SCHOOL librarian turned comedian Josh Earl is headed to Tamworth with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow.
“I was a trained teacher but the hours are crazy long, I thought if I work in the library I can’t take the work home,” Earl said.
“Plus, you can have a hangover and still put books back on the shelf.”
Growing up in small town Tasmania, Earl finished his theatre major in Launceston and five years later finally struck up the courage to take centre stage.
“When I first got on stage it was a matter of wanting to hear any laugh from the audience,” he said.
Earl ascertains people from regional towns are funnier, and living in a town just shy of 1500 people gave him enough comedic material to last a lifetime.
“Everyone was funny, if you did a dumb thing people would talk about it, that upbringing has been great for stories especially in rural and regional areas,” he said.
Now a parent to two kids under seven, his family life has become a feature of his comedy – and his wife is down with it.
“Being a parent is way tougher than being a comedian, when the audiences leave the kids are always there,” Earl said.
“The way I talk about it isn’t that I hate my kids, it comes from a place of love – my wife’s aware of how hard it is raising two kids and it’s something we laugh about together.
“She’s fine with it as long as the bills are getting paid, I was a comedian when I met my wife so she was aware of what she was getting into.”
Dealing with harsh hecklers is the bane of his existence, but now crowds are far more calm Earl said.
“I think people think comedy is always people heckling and it’s not, to heckle you must be a bit of a rubbish person,” he said.
“Maybe back in the 80’s and 90’s when clubs were a bit rowdier, but in these theatre shows they soon realise everyone around them hates them.”
Host of popular television show Spicks and Specks, Earl said he was lucky enough to have featured on the original series hosted by Adam Hills.
Now he’s set to visit Tamworth on one of the biggest Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow’s yet, performing alongside Tom Cashman, Lewis Garnham, Aaron Chen and Suzi Ruffell.
“When I get to Tamworth I will have been to 24 cities, but I’ve been performing and touring since 2009,” he said.
“I’ve been to pretty much every place in Australia, everyone has the Internet now, everyone has the same reference points.
“But people in regional towns, when they go out they just want to have a good time, in the cities they’re really analysing what’s going on, they all have blogs and they’re all reviewing it.
“The regions are a lot more fun.”
The festival is in Tamworth on June 15 at the Capitol Theatre.
For tickets visit comedyfestival.com.au
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