Has it really only been a year? After what seems forever the 2010 Melbourne International Comedy Festival finally kicks off proper next week. Here at Mint Custard we’ll be trying to bring you a bit of a taste of what’s happening at the festival, as well as sharing our twopenceworth on shows to see and how to see them.
To kick off the coverage I’m chuffed to bits to be able to share with you an interview with Mr Josh Earl, one quarter of 3RRR’s top light entertainment comedy troupe, the Lime Champions. Josh is performing solo at this year’s festival with his new show Josh Earl vs. the Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book. I’ll leave it up to Josh to tell you what it’s about. Here’s what he had to say...
Hi Josh – thanks for talking to Mint Custard. Where are you right now? I’m currently at home looking at a big pile washing up to do but procrastinating and watching American College basketball. It is ridiculous.
You’ve got almost a full month of shows ahead - have you been doing any Rocky/Team America-style training montages to prepare? Totally, I’ve been punching dead animal carcasses with a marionette, but this isn’t any different to how I normally roll. Seriously though I have just performed the show at the Adelaide Fringe and the Brisbane Comedy Festival so Melbourne should be a lot less nerve-wracking than normal as the show is already tested and complete.
What in a word is your show about? Cakes
What in a foreign word is your show about? Le Cakes
How many people are involved in putting on your show each night? Well I’m the only one performing it, but the festival provide me with a tech and a front of house person, I don’t know who these people are though yet.
I’ve always wanted to be a guest on the Muppet Show. I like the way they come to your dressing room to talk about issues in their lives or tell you there’s ‘five minutes to stage’. Is that what it’s like for you backstage before shows? Backstage for me is usually a curtain covering a brick wall in which I hide behind, with no toilet for a pre show wee. Last year I had to wee into a bottle backstage and I was convinced that the audience could smell it for the entire show
Do you have any good luck charms or superstitions? Not to piss into bottles before a show. And to take everything out of my pockets.
As a dessert-based blog your show caught our eye. What’s the best cake anyone ever made for you? My mum made me the dump truck from the Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book, which is full of lollies - but she also added a trailer to the back with even more lollies. This was good until we realised that a dump truck would never have a trailer on the back. What a bogan.
What is fairy bread about? Fairy bread is wrong, and the name doesn’t even make sense. At least cut the bread into wings or something. It should be called pixelated bread because that’s what it looks like.
Do real men eat cupcakes? Yes, it’s fake men who don’t eat cup cakes because they are mannequins.
Why don’t you see Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver making cakes in the shape of trains or football fields? Surely that’s what the public really want to see. It would be good to see a challenge on Masterchef where they have to make the swimming pool cake. That would be interesting to watch, if only for George [Calombaris] to eat it really quick and get jelly and cake all over him.
As a comedian and musician you must dream of doing a rock opera one day. Who do you think is ripe for a Jesus Christ Superstar-type tribute? I think the beer poet that stands outside of the Rose Street Market would be a good person to pay homage to in a Rock Opera, and he would probably help promote the show by handing out flyers for it.
Both you and Justin have your own separate shows at the festival this year. Have you thought about combining your powers like the magic rocks in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and bringing a Lime Champions spectacular to the stage? We were talking about it but I already had this show idea, Justin was too busy with his writing, and Eva and Damien are both really busy with something they call ‘real life’ - but hopefully one day. Maybe at the Fringe? But we do have an idea to do a show at the Northcote Plaza on the stage they have set up during school holidays...
Can you ever see a version of Lime Champions making it to TV? Maybe. That’s something that would hopefully work, but I don’t think any commercial network would really go for it. I’d love to see our ‘slug-sex’ sketch animated. That would be brilliant.
What international act would you bring out to perform at the Melbourne Comedy Festival if you had the chance? Steven Wright came out a few years ago but was on at the same time as me so I couldn’t see him, so maybe him again but in a timeslot that suited me... and I’d love to see the League of Gentlemen live.
Are there any shows that you’d recommend at this year’s festival or ones that you’re looking forward to seeing? Yes, I think Melinda Buttle’s show Sista Got Flow is really funny. I saw it in Adelaide and can recommend that one. Tim Key is amazing and I can’t wait for his show, Slutcracker. And I really want to see Tig Ontario at the Hi-Fi Bar. Rich Fulcher should also be good – and he’ll be a guest on Lime Champions too on the 29th of March.
Sorry to admit this but I don’t like cake – will I still like your show? I hope so. I don’t force people to eat it or anything, but if you have any memories at all about this book then you should hopefully like the show. I had some overseas people in one night in Brisbane who had never heard of the book before and they said they loved the show. Hopefully they were telling the truth...
Josh Earl vs. the Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book is showing at the Swiss Club, 89 Flinders Lane (btw Russell & Exhibition Sts), Melbourne Tuesday to Sunday from 25 March to 18 April 2010.
Listen to the Lime Champions live every Monday evening from 7-8pm on 3RRR 102.7FM if you’rer in Melbourne or via their online stream for the rest of the world.