Your free what's on guide to the top end

Comics' Corner - April

Showcasing top end comics and local stand-up performers.

By Will Crawford

Ryan McArthur is intelligent, dry, a little sarcastic and a little awkward – just like his comedy. Over the last five years he's carved out a space for himself on stages across Darwin, supporting national comedy stars like Claire Hooper and Chris Franklin. He’s now heading for the bright lights of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as the NT’s rep in the RAW Comedy National Grand Final.

Congratulations on winning the NT RAW Comedy Final. What were your first impressions after the win and has it changed you?
Thanks! When my name was announced I didn’t believe it. I think I even said “no it’s not!” a few times. I don’t know if it will sink in properly until I’m sitting on the plane to Melbourne – so no, I don’t think it’s changed me (yet!).

You're often referred to as the Baritone Godfather of NT Comedy. How did you get into stand up and what was your first gig like?
I always thought ‘maybe one day’. So I started writing down little things that I thought were funny but never really went anywhere with them. Then one day in 2012, not long after I’d moved to Darwin, I saw a poster for an open mic night and went along. I thought, it doesn’t matter if it goes horribly, because I don’t know anybody here and I can just never show my face again! So I pulled out my notes and put a few of them together on the night, and thankfully it went really well, so I kept coming back!

Which artists most influence your thinking and work as a comedian?
I grew up watching Mr. Bean and Lano and Woodley. Lately I’ve been into John Mulaney and Dylan Moran. Something about intelligent, indignant sarcasm and silly playfulness appeals to me, so I try to use that a lot.

Favourite comic writer?
Tony Martin, an absolute legend in Australian comedy.

Favourite comic performer?
Rowan Atkinson.

Life’s greatest pleasure?
Waking up and realising you can go back to sleep for a few more hours. Sometimes I think about setting an alarm for 4.30am, just so I can have that experience.

Tips for emerging comics?
Embrace what you’re passionate about, even if you think it’s a little geeky or niche. Some of the funniest comedy I’ve seen is when people are really delving deep into something you can tell they’re really into.

Pop culture guilty pleasure?
I can tell you more than you ever wanted to know about Power Rangers. And the Japanese series it comes from. Nobody’s ever taken me up on that offer though.

Any upcoming nationally broadcast stand up performances?
Funny you mention it, there happens to be a nationally broadcast performance coming up in April. It’ll be recorded and broadcast later on in the year. Hopefully I can buy a nice shirt before then.

First Thursdays Comedy –  Love and Other Bruises THU 5 APR | 7.30PM | BROWN’S MART | $10 |

Croc Bite Comedy – Open Mic Night FRI 20 APR | 8PM | MAYFAIR GALLERY | $10 |


Will Crawford is an up-and-crawling comic. He moonlights as a land rights lawyer and policy activist.

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