every Wednesday night at 8.30, and then the repeats on ABC 2 on Thursdays”

This obviously supplied much merriment, after which I asked if she times it to finish with me saying “Goodnight Australia” at the end of every episode.

(For any overseas readers, this is a reference to the TV show Spicks and Specks, what I host)

Trial 2: The Local, St Kilda. I noticed that I could see trams pulling up outside the venue whilst I was on stage, and decided to try to convince someone to get off the tram and come into the gig.

The first tram that stopped caused us to wave at a couple and offer them a beer if they came in. They looked at each other, nodded, then came into the show, onto the stage, and received a massive round of applause.

I asked what made them come in. He said:
“I looked at my wife and said – That looks like Adam Hills in there. And she said – Nah, he can’t be that broke”

Trial 3: 303, Northcote. I peered down from the stage to see a young man called Nick, wearing a Huey Lewis and the News Tour shirt. I asked his age – he said he was 25.

I decided that he could only remain wearing the shirt if he could name an album and two songs by Huey Lewis and the News. He said “Sports” was an album, and named “The Power Of Love”, then stalled and asked “Does the duet with Gwyneth Paltrow count?”

I immediately confiscated his shirt, then tried to call Ticketmaster to buy him a ticket to the concert. Alas Ticketmaster was closed, so I took Nick’s number and promised to take him myself.

I then finished the show by grabbing Boris, the eighteen year old nephew of a Scientist, and forced five ladies to do a sexy dance to him, while “The Power of Love” played.

Trial 4: I found this guy in the crowd, and thought he looked like Shane Warne:


I then tweeted the photo to see who my followers thought he looked like. Warnie was the overwhelming response, although there were more than a few suggestions of Perez Hilton the celebrity blogger. There was also the suggestion of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Peter Helliar.

Someone said he looked like a fashion victim. Harsh.

A quick reccy of the crowd also found a possible drug deal going down in the corner, the promoter of a comedy night in the posh suburb of Toorak – which prompted me to impersonate a bit of Toorak stand up “Inheritance Tax? What’s all that about?” – and the staff of a call centre.

Which call centre? Ticketmaster!

I immediately called Nick from the Northcote gig and told him I now had a contact for Huey Lewis and the News, that the offer to see the show was still on, and that I would try to arrange a meeting between him and Huey.

He seemed both confused and keen.

So, after four trial shows I seem to have already established a narrative that involves middle-aged women thinking about me in a sexytime way, strangers hopping off trams, and a 25 year old meeting Huey Lewis.

I will endeavour to keep you updated with the blogs from each show, starting with the official kick off of the tour, this Thursday at the Sydney Comedy Store. There will then be shows in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. There may be more show in other cities later, but for now that’s all we have scheduled.

It’s not so much of a tour this year, as, well, a bit of a Mess Around.

That’s all for now, but it certainly isn’t over.



  • SarahAC

    07.02.2010 at 18:05 Reply

    If things fall through with 25-year-old-Nick…please take ME to see Huey Lewis! Not only can I name his songs, I actually used one in my wedding ceremony. (We played “Happy to be Stuck With You while we signed the register)

    My hubby always gets told he looks like Peter Helliar. (He looks about as much like PH as that Warney dude in the photo – ie NOT MUCH!)

  • amy

    07.02.2010 at 23:41 Reply

    Cannot wait til the comedy festival shows!!! Already rolling around- dread to think what I’ll be like when it’s live!!

  • Haley

    08.02.2010 at 06:55 Reply

    Really hope you come back to the UK to do a few shows! missed you last time as I only saw you on Mock the Week after you’d been and gone, typical! lol. plus hope you grace Mock The Week again at some point…hope your ‘mess around’ in Australia goes well! x

  • Tim

    10.02.2010 at 11:26 Reply

    Blast! Had I only have known that you were doing trial shows in Melbourne…
    And knowing now that the title of your show actually dictates your intentions with the content, I want to see more than one!

  • Kat

    13.02.2010 at 01:17 Reply

    I’m really excited to see your Brisbane shows! When you are just messing about with the audience the funniest stuff comes out! I can hardly wait.

    I completely understand why Nick would wear that shirt. Even Huey Lewis has more cred than most bands on today. Which is more likely to get you beat up- Huey or My Chemical Romance>

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