In his first ever Fringe show, the flame-bearded godfather of Melbourne stand-up finally foments a revolution
“You couldn’t ask for a better government to be in when you have a comedy show coming up,” Quantock drily notes. “The suffering of others brings joy to every comedian. It’s as ancient as slipping on a banana peel”.
Quantock made his career railing against Jeff Kennett, and solidified it during the Howard era (with the added bonus of George Dubya’s ridiculousness). Now he’ll call upon crowds to rise up against our latest overlords, possibly echoing the uprisings in 1968. See, Quantock first hit the stage in 1969, furious at being called up to serve in Vietnam. “Clearly self-interested at the time,” he admits.
Unsurprisingly, Quantock is mortified by everything that the Abbott junta stands for. But are some things too dark to joke about? “I realise that some of the things I want to talk about are not easy to turn into comedy,” he admits, noting that it took over two years to sculpt his climate change show.
“I’m always very conscious of doing my homework,” he says,” I can’t get up on stage and start heaping shit on people and leave myself open to the fact that it’s a lie or I made it up or whatever. I like to get the facts right.”
That said, our satirical stringbean isn’t averse to playing the man, mocking Clive Palmer and Joe Hockey’s girth on Twitter. “Oh no, I despise them completely,” he beams.
He aims to make it as much fun to join a revolution as possible. “I’m going to break the audience up into semi-autonomous revolutionary cells,” he reveals. “I have the code to activate them; that’s what we’ll use Twitter for. You’ll see thousands of people lighting up all over Australia.”
Of course, history shows that liberators often turn tyrannical. He assures his subjects that he will surely be a dictator, but a benevolent one. “I once joined a kindergarden committee. I only went to one meeting and saw the complete and utter failure of vested interests gathering together in one room to decide the fate of a sandpit. If you can’t work it out at that level, you can’t work it out at any level.”
Thankfully, he wouldn’t change the name of our great nation. He’ll just add some zing. “I might call it Rod Quantock’s Australia.”
All let us rejoice.