Dave Hughes is back in Perth to bring his unique brand of laconic Aussie humour to The Regal Theatre until Saturday, October 18. He’s just returned from about eight weeks abroad, touring his show, Pointless, to places like LA, Canada and the UK. And now he’s taking a trip down memory lane with his whole family in tow to see the beautiful sights of the city where he got his comedy start.
When he decided to move to Perth, Hughes had dropped out of uni and had a friend with a panel van who was driving across the Nullarbor. So he said to his friend, “Alright, I’m gonna come with you.” He had a desire to do stand-up comedy, and says of moving across the country, “It sort of gave me the option of doing it a long way from where anybody could see me, to die in front of strangers instead of friends.”
He only stayed in Perth for a few years but was here long enough for Western Australians to claim him as one of their own. He says he’s looking forward to enjoying the weather, which is almost always guaranteed to be good. “I love Cottesloe Beach. I’m the whitest person on Cottesloe beach by the way. I’m the whitest white person in the world. Judging by my skin, I should really avoid it but I love it.”
He goes on to say, “The kids love the outdoor life, so we’ll head up to Kings Park, hang out at Scarborough. I might trot ‘em up to Wanneroo and show them where I used to pick cucumbers.” He may have a tough job trying to find that spot underneath the suburban sprawl that has crept over Wanneroo since he left.
As to why he, like so many other entertainers, musos and artists, left Perth for the East? He puts it simply: “If you want to be in different forms of media, that’s harder to do from Perth. If you wanted to have a life of a bricklayer, you’d want to stay in Perth. Or if you wanted to write a book and send it out from there, you could stay in Perth. Does Tim Winton still live there? You could be like him, he just spends a year sitting next to his typewriter,” he jokes.
He’s doing two shows a night on the weekend, which he says can be tricky. “I get halfway through the second set and I can start a story and go, ‘Fuck, have I told this story or not?’ Normally someone in the front row will think I’m about to have a stroke because I’ll just stare at them and look for acknowledgement in their eyes for whether they’ve already heard it or not. And so if they don’t look at me like ‘What the fuck?’ then I’ll keep going.”
So why should audiences go and see a stand-up show called Pointless? What’s the point? “Because the sun’s gonna burn out in about three billion years, and everything that we worry about is going to prove ultimately not worth worrying about,” he replies. “Life is wacky. I don’t know why we all get concerned about stuff when we’re all doomed, basically,” he laughs.
“Just relax. Mistakes are going to be forgotten, people. Relax and enjoy yourself.”