You have to be a pretty good comedian to wring more humour out of something that is already a farce – Australian parliament – but Sammy J has managed to do it on a regular basis with better than average success. His popular short skit series on the ABC, imaginatively titled Sammy J, features several alter egos, each with their own distinct take on domestic politics. Those personalities will all appear live on his Major Party National Tour.
“Being on stage with an audience, that’s where I started and that’s what I love doing. This is the first time I’ve put all these characters on stage…Playground Politics, the Government Coach, National Yoga – all these stupid characters that I’ve been doing on TV, they’ll have a chance to shine, alongside me doing stand-up and singing songs as well,” says Sammy.
It’s a solo show and Sammy hasn’t quite sorted out how he’ll achieve the character transitions, but he has a rough plan.
“Let’s just say there’ll be some quick change costumes on hand, well-placed sound effects, and some audience involvement,” he says, somewhat cryptically.
The room itself will be decorated with balloons, banners etcetera, playing with the “party” double entendre.
Sammy has had a long career in comedy, on stage and in television, with a string of popular shows on the ABC including a sitcom with his occasional partner, Randy (a puppet). It’s garnered him a wide and diverse fan base. When he first started doing his current series based on political issues, he was worried he’d run out of material, but then along came the Barnaby Joyce scandal and leadership spill.
“Sadly, disarray and chaos are bad for the country but good for comedy,” says Sammy. He makes a point of being politically neutral and not making any personal commentary.
“I try and let my sketches reflect what I think is the funniest aspect of the news that week,” he says. “There’s no shortage of comedians out there with their own public opinions but that’s not me.”
Jun 7. The Concourse, 409 Victoria Ave, Chatswood. $44.90-$47.95+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.theconcourse.com.au
Jun 8. The Factory, 105 Victoria Rd, Marrickville. $41.90-$44.95+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.factorytheatre.com.au
By Rita Bratovich