Trying to be an "actual good comedian"

23 April 2012 | 4:58 pm | Aleksia Barron

Dave Thornton on doing stand-up for 12-year-olds

Dave Thornton has had a big year. He's been getting his face on TV and playing shows everywhere from LA to Johannesburg. However, when it came to finding inspiration for his new show, The Some Of All The Parts. “I was asked to stand in front of a class of 12-year-olds and inspire them,” Thornton explains. “It weirded me out a little bit. I mean, they were 12!”

Faced with the daunting task of impressing a crowd well outside his target audience, he knew he couldn't swear or talk about anything off-colour, but was acutely aware of the worldliness of his audience. According to Thornton, it got a bit awkward. “So they're looking at me, like, 'Who is this bloke? We don't care about jokes about planking! Give us something real!'”

”At the end...I asked the kids to ask any questions. One kid put his hand up and did say, 'Do you want to be, like, an actual good comedian?' I went, 'Oh, thanks for that.' [The whole experience] was almost like an existential crisis – do I tell them what they want to hear, or do I tell them the actual truth? You'll have to come and see the show and find out.”