If Comedy were a martial art, Shayne Hunter would be a tenth dan. The Mumble caught a mad, wee blether with the fella ahead of the Magners International Comedy Festival…
When did you first realise you were funny?
At school in grade five we had an exercise to write on a piece of paper traits about the other class mates and I got funny from all the other students. I was so proud. On retrospect it might of been funny not as in ha ha but funny as in something isn’t right…
When did you first develop a passion for comedy?
Probably when I was seven and I heard my mother laughing at Sienfeld – she was a herion addict so it was rare to hear here that happy. Plus I was dyslexic and bad at sports, so at school the only validation I could get was from making other kids laugh. It was either comedian or school shooter. I choose the former.
What is it about being funny in front of other people that makes you tick?
An unhealthy need for validation from others and creativity that helps me to dissociate from the horrific nature of reality.
Which comedian has made you laugh the hardest?
Probably Doug Stanhope, but I love open mic nights, usually it’s awful hack jokes but occasionally some wingnut will do something so odd and it’ll bomb and I’ll laugh my ass off. I remember this one open mic comedian, mid-thirties, talking about strangling homeless people in bath tubs in order to be able to cum and no one was laughing… that was funny!!
What’s so funny about Australia?
In West end in Brisbane there’s a street called Boundary Street that has all the night clubs. It historical name comes from when if the natives crossed it they’d get shot at. These days, the street where all the night clubs are and no one knows the history! Makes me think of the Nazis who after World War Two would of turned Auschwitz into a night club and people would of been like “this night club had such good smoke machines, I love how they come out of these shower heads”.
You’ve been a top-class comedian for almost a decade now – but you did take a three-year hiatus – can you tell us about it?
I resented the self involvement and egotism of the showbiz “look at me” – how it was corrupting – & I was seduced by far left-wing ideology as it promised to remove those social hierarchies that cause people to be excluded and others to become corrupt in order to win. In the end I found it to be utopian nonsense; those left-wing movements have a different “game” where they compete to see who is the most excluded, and will even become corrupt and cheat and make up how victimised they are. Now I just accept I’m addicted to strangers approval and it’s corrupting elements.
I guess there there was plenty of source material for some shit-hot comedy?
Oh yeah, well I am interested, not in social commentary, but on self-delusion and how universal it is.
Can you tell us about Blaze Against The Machine?
A stand up about addiction – not just the bad sides, but why it happens and the fact that we all have some version of addiction. People who judge addicts the most are often people that have never done drugs, so they don’t know what they are missing out on – I had a friend that went on a 24-hour meth binge and spent ten grand on hookers in one night, yeah, you go do that and then come tell me how your daughter’s wedding day was the best day of your life.
You’ve got three famous comedians coming round for dinner (dead or alive). Who would they be & what would you cook; starters, mains & dessert?
Man I don’t give a shit, what’s important is their work I can see that why would I want to ruin illusion of them as an idol and meet the flawed mortals they are?? “Yeah I had lobster with Richard Pryor, what a jerk”.
You’re performing at this year’s MAGNERS INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL; can you tell us where, when & who with?
Yeah I’m pretty lucky to be traveling across Singapore, Thailand and other places all expenses paid. I think Phil Nickal and Steve K Amos sometime 20thish of March to 9th of April. Man, I love day by day what I am doing, just happy to be on board and see some of the world before I die.
What will you be doing for the rest of 2019?
Studying psychology, writing a book about my anarchist days, working on online comedy videos about cognitive biases and self-delusion.