Here’s an icebreaker: If you found a baby lying on a field and the baby could feel no pain, would you kick the baby?