Sydney’s Stand-up Comedy Scene: it’s no laughing matter
Look no further for Sunday night plans going forward, open mic stand-up comedy is set to become a staple of Sunday evening entertainment in Downtown Sydney!
What started as a couple shows on a whim has turned into a regular event with a dedicated following. Open Mic Stand-Up Comedy at Daniel’s now runs every Sunday at 8.
The poster for the initial run of comedy nights. They are now scheduled to continue Sunday nights for the foreseeable future (photo: Joel Inglis).
I spoke with Ian Brodie and Joel Inglis about their love of stand-up comedy and their initial involvement organizing the events.
Ian Brodie is a professor of folklore at CBU, whose doctoral dissertation and first book were about stand-up comedy; although Brodie admits his own stand-up career is more recent. “I’ve been a fan my entire life. When I was looking for topics for my dissertation… I recognized that stand-up would be a good field as an object of inquiry based, in part, on a reasonably ‘fan boy’ voluminous knowledge of it…”
Knowing his background in stand-up research, Brodie was approached by Joel Inglis a couple years ago for a stand-up event, and they’ve done amateur stand-up together several times since then.
Brodie explains the motivation for their latest offering. “…We had been talking about wouldn’t it be great if there was a more regular show as opposed to the sporadic ones that have been organized over the years.”
“… why don’t we try it out a couple weeks and see how it goes? And it seems to have been successful!”
(University of Mississippi Press)
The most current iteration of stand-up seems to have staying power. “I’ve actually been very impressed!” Says Joel Inglis, CBU alumnus and former Chair of Caper Radio.“There’ve been nights that have been packed and nights when its been slow, but there’s never been a night when I said that I’m disappointed we’re doing this, so we’re going to keep going and see if it builds into something.”
The open-mic is open to performers of all experience levels.
“Everyone that’s been getting up on stage so far is amateur. No-one has serious paid experience or anything like that.”
“I just want to really welcome anyone who’s interested to come get up on stage, see if it’s something they’re interested in… So far anyone who has tried it either has tried it again or is interested in trying it again.”
Some performers newer to stand-up come back week after week to try new material and hone their craft.
Be honest, did you really have better plans for Sunday evening?
Inglis stresses that the expectations for amateur stand-up aren’t too high; not to say you can’t still have fun.
“Five minutes of trying to make a room full of people laugh kind of seems like the most intimidating thing—until you realize that everyone there has the expectation of an amateur open mic night; no-one thinks they’re going to see Jerry Seinfeld.”
“The expectation of the crowd is completely in line with the quality of the comedy, which is really nice…”
As of press time, Mr. Seinfeld has not performed the open mic at Daniel’s. He’s probably too busy with his side-gig, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Michael Kennedy, a Nursing Student at CBU, will host this week’s open mic. “We haven’t had a bad show yet, really” says Kennedy.
It’s not just amateur stand-up happening in Sydney either: Professional comedian Nick Beaton will perform this Monday at Governor’s.
Kennedy along with open mic stand-up regular Mike Gillis will be the opening acts.
“He’s a real deal professional comic from Sydney… He’s got really smart material; some social commentary kind of stuff… He’s very talented and an impressive comedian.”
Check out some of Beaton’s stand-up here.