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Ross Noble

Ross Noble is one of comedy’s great improvisers, famous for his surreal tangents and freewheeling flights of the imagination. Rita Horanyi caught up with the delightful randomist to chat about the unexpected consequences of COVID, his latest show, and why middle-aged men shouldn’t ride scooters.

You’re renowned for your off-the-cuff, tangential style of stand-up. Are there any themes your new show revolves around all the same?
I’m guessing, because I’ve been doing Celebrity Apprentice, there might be some people who want to hear about that. I’ll ask them and if no one give a s**t, I won’t bother. It’s a really weird one ‘coz normally I come up with ideas, and I kind of go, it’s all about this, or I might talk about that, depending on the mood I’m in. But obviously there might be people who’ve never seen me live before, they’ve just seen the show [Celebrity Apprentice]. I’ll probably ask on the night. In fact, at the end of my shows, I always give people the opportunity to ask questions. Normally they just ask me random things like, “Would you rather fight one duck the size of a horse or fight fifty horses the size of a duck?”

Being forced off the road by COVID must have been difficult for a comedian like yourself who tours so frequently. How did you cope?
It was pretty scary. I’ve been doing stand-up for 30 years now and I’ve never been in a position where everything just got cancelled. But I was alright. Celebrity Apprentice came along.

I’ve always been really snotty about reality shows, I’ve always gone, “What sort of loser with no integrity would do some terrible reality show,” and then COVID happened and I was like, “I’ve always loved business, yep, I’ll do it.”

And I was writing. Weirdly, COVID’s been quite good for me. It was a disaster in the short term, but long term, it’s looking like next year I’m going to have all these projects which are going to take me away from stand-up again. In a year’s time, I might have completely changed direction in my career.

And how does it feel to be back on stage?
Oh, it’s great. I started in Adelaide and it was absolute joy, it was like getting into a lovely warm bath. Audiences were all fired up. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

What’s something funny that’s happened to you recently?
Let me see, oh yeah, myself and my tour manager were doing these gigs in Adelaide and they had, you know, those little electric scooter things you can get? So me and him are a couple of middle aged men, just scooting around like a couple of idiots. And there was a whole load of schoolboys coming down the road, they were like private school boys, they had all the uniforms on and that. When I was that age if I saw two middle-aged men on electric scooters, I would have thought, “you are the saddest human beings.” The only way you can make a middle-aged man less cool is to put them on a small electric transportation device. We were wearing purple helmets as well.

Anyway, these kids had to part for me to get through, so to make my tour manager, Tony, laugh, I just very loudly started going, “Clear the way. Cool dudes coming through. That’s right, behold the cool dudes.” And I turned around to see how much he was laughing, and he’d come off the scooter about 100 metres behind and hadn’t crossed the road, so I was on my own! Rather than making him laugh, those lads thought that I was insane. But at least you’ve just laughed at that – the joke was worth it.

Insane, random and one hundred percent hilarious – Ross Noble is an hour and a half of laugh, you don't want to miss.

Ross Noble 2021 Comeback Special
THU 16 DEC | 8PM
COST $55 | $50 MEMB

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