Posing Like Kraftwerk, Fake Penises And A Comedy Lecture On Refugees

1 April 2016 | 12:18 pm | Tom Ballard

"After just three performances my nice audience members have raised $1,525 for refugee-run advocacy group RISE!"

Hoooo-WEEE! Here we are, friends: the big fat climax (ew) of the Australian comedy calendar: the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. In 2016, MICF is celebrating its 30th birthday, I’m celebrating my ninth year and everyone who is coming along to my shows are celebrating HAVING THEIR FUCKING MINDS BLOWN WITH COMEDY GENIUS.


There’s been so much going on already. Funny international folk Nish Kumar, Joel Dommett and David O’Doherty wrangled myself and the brilliant Susie Youssef into posing all indie and cool like Kraftwerk:

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And I think we pretty much nailed it:

Except for my pasty-white weirdo glowing alien head situation, I guess. 


My friend Karl Chandler celebrated his 40th birthday this week and he and his fellow podcaster Tommy Dassalo threw a big ol’ bash to mark the occasion, attended by hundreds of their listeners and a bunch of comics all keen to come roast the living hell out of our dear acquaintance. We all brought much dishonour on our parents, the craft of comedy and ourselves.

Everybody and anybody was in the firing line. One of my personal favourite zingers that I zinged was aimed at the lovely and hilarious Dilruk Jayasinha: "Dil’s so fat he ate the end of this joke and now I don’t have a punchline."

You know – mature stuff like that.

My show The World Keeps Happening has been rollicking along and continues to attract a diverse range of weirdos and freakbags. On Sunday night a 90-year-old woman named Thelma was in the crowd and we learnt a lot about each other:

Then during the same bit another night I met Tony the Gay Feminist:


When I’m not doing shows I’m getting terrified out of my little mind by Facebook who seems to have confused my sleepy trendy Melbourne suburb of North Fitzroy with Lahore…

I’ve been pretty well behaved thus far and haven’t made it along to many other shows as yet, but I was lucky enough to catch my friend Celia Pacquola play to a packed-out Comedy Theatre. C-Pac-Attack and I started out together and to see her star rise like a magnificent phoenix makes me very happy because she is so, so funny and so, so nice. Seriously; she’s so cool not even my petty little heart can feel jealous of her.

Plus check out this boss front-cover photo she took for The Music print edition!


Becky Lucas absolutely SMASHED this set for triple j’s Good Az Friday show:

And the show that a lot of people are talking about is the True Australian Patriots.

Gary, Les and Steve are taking on the halal-loving leftards out there and speaking the TRUTH about Islam and its threat to OUR Aussie way of life. This show is a must see. There’s no comedy here, just the facts and the TRUTH that the leftie media won’t let you have because they’re all in bed with ISIS.

But my highlight thus far has been my other show (what Tom? You’re doing two shows?! What a hero!), Boundless Plains To Share.

It’s a 70-minute comedy lecture about Australia’s treatment of refugees (it’s better than that sounds) and I’ve just loved every single show thus far. Monday night’s show was sold out, people have been laughing heaps and crying in the right places and after just three performances my nice audience members have raised $1,525 for refugee-run advocacy group RISE (Refugees, Survivors & Ex-Detainees)!

Thanks everyone! SBS’s The Feed interviewed me about the show, so maybe this will give you a better idea of what I’m banging on about:

It's a decidedly unfunny topic, yet Tom Ballard is using his latest stand-up comedy show to speak about Australia's...

Posted by The Feed SBS on Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Of course, sometimes comedy is just about a big hairy Irishman like Dave Callan dancing around with sexy ladies and a big fake penis hanging out of his leotard.


You’re welcome.

check out part onepart two and part three of tom ballard's tour diary.