Frankly Bemusing

25 April 2012 | 10:05 pm | Dave Drayton

“Me and Col, Lano and Woodley, we never did a pun title ever, and I think that maybe that's the way to go. I'm not sure about the pun titles,” an awkward Frank Woodley admits. Since the end of Lano and Woodley though, and contrary to what he's just said, Woodley has made up for the duo's lack of wordplay with a 2010 solo show titled Bewilderbeast and this year's Bemusement Park. So are there any more B puns to come?

“I think I've done the B puns, I think they're done. I think they're all out. I'm not sure about the pun name for a show because, you know, clearly when you first read it you go, 'Eh,'” he says with an audible shrug of shoulders, “and then after that you have to reread it - so it's like rereading a joke. I try to have ones that have just an ever-so-slight quality of dignity to them. It's not like saying 'Frankly, the show's great!' You know what I mean? There's a bit of poetry in there, I hope, but maybe not much.”

This endearingly defeatist attitude, coupled with some musical chops and limb-flailing skills to boot, is what has made Woodley such a success over the years. Though he remains expectantly blasé in the discussion of his comedic skill set. After all, part of the charm of Woodley's comedic persona, both on screen and off, is his failures.

“I use only my foolishness, things that happen to me in my everyday life. I use them as my material, so I have a peculiar relationship with when things stuff up in my life. You know, I am mortified and embarrassed but I'm also kind of going, 'Oh, I can use this.' So it's a weird little loophole to feeling like you're a failure in your day-to-day life.

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“I had a guy come up to me in the street once – because my whole act is about me failing and stuff – and I had a guy come up to me with a big smile on his face, like he was really pleased to see me. He went, 'I know you! You're – you're that fuckwit!' You can imagine how that made me feel; it was a complicated moment. I sort of took it as a compliment, but got hurt feelings at the same time,” says Woodley, sounding, dare it be said, a little bemused.

“I don't think I'm as morose in the live show. I think I'm more chipper and more there to set a tone of giving people a fun evening. Really, with the stand-up show, I just put my head down and bum up and was trying to think of things that would make people laugh.”