On the eve of their Disappointments tour, WYZA sat down with comedians Denise Scott and Judith Lucy to talk wisdom and wisecracks.
So what can people expect from the upcoming tour?
Denise: Laughter, tears, gut-wrenching emotion, the occasional expletive, costume changes, dance and a visual image that, no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to erase from your memory.
Judith: Dancing, singing, animation and lying down. If that doesn’t get you in, I don’t know what will.
What are the benefits of touring together, as opposed to being on the road solo?
Denise: As a stand-up comedian the usual routine is you sit in your dressing room alone, then stand backstage alone, then perform alone, then head back to your hotel room alone where you drink alone and then weep alone because you are watching a rom/com on your own, whilst eating all the potato chips, peanuts and Doritos from the mini bar, before moving onto the chocolate, on your own.
Judith: If the show goes badly, you can blame the other person.
Any advice you’d give your younger self?
Denise: Don’t waste time bemoaning the fact you are unattractive and overweight when the fact is, you are a size 10 and have a beautiful youthful face. Enjoy those younger years because before you know it, you will have put on 20 kilos, be wearing a G-cup bra, and have to tweezer the hairs on your chin using braille because your eyesight is stuffed.
Judith: Don’t ever answer a questionnaire that asks you what advice you would give your younger self and for the love of God start wearing a bra before the age of 24. Lastly, don’t sleep with Skippy from Family Ties. His name is Marc Price and yes, that really happened.
How has stand-up changed since you first began?
Denise: Essentially I still do the same thing I’ve always done – tell autobiographical stories with jokes. But these days, rather than talk about having kids, I talk about having arthritis.
Judith: Well I haven’t had to make this announcement in over 20 years: “Could the men please use the downstairs toilets because five people have projectile vomited in the upstairs one.” Yes, that really happened. Comedy audiences are just a shade more sophisticated these days.
Hitting the road: Judith and Denise are taking their show around the country
Are there any subjects that can't be joked about or is it all about context?
Denise: It’s all about context! Although, come to think of it, I remember trying to tell my mother that, the one and only time she ever saw me perform stand-up, and she was not convinced.
Judith: I think it’s a combination of skill and context. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but I’m yet to make a joke about gonorrhoea work.
Who were your comedic influences?
Denise: It’s cornball to say but my family – Mum and Dad, my aunts and uncles – and given my age, Graham Kennedy, Bert Newton, Dawn Lake and Mary Hardy.
Judith: I like that newcomer Denise Scott a lot.
In the YouTube era when so much material is online, is there added pressure to constantly innovate or do people want you to do the golden material?
Denise: I HATE YouTube. I HATE the fact gigs you have done, including your glorious failures are posted online for all to see, for all eternity and there is nothing you can do about it. I HATE it. Have I mentioned I HATE YouTube?
Judith: I couldn’t give a shit about YouTube but I think a loyal audience do want to see you doing new material even if it’s just to check in with how you are. An audience member once wrote to me that she was happy that I seemed to be doing better and was no longer “sad and lonely”. That really cheered me up!
For more information on Denise and Judith’s tour, go to http://comedy.com.au/tour/disappointments
Who are your favourite comedians?