One of Australia’s quirkiest comedians Sam Simmons is heading to WA this week for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow hitting His Majesty’s Theatre for three shows from Thursday, June 21 to Saturday, June 23. He will be joined by a stellar cast of national and international acts including Anne Edmonds, Daniel Fernandes (India), Suzi Ruffell (UK) and MC Sam Taunton. When BRAYDEN EDWARDS called, Sam Simmons was in Adelaide taking a break from shooting a new show “about a gorilla” and was looking forward to joining the roadshow in a few days’ time.
Hello Sam, how are things and what are you up today?
We’re just on a break from shooting right now with a bit of stuff to finish. Then I’m heading over to Perth next for these shows starting next Thursday, which will be my only time over there this year. I’d normally make it over a few times myself but this year I don’t have time. I haven’t done this for years either and it’s always been really fun.
What is it like travelling with other comedians?
Well if they’re arseholes it’s awful, but this is a good one fortunately. One of the other comedians, Anne Edmonds, is one of my best mates. I know Suzi Ruffell from the UK is really good and I only met Sam Taunton once but he’s really funny. But he’s also one of those guys that’s too good looking to be funny.
That’s not really fair is it?
No, I mean “Here’s a really good looking funny guy”—it’s like “whatever”.
For some comedians their whole brand is being an arsehole. It might be hard having to travel with them if they’re like that in real life too…
Yeah, a lot of people bring their problems onstage for sure. I think it’s got to a dangerous point now where they’re mining their personal lives and it’s like “Fuck, what’s the finale going to be for next year’s show? Someone pulling a gun out onstage and shooting themselves in the head?”
This show is going to be an interesting one for me as well because I’m quite sober. This will be my first tour without boozing and it’s going to be hard (laughs).
Yeah I can imagine, I mean a lot of us couldn’t imagine getting up in front of people to do stand up without having at least a few drinks. And observing your shows in particular, they can range from the quirky to the pretty bizarre. What kind of Sam Simmons are we going to see in Perth?
I think ‘problematic’ describes it best. That’s not a bad thing though actually. You want to be challenged, don’t you? As an audience you want to be there asking “What the hell is going on here?” or “Oh my God, what did he just say?” I think comedy should always be like that really. I mean, if you know what you’re buying that’s just like buying food you’ve had a thousand times before. With comedy you want something you’re not expecting. And that’s what’s so great about the roadshow, it’s a bit of everything. Obviously I’ve been cast as the weird guy…
You put your hand up for that role in particular?
Well you can tell that’s the way it’s been cast but I’m happy to own it. At the end of the day I’m there for me and I’m not there for you. If I was doing this just for the audience I probably wouldn’t have been half as successful. It might sound arrogant, but it’s really more about the fact I get a lot out of being in front of an audience.
Do you think any of the others on the roadshow have been cast for any particular roles as well?
Well Daniel Fernandes is clearly the ‘international fucking superstar’ and he’s going to be amazing but then they all are really. Anne Edmonds I think, along with Judith Lucy, is one of the two funniest people in the country.
And what else is in the works for Sam Simmons this year?
Well I’m about to wrap up a film in Adelaide about a gorilla which is really weird. I’m in the middle of that at the moment. Then there’s working on telly shows and travelling. I’m going to the US and Darwin in August so lots of travel, which is good. Bit hard with a baby, that’s all, but plenty to look forward to.