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Realising, courtesy of the MOSH! website, that Flacco was performing a Melbourne season of Releasing the Imbecile Within , my initial thought was to dust off an old interview I had conducted with his alter ego, Paul Livingston, for his Sydney run. Alas, it was not to be - I had somehow misplaced (ie lent, and never retrieved) the perfect source for Flacco soundbites: my Doug Anthony Allstars Live at National Theatre video and the bunch of episodes of DAAS Kapital I’d taped off the telly more than a decade-and-a-half now… Thankfully, Flacco’s Melbourne run doesn’t begin for a little while yet, and my comedy buddy Dani has agreed to lend me her collection of DAAS vids. So that interview may be included next week.
However, all of this came to pass after the show had been mostly recorded, with co-host Chuck Boyd. The references the the Flacco interview were easy enough to remove, but inserting a replacement, a little more difficult. But at least there was a fall-back plan: Lano & Woodley took out the inaugural Helpmann Award for Comedy on July 31st (listen to Episode 32 for more details!) and so there was something to put in its place, that would still segue as nicely as Flacco would have. See if you can spot the join!
In addition to Lano & Woodley, and Chuck Boyd, the comedy of Gavin Baskerville and Lila Tillman features!
Frank Zappa (?): The way I see it, Barry, this should be a very dynamite show.
This line is sampled from ‘Lumpy Gravy Pt 1’, from the Frank Zappa album Lumpy Gravy, and plays over the wow and flutter of bad radio reception sampled from ‘Reception’, from the Paul McCartney & wings album Back to the Egg. It is followed by the static and noise of a radio tuner being spun through various stations, and then gives way to ‘Holiday for Strings’ by Spike Jones and his City Slickers, until:
Deep ‘Announcer’ Voice: And now it’s time for Radio Ha Ha with Dom Romeo.
Soundbite: Louis the Turkey laughs, as featured in the track ‘They Made Me Eat It’ from the Frank Zappa album Civilization Phase III 
Dom Romeo: Hello and welcome to Radio Ha Ha, this is Dom Romeo, and I’m joined this week by a very special guest host, stand-up comic and audio/visual producer, Chuck Boyd.
Chuck Boyd: Thank you very much, Dom. What a title! I can’t fit that on a business card, can I?
Dom Romeo: Big business card…
Chuck Boyd: Yeah.
Dom Romeo: Big title!
Chuck, we’ll talk about your many pursuits, because in addition to doing stand-up, you tend to author stand-up DVDs  and CDs  and all sorts of lovely things. But that’ll come later — in a show that also includes some stand-up from Lila Tillman…
Chuck Boyd: Aah.
Soundbite: Gavin Baskerville talks about friends and the annoying way they relate the content of their dreams… As this is taken from towards the end of his set, if you listen carefully you get to hear the time-keeper’s bell, telling him that he’s near the end of his time…
Station ID: Radio Ha Ha… It’s so funny it should be against the law! Radio Ha Ha.
Dom Romeo: And that was Gavin Baskerville, recorded live at the Friend in Hand Hotel, on their Mic in Hand comedy night.
Chuck Boyd: That was the Friend in Hand…? I recognise that bell!
Dom Romeo: Now, let’s face it, Chuck, you’ve been that bell-ringer a number of times!
Chuck Boyd: I have been! I’m everything but the humpback…
Dom Romeo: Ha-ha! ’Cause you’ve done sound there…
Chuck Boyd: Yep!
Dom Romeo: …you’ve been the time-keeper and the guy who says ‘time to get off’… 
Chuck Boyd: Yep! That was the way I weasled my way in: just help on a comedy night, and they’ll throw you up whenever someone drops out.
Dom Romeo: Is that how you started doing stand-up?
Chuck Boyd: No, but that’s how I first started doing it every week.
Dom Romeo: Because one of the things you’re responsible for is the Sydney Underground Comedy DVD, that we’ve talked about on this show…  in fact with you! You were our guest TeeHeeJay in a very early episode…
Chuck Boyd: That’s right.
Dom Romeo: And at the time, you very generously allowed us to give away copies. Let’s talk about that DVD for a moment.
Chuck Boyd: All right.
Dom Romeo: You’re still, if I may be so bold, ‘flogging it’.
Chuck Boyd: Still flogging it!
Dom Romeo: So to speak.
Chuck Boyd: Still flogging the DVD. It’s still funny!
Dom Romeo: Yep.
Chuck Boyd: So that’s why I’m still flogging it. We still have stock.
Dom Romeo: Yeah…
Chuck Boyd: We’re still in the hole… laughs so BUY THE DVD!
Dom Romeo: Well why wouldn’t you buy the DVD? Who’s on it?
Chuck Boyd: It’s two hours — over two hours! Two hours and twenty-two minutes, in fact — twenty-four of Sydney’s newest, best, hottest comics, all compressed into one DVD: Sydney Underground Comedy DVD. Just a who’s who in Sydney underground comedy. Sam Bowring, Kent Valentine, Daniel Townes, all those guys… Dave Jory…
Dom Romeo: Lots of people we’ve heard on this show!
