I love to make people laugh and put a smile on their face. I also enjoy someone who can make me laugh out loud. A few of my favorite comedians are Joan Rivers, Wendy Liebman, Sandra Bernhard, Ellen DeGeneres, and Jessica Kirson.
When Australian comedian Joel Creasey was presented to me, I took a gander at his work. What I found was a bright, young, fresh comedian, who made me laugh out loud! I'm so excited to have had the chance to interview Joel about his start in comedy and upcoming show The Hurricane at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC from November 13-15 (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue, inside the West Bank Cafe).
In this show Joel recounts hilarious stories drawn from his time spent in locations as diverse as the African Jungle (where he competed on the reality TV show I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! opposite Maureen "Marcia Brady" McCormick), Hollywood (where he was invited to a gay celebrity orgy), and, of course, across Australia. Click here for tickets!
1. Let's start from the beginning. Who or what inspired you to become a stand-up comedian? Well I really thought I was going to be a serious actor...but every time I got up on stage people laughed. So I really had no other choice than to be a stand up. It was either that or get a real job.
2. What comedians today, do you enjoy watching? I love all the ladies of comedy. I think they're so much funnier than the men. I of course adored Joan Rivers. I do also love Jen Kirkman, Margaret Cho, Heather McDonald, Tig Notaro and Rachel Feinstein.
3. I've watched a bunch of your stand-up clips online and hope to get to catch you in person when you are in NY. You are very adorable and quite funny! When you decided to go into stand-up comedy, did you go in with the notion you would be an openly gay comedian? As an openly gay comedian, do you feel you've encountered any challenges that a straight comedian might not encounter? Absolutely. Every time I walk out on stage I have to deal with the whole "will they be cool with it?" thing. Fortunately it's 2015 so it's rare that there are any backward dicks in the crowd. Having said that, I quite enjoy the challenge of turning a crowd around. Some of my best gigs are at football clubs or out in country towns. Places where a camp man like myself aren't commonplace.
4. At just 24 years old, you have had quite a career already! You've had your own ABC2 TV standup comedy special, opened for Joan Rivers and were a finalist on I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! What has it been like to watch your career rise so quickly? What is the hardest adjustment you've had to your growing popularity? It has been incredibly exciting and I'm so thrilled it's all working. Touch wood. I guess for me, particularly in Australia, people feel like they know me and unfortunately some people make up their mind that they seriously don't like me based on what they've seen on television. But whatever. I feel that, as a comic, if some people don't hate you then you're not doing your job properly.
5. I am a big Joan Rivers fan. What was the best part about opening for her? What did you learn from her? To be in her presence was just so cool. She was such a beautiful, humble, inspiring lady. I remember she told me to "Just be funny. All that matters is to be funny." It sounds like such basic advice from one comedian to another but I think there's more to it when you look into it. It's really stuck with me.
6. This November, you are blowing into the Laurie Beechman Theatre with your new tour The Hurricane, where you will recount hilarious stories drawn from your time spent in locations as diverse as the African Jungle (where you competed on the reality TV show I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! opposite Maureen "Marcia Brady" McCormick), Hollywood (where you were invited to a gay celebrity orgy), and, of course, across Australia. What is one hilarious story you wanted to put in your show, but didn't get to? And, please tell us the story. Well I do remember on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (which is basically Celebrity Survivor) we were camping in the deep jungle of Africa and were told on the first day not to look the baboons in the eyes as they're quite territorial and it can start a turf war. Well within half an hour of being there Maureen McCormick had clocked a baboon right in the eyes. For the next 6 weeks the baboons hated us and would not leave us alone. They basically wanted to kill Marcia Brady.
7. Competing opposite Maureen McCormick on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! What was it like to compete against her? Did you feel she was good competition or did you just want to throw a football at her to get her out of the competition? Haha! She was truly one of the loveliest, most eccentric people I have ever met. She looks incredible as well. But everybody got on my nerves on that show. Camping with 10 other celebrities for 6 weeks is exhausting. So yes, there were some days I just wished the baboons would just come and take Marcia Brady out.
8. What excites you most about returning to New York City? I don't know how to answer this. New York is just such a damn cool city so I can't wait to be back amongst that unique New York atmosphere. Plus drinks are much cheaper in the States...and you guys free pour too...so I do love that!!
9. Since the show is titled The Hurricane, has there been a time in your life when you felt it was spinning out of control? If so, what was that time, how did you get through it and what did you learn from that experience? Oh constantly. I'm on the road 80% of the year and my work never really stops so there are days I let it overwhelm me. But all you can really do is just step back and take stock of the situation and take a deep breath. And as Joan Rivers told me..."just be funny."
10. How did you get the nickname Acid Tongue Prince? It actually came from a negative review. I think the reviewer meant it as a bit of a jab at me. I was so flattered though and it's stuck ever since. I was like "Wow! He thinks I'm royalty!"
11. How do you feel you've grown as a comedian since starting out? I've definitely drunk a lot more than I would had I been in any other profession. But I do think I clearly have a style now that no other comedian is doing, certainly not in Australia. And I have been so lucky to build such a beautiful fan base who delight me every time they rock up to a show. It's very cool.
Over the past 5 years, openly gay Aussie comic Joel Creasey has taken the Australian comedy festival circuit by storm, scored his own ABC2 TV standup comedy special, opened for Joan Rivers and won a legion of fans as a finalist on I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! Lovingly referred to as Australia’s "Acid Tongue Prince," Joel, already has an impressive list of TV credits including two of his own stand-up specials and a Just For Laughs gala filmed for television at the Sydney Opera House. He is one Australia’s youngest, brightest, and most sought-after comedians.
Appearing seemingly out of nowhere at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2010, Joel quickly became the talk of the town with his debut – ultimately earning him a nomination for the prestigious Best Newcomer Award; at just 19 years of age, Joel was one of the youngest ever nominees. Since then, Joel has toured the country performing solo as well as with the prestigious Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow, alongside a selection of Australia’s best comedians. In a short time Joel has built a cult following that is rapidly growing into the wider comedy community. People everywhere falling in love with his intelligent observations, acerbic style and pop-culture expertise.