Tom Ballard Weighs In On Lawrence Mooney's Recent "Less-Than-Classy" Comments

19 February 2016 | 12:28 pm | Tom Ballard

"There are few things in this world more grim than a comedian who takes themselves seriously."

Pictured: Me, backstage, peacocking

Aaaaaaaand we’re back for more blog. Hello! Welcome to my reportage from the frontlines of comedy touring, ADELAIDE FRINGE EDITION.

The Fringe is the second-biggest arts festival in the whole entire world. The streets of the City of Churches are filled with silly little comedians like me, carnies, acrobats, clowns, musos and Erik The Lizardman.

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I’m having a joyous time thank you very much for asking. I’ve taken out all the shit bits from my show (why did I put them in there in the first place?) and Adelaide audiences seem to be loving having me screech my observations at them in a tent. I have a kick-arse strobe lighting effect as I walk on stage to Fugazi’s Runaway Return and my walk off music is Justin Bieber’s Sorry (trust me, it’s a sweet call-back to a bit in the show and they bloody eat it up).

Look at me go!

Of course you can’t please everyone all the time, particularly if everyone includes homophobes and you’re a homosexual.



My audiences have occasionally been filled with wonderful freaks who have drunk too much and who are prepared to share an excessive amount of personal information with a comedian in public. First there was Tanya on a blind date:

And last night there was the lady who liked taking things at face value:

During the days I’ve been seeing some movies (Deadpool was super good fun, although it’s basically what would happen if Quentin Tarantino directed The Mask), smoking sheesha on Hindley Street and doing satire:

My friends Tommy Dassalo and Karl Chandler were in town to do a live version of their ridiculous podcast The Little Dum Dum Club and I was a guest alongside Tommy Little, Fiona O’Loughlin and Lawrence Mooney.

We all got drunk (except Fiona) and talked of many things, from jizz to addiction to violence to death to cum. You can listen to the whole thing here.

And speaking of the Moonman, there’s no denying that the hottest topic of this year’s Fringe thus far has been his less-than-glowing review from the Adelaide Advertiser and Lawrence’s less-than-classy response on Twitter. Helen Razer weighed in and now Brendon Burns has written in defence of Mooney and reviewed his own review and pretty soon I’m hoping a reviewer will review that and a comedian will turn that into three new hour-long shows and we’ll all be able to give those shows our own reviews and a star rating on Yelp! and Uber and then it will rip apart the space-time continuum and we’ll all be sucked into a gigantic black hole and be rewarded with the sweet release of death.

Yes, it wasn’t a particularly well-written review. Yes, Mooney is clearly a comedian and a fucking great one at that, easily one of the best in the country at the moment. Yes, there is a dearth of insightful, professional comedy reviewers in Australia and yes, it can be extremely frustrating for comics (who are haunted by a sense that we’re all getting away with murder by doing this anyway) to have a year’s worth of work dismissed in a few hundred words by someone who normally writes for the trading post.

But I’d suggest that if you’re trying to communicate to everyone that you are actually very funny, publicly calling a young inexperienced woman a “deadshit” and an “idiot” with a conspicuous lack of punchlines might not help your cause very much. Plus approximately a billion more people will have read that review now that Loz drew attention to it. Plus it is possible to not invite reviewers to your show. Plus Lawrence’s highlighting of his 22 years of comedy experience is somewhat undermined by the fact that he was taking the time and energy to acknowledge the review at all.

Plus there are few things in this world more grim than a comedian who takes themselves seriously. Shit like that is how we end up with Kanye West.

Hey, I genuinely love Lawrence Mooney. Dearly. And I love Isabella Fowler. And I love all the reviewing staff at the Adelaide Advertiser and indeed I LOVE ABSOLUTELY ANY PUBLICATION THAT MAY OR MAY NOT REVIEW MY SHOW AT SOME POINT OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.

And you should listen to me because I’m a five-star comedian. Except for the times when I get two stars. Or four stars (thanks The Music!). Or three-and-a-half stars (reads like a four).

I’ll show myself out.

Check out part one of Tom Ballard's tour diary. Tom Ballard is also co-hosting the Mardi Gras for SBS which will air on Sunday, 6 March at 8.30pm.