Chuck Boyd: Yep. And people whose star is rising.
Dom Romeo: Now, tell me, Chuck: how did the DVD come about?
Chuck Boyd: Well, let’s see; how did it come about? Well, I moved here to Sydney in 2001 and started doing stand-up, and after speaking to some of the other comics I realised that we were in the middle of a comedy boom: there were more open mic rooms in Sydney than there had ever been. So we thought it was a good time to capture whose who on the Sydney comedy scene during that time. We booked out the Mic in Hand comedy room two nights in a row, packed it full of comics — we still didn’t get all the comics we wanted on there, but hopefully there’ll be a Volume Two one of these days — and we were able to compress all five hours of tape down to about two hours and twenty-two minutes, and we’re quite happy with the end product. Twenty-four of Sydney’s newest, hottest comics on one DVD.
Dom Romeo: Okay. A sceptic might ask, why did it take an American — with respect — to come over here and get this thing happening?
Chuck Boyd: Well, professionally, see, comedy isn’t my only ‘thing’. I mean, as most comics do, I have a day-job. I’m a project manager, I’m an organiser, and I’ve always been that way. So maybe it just took someone with that type of skill and a little bit of cash to risk to be able to do it.
Dom Romeo: Welcome, valued customer!
Chuck Boyd: That’s right!
Soundbite: Chuck Boyd, on a news report of a shark attack, and bathroom habits, as recorded at the Mic in Hand…
Station ID: You won’t die laughing, but you might mess your pants. Radio Ha Ha!
Dom Romeo: Now, Chuck, I’ve got to say, I was familiar with you as a stand-up comic long before the Sydney Underground Comedy DVD came out. I judged you a number of times in Raw Comedy heats, and I’ve gotta say, between the first time I saw you, and the last time, when you made it to the national final in Melbourne, you improved amazingly.
Chuck Boyd: Oh, thanks. There was this period of time when I’d just moved here that I sponged off my wife. For six months, all I did was I went out to open mic nights five and six nights a week if I could do it, and signed up. I tried to get up any forum or venue that I could and I just worked my ass off for six months. And I think the very end of that was when Raw started, so I really feel that the way I made it to Melbourne was just to work hard for those six months prior.
Dom Romeo: Okay, so any listeners who are aspiring comics, there’s the secret: sponge off Chuck Boyd’s wife for five or six months…
Chuck Boyd: That’s right!
Dom Romeo: … and get to the Raw final in Melbourne.
Chuck Boyd: She doesn’t have nearly as much money as she used to have, so you may have to bring a packed lunch!
Dom Romeo: In the meantime, here’s a bit of Chuck’s comedy, recorded live at the Mic in Hand. 
Soundbite: Some great material from what was, essentially, Chuck’s Raw Comedy set, as excerpted from the Sydney Underground Comedy DVD…
Sation ID: Just for laughs — “Identify yourself, please…” — This is Radio Ha Ha!
Dom Romeo: And that was Chuck Boyd, recorded at the Mic in Hand, at the Friend in Hand Hotel in Glebe.
Now Chuck, we were just talking about Raw, before we had a listen to your work…
Chuck Boyd: RAW!
Dom Romeo: There’s another competition that’s started up. There’s a competition called ‘Quest for the Best’ that happens at the Roxbury Hotel, on their Wednesday night Comedy on the Rox.
Chuck Boyd: Yep! Great comedy night.
Dom Romeo: Great comedy night, great little venue.
Chuck Boyd: Absolutely.
Dom Romeo: Nice theatre.
Chuck Boyd: Yep.
Dom Romeo: And they’re offering five thousand dollars as the first prize to the winner — whoever the ‘best’ is that they find in their ‘quest’.
Chuck Boyd: Geez, that’s like ten years’ pay for a comedian!
Dom Romeo: It’s massive, isn’t it. I kind of want to enter. But it’d mean having to write material.
Chuck Boyd: Yeah.
Dom Romeo: And being funny. Anyway, I…
Chuck Boyd: You can sponge off my wife!
Dom Romeo: laughing If she can fit me in, ’cause there’s gonna be a lot of comedians rising to the call…
Chuck Boyd: Yeah, that’s okay, she has a palm pilot.
Dom Romeo: All right. Apart from that, the Roxbury is a great room. People should check it out on a Wednesday night.
Chuck Boyd: Yep.
Dom Romeo: I want to play a bit of a comedian I saw there a couple of weeks ago, a woman called Lila Tillman.
Chuck Boyd: Yes, absolutely hilarious…
Dom Romeo: Yeah? You rate her?
Soundbite: Lila Tillman talks about her parents… and children…
Sation ID: Shennanigans, wisecracks, tom-foolery… ha ha ha. Radio Ha Ha! What’s your excuse?
Dom Romeo: And that was Lila Tillman recorded live at Comedy on the Rox, at the Roxbury Hotel in Glebe.
And Chuck, her whole take on children is an interesting one to relate back to you, because it’s one that you don’t share.
