One thing that is frequently overlooked when considering Dave Hughes’s presence on TV, specifically Channel 10’s The Project, is that he is a fantastic stand-up comedian. It’s the reason he’s had all of this fame and success, because he’ll be the first to tell you, it’s not as if he’s got a particularly marketable head. He does however, have an incredibly marketable persona; he is super funny, immensely likeable and very accessible - a down to earth Aussie bloke who is sharp as a tack.
A good indicator of his accessibility was the makeup of the crowd, a cross-section of every age and culture Sydney has to offer - as is the widespread appeal of Hughesy - everybody just can’t help but love the guy.
Proceedings commenced with a short, tight spot from recent Melbourne International Comedy Festival Best Newcomer winner Ronny Chieng, who did not disappoint; his acerbic observations of race and culture had the crowd in hysterics. For that fact, when Hughes entered the stage, he jokingly suggested Chieng would never work with him again.
"You only have one chance to be mediocre, and that was it."
Hughes had the crowd’s adoration from the opening "Howzitgoinguys?" to the final goodbye, and he appeared to reciprocate, looking very comfortable and at home on stage. He made a point of noting that the show would be very sweary as he tends to swear but isn’t allowed to on The Project, and took immense delight in poking a lot of fun at Project cohort Carrie Bickmore’s recent on-air gaffe.
"Cuntus. I can’t stop saying it."
Hughes has had a busy life over the last few years and covered as many topics as he could, from tumultuous current affairs to his younger days as a slacker and married life to taking care of his two children, including a particularly hilarious tale of bath-time urination gone horribly wrong.
Whatever your opinion of Dave Hughes outside of his preferred medium, his presence in the stand-up community is pretty untouchable. You can’t argue with selling out the Enmore Theatre twice in one night now, can you?
More: Check out Time Out's chat with Dave Hughes.