Comedy Chat: Scott Gooding

Scott Gooding has been involved with more festivals than most of us have gone to. He hasn’t performed, much, for a while but is bringing the very successful Eric back to the Comedy Festival. First seen and loved in 2008–09, Eric is a one person sketch show performed by Scott, directed by Scott Brennan and written by some of the best writers in town. The Return of Eric opens at La Mama on 16 April and promises 27 sketches in 50 minutes.

Scott Gooding, Eric
Scott Gooding, Eric

What MICF shows are you most looking forward to seeing?
Justin Hamilton and Anthony Morgan – cos I think they are superb and sublime at stand-up, Life lessons with Michelle and Gemma – a delightful sketch/stand up duo that I caught last year, and  Miss Itchy – they hurt my brain in all the write ways

What makes MICF different from all the other festivals?
This festival is such a hard slog; it really is a long haul festival. If you are not performing, you’re flyering, or you’re doing guest spots, or flyering, or seeing shows, or flyering, or drinking and laughing, or flyering (there’s a lot of flyering).

What are your must dos for artists visiting Melbourne?
Can’t go past a Banh mi’s on Smith Street, pho soups in Footscray, cocktails and shows at the Malthouse or Butterfly Club.

What comedians/performers have influenced you the most?
Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson still make me laugh like a drain. Also I listen to a lot of Bob Newhart for Eric – he is the master of the one-way conversation.

What’s advice do you wish you’d been given before your first gigs?
Make sure you rehearse as you are going to perform. Then you get show fit, and you can hear if something might work just on the performance. That’s the acting training coming to the fore.

Do you do still your own leafleting? Can you tell us something great or horrific that’s happened to you when leafleting?
Yep, still do it. Started my first ever job in Melbourne as a door guy for a Lygon Street restaurant, so that sort of thing is fine for me. Better if you have a posse with you. Haven’t had any horror stories (touch wood).

What’s the best (or worst) thing a review has said about you or your show?
I have a very large love hate relationship with reviewers, and there are reviewers, like yourself, Richard Watts, Chris Boyd and Alison Croggan that I listen to and respect their advice – and then there’s “the others”… Although usually if “the others” hate a show, I will go and see it. So they do have their pluses.

If you could invite anyone to see your show (and you know they would come), who would it be?
Bob Spiers (sadly passed). IMDB him. Would so love to drink with him and hear all the stories.

What comedian (alive or dead) do you wish you’d seen live?
I was sad that I missed Stewart Lee the last two times I was in Edinburgh. Although would have been awesome balls to see John Belushi in the day.

When did you realise that being funny is the career for you?
When I realised I love to laugh. There is nothing like it as a release for any of your woes and troubles.

What’s the best heckle you’ve received?
My shows don’t really get heckles due to the nature of them, but I did get a fabbo comment from a audience member who posted online: “I don’t pay to be intellectually challenged”.

Is there anything you’re not prepared to joke about?
No. The subject matter is the tool, but how you frame it is the most important thing. My first response when we write things that may be of a more sensitive nature, or a “hot” topic is “Is the joke funny?”. The phrase we use in the room is “make sure we hit up”, which means to make the people in power, or the pervasive culture the brunt of the joke.

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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