Chuck Boyd: Clearly! Well, you’re givin’ out all my secrets, Dom. Yes, that’s right, I’m getting ready to be a father.
Dom Romeo: And you might have mentioned to me that you’re going to let the comedy take a little bit of a back seat?
Chuck Boyd: It’s got to. I mean, we’re getting ready to have the kid around October, so I’m slowly bringing my calendar down to attend to that. But I’m figuring I’ll probably pop back out of it around February with about another thirty minutes of diaper material.
Dom Romeo: Excellent! Something to look forward to.
Chuck Boyd: Yes, absolutely, getting out of the house! I’m really looking forward to that.
Dom Romeo: But until then — wife and baby get to sponge off Dad for a while.
Chuck Boyd: That’s right — in more ways than one, too.
Dom Romeo: Now look, I don’t really have a really easy segue into this, but maybe the child can get us into child-like comedy.
A couple of weeks ago we announced on Radio Ha Ha the fact that the annual Helpmann Awards — named after Sir Robert Helpmann, and recognising excellence in the performing arts — were finally recognising comedy. 
Nominees for the inaugural Helpmann Award for Comedy were Akmal Saleh, the Umbilical Brothers, Judith Lucy — who hosted last week’s episode of Radio Ha Ha — and Lano & Woodley, who are currently touring Australia with their farewell show, Goodbye.
Well the winners of the inaugural Helpmann Award for Comedy, were Lano & Woodley, whose stage personas are child-like. Colin Lane’s ‘Lano’ is the more bullying of the two, and Frank Wood’s ‘Woodley’ is the naive, innocent one. So, in recognition of their achievement, I think we should listen to their final song from the show The Island.
Soundbite: Lano & Woodley perform the song from the end of their show The Island. 
Station ID: Radio Ha Ha: not for the faint-hearted, but definitely for the fun-at-heart. Haw-haw-haw-haw…
Dom Romeo: Hey Chuck…
Chuck Boyd: Hmm?
Dom Romeo: We’re about to go, but I think you have something important to tell me before we do.
Chuck Boyd: Oh, I…
Dom Romeo: Something about…
Chuck Boyd: The baby’s yours?
Dom Romeo: I’m dumb-struck, Chuck!
No, something about the Sydney Underground DVD, copies thereof, you might let me give some more away of…
Chuck Boyd: Oh, would you like to give some copies away to your listeners, there, Dom?
Dom Romeo: What a great idea, Chuck!
Chuck Boyd: All right, what do you want… what hoops should you make them jump through to make them get the DVDs? What do you want? Three of ’em? Give away three DVDs?
Dom Romeo: As many as you want to give away.
Chuck Boyd: Let’s give away three. That’s fair enough.
Dom Romeo: Okay. What do they have to do? They have to write to us via email@example.com and they’ve got to tell us… what?
Chuck Boyd: Aaaah… tell us what you do when you listen to Radio Ha Ha. And make it clean, too! Something we can read on the air.
Dom Romeo: Apart from ‘laugh’, of course. 
Chuck Boyd: Absolutely. Make ’em funny, and clean. Nah, don’t make ’em clean.
Dom Romeo: They have to be clean so I can read ’em on the air.
Chuck Boyd: Yeah, that’s right. You want me to say that?
Dom Romeo: No, I said that.
Chuck Boyd: I’m not seeing the edit points in here!
Dom Romeo: There are none, Chuck. I’m just gonna go.
Chuck Boyd: You’re just gonna go?
Chuck Boyd: We’re not gonna keep it like that, are we?
Soundbite: If you’d like more free information and entertainment podcasts, log onto www.freedigitalcontent.com. That’s www.freedigitalcontent.com.
Chuck Boyd: I thought this was a quality show!
- If this laugh sounds familiar to regular, hardcore listeners, it’s because a very similar laugh — courtesy, once again, of Louis the Turkey, though featured on a track from the Frank Zappa album Lumpy Gravy — opens another episode of Radio Ha Ha. When I get around to working out which one, and transcribing it, there will be a link to that episode here as well.
- The Sydney Underground ComedyDVD, for example.
- The soon-to-be-issued Sydney underground Comedy - Live In Maroubra CD. More of this anon.
- Astute listeners would of course be aware of the tautology at play here: the bell-ringer, the time-keeper and the guy who says ‘it’s time to get off’ are in fact all the same person. This wasn’t a clever use of overstatement to undermine Chuck’s role at the Mic in Hand, rather just an instance of Dom waffling because of lack of preparation, no idea where he was going, and a lack of Tammy Tantschev to step in and bail him out…
- The first time was in our very first episode, in fact…
- In Episode 3, in fact, when Chuck selected some Groucho Marx for us to play.
- It is in fact excerpts from his Sydney Underground Comedy set.
- In Episode 32, to be precise.
- There’s a visual gag that gets a massive laugh towards the end of this song, that just didn’t work for radio: silence, followed by big laugh. I’ve done a bit of deft editing that nobody seems to have ever noticed, or at least, chosen to comment upon.
- Well, you hope people laugh when they listen to Radio Ha Ha.