It’s the season to be jolly. Certainly, in current times everyone needs a hearty dose of the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Before one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world begins, Anna Lozynski spoke to two comedians, homegrown, Fiona O’Loughlin and British born, John Moloney.

John Moloney1. Tell us what the audience can expect from your Melbourne show? 
John: One hour of jokes, with some songs.
Fiona: An absolute vision. I've had a lot of work done since last year.

2. Describe your delivery style in three words. What, if anything, has changed about your delivery style over time?  

John: Deadpan. Sardonic. Laid-back. Nothing has changed in twenty years. If it ain’t broke…… 
Fiona: Conspiratorial, animated and sneaky. I use the stage way more than I did when I first started out. Nowadays I like to almost "act out" my stories.

3. At which point do you know you have a receptive audience? 

John: Within 30 seconds on average.
Fiona: The second I open my mouth.

4. Name a subject matter you frequently use in your performance material? Why? 

John: The usual suspects – sex, drugs, politics, religion – you know the score.
Fiona: Humiliation, my own. It saves me a fortune in therapy.

5. What is the most amusing thing an audientee has yelled out at one of your shows?   
John: He’s a lesbian!
Fiona: "What a load of rubbish, that wasn't her, it was her sister Catherine!" My Mother is a stickler for the truth.

6. What keeps you busy outside of the festival circuit?  

John: My children. It’s exhausting but continually beautiful.
Fiona: Writing, corporate gigs, cooking and cleaning.

7. When did you know you seriously wanted to pursue a career in stand up? 

John: The first time I went to the London Comedy Store. I was hooked immediately.
Fiona: Watching Bob Franklin on stage at the "Star and Garter" back in 1992.

Fiona O'Loughlin 8. Which memory still haunts you from your first gig? 
John: I still feel the fear now and again. I was twenty – what has a twenty year old got to say to a room of grown-ups?
Fiona: One of my legs started shaking so badly I had to actually grab hold of it and try to keep it still. It looked a bit like I was having an epileptic fit.

9. What do you now know that you wish you had discovered at the beginning of your career?

John: That I shouldn’t judge people’s behaviour by my own standards.
Fiona: Everybody dies a comedy death from time to time and it isn't the end of the world.

10. Do you have a pre-performance ritual? 

John: A bit of pacing up and down, but that’s about it.
Fiona: I ring my parents while I'm backstage with the same line every time: "Do you know if you'd raised me properly I'd be home with my children".

11. What makes you laugh time after time?
John: The Siamese twins/trombone gag.
Fiona: In my case it’s not what, but who. Akmal.

12. Finally, what are you most looking forward to about this year's festival?

John: Building on the audience that I got last year. And hopefully giving value for money with an hour of jokes.
Fiona: Laughing myself inside out with Lawrence Mooney.

Fiona O’Loughlin performs Her Greatest Hits at the Supper Room, Melbourne Town Hall. Further information»

John Moloney performs One Hour of Jokes at
Swiss House, 89 Flinders Lane. Further information»

Related Articles

Vanessa Pigrum Vanessa Pigrum
Vanessa Pigrum is an animateur, director, dramaturge & creative producer. She is currently Artistic Director of the Victorian Arts Centre’s FULL TILT program. Vanessa spoke to Australian...
Mike Finch Mike Finch
He began his career at Circus Oz in a work experience capacity making coffee in 1992. Five years later, he returned as Artistic Director and co-CEO. Before the premiere of Circus Oz: Barely...

Most read reviews

TakeOver | Bangalow Theatre Company

The audience for any one night is divided into five groups of twelve people, each of which walks between the venues, so that there is only a Covid-safe number of people in any venue at any one time.

Gaslight | State Theatre Company South Australia

Gaslight is an entertaining, non-convoluted, engaging and superbly written piece, so that it stands up well after 80 years, especially when its traditional strength is imaginatively blended with some non- traditional contemporary casting.

QPAC Unlocked: An Evening with Amy Lehpamer

The night progressed, Amy showcasing her many talents, singing and playing the violin, and then indulging us, inviting her partner to perform alongside for a few songs on the acoustic guitar.

Ash Grunwald | NORPA

Intimate and interactive, Ash Grunwald showed us a small part of what he is made of, musically. Ash has written a book ‘Surf by Day, Jam by Night’ and has also, with his wife, created Earth Bottles, dealing with problems of single-use plastics, encompassing drink bottles, coffee cups and straws. So much talent wrapped up with so many guitars.

Most read news

Victoria’s Dance Studios Under Siege

Ausdance Victoria reveals an alarming 92% of studio owners are worried their business won’t survive to March 2021. 

Sydney Theatre Company Returns to the Stage

Sydney Theatre Company today announced its current plans for the remainder of the 2020 season including a return to the stage with a COVIDSafe, socially distanced season of Angus Cerini’s Wonnangatta.

ACO to resume live public performances at City Recital Hall

The Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) has today announced its musicians will return to the concert hall for the first time in six months.

New research shows arts increasingly important to Australians

Australians increasingly recognise the vital role of arts and creativity in almost every aspect of our lives, from education to mental health to strengthening local economies.

New grant initiative for disadvantaged and POC artists

Be You Inc. have recently launched a new grant initiative to provide financial assistance for disadvantaged and POC artists auditioning for tertiary performing arts programs this year.