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Cheer Up, the king of Hard Chat is coming

ICON: Australian comedian Tom Gleeson will be  part of the Lismore Laughs 2016 NORPA program.
ICON: Australian comedian Tom Gleeson will be part of the Lismore Laughs 2016 NORPA program.

CHEER Up is Tom Gleeson's brand new stand-up comedy show.

The show is so new it has only been performed a couple of times, so don't go looking for videos on YouTube.

"Every year I do a new comedy show, it goes for an hour, so this year it's Cheer Up," Gleeson said.

"I just did it in Perth at the beginning of February, next I am going to do it in the Adelaide Fringe festival and then I go to Lismore, and after that I am going to Brisbane as part of my tour.

"I am doing all the capital cities around Australia plus Lismore and Wollongong, I don't know why, but I am," he laughs.

Gleeson said Cheer Up follows his tradition of wrapping his shows around politics and his life.

"The beginning of the show has a bit of politics," he said.

"Politics is fertile ground for comedy at the moment.

"I tend to stick to local politics, so I talk about Pauline Hanson, One Nation, Malcolm Turnbull... there is plenty of material there."

Gleeson said he is not focusing much on US President Donald Trump in this show.

"I feel like he's funny all by himself, without anyone needing to be involved."

He also talks about family life and the things that happen to him.

"This show contains 91% truth, so at the end I get the audience to try to guess what is the 9% I made up.

"Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they don't, and that's part of the fun.

"Sometimes they yell, 'I did not believe this or that' and I yell back 'Well, that actually happened.'

"That's always a fun way to finish the show."

Asked about his Hard Chat and Hard Quiz performances on ABC TV, and whether he was performing a character or showing a different side of himself, Gleeson said there was a reason for the different tone.

"Stand-up is an hour, and when you watch stand-up at a theatre for an hour you want to get to know someone for real, you can't really put a mask on.

"It's different when you are doing a two-minute routine.

"I don't even know how it started.

"Normally, when you are doing an interview you are personable, you ask them how are they, and are they enjoying being in Australia, for instance, and there is all these false niceties.

"Essentially, Hard Chat is the anti-interview, is the opposite to what you should do on an interview.

"Instead of being nice I insult guests, instead of smiling I don't give much away and I have a poker face, and when things don't go well I just let them not go well. I've been doing stand-up for 20 years so there is a very good chance people have seen me before and they know it's part of the joke."

  • At Lismore City Hall, 1 Bounty St, Friday, March 10, 7.30pm. $51. For details visit NORPA's website.

Topics:  lismore norpa northern rivers entertainment tom gleeson whatson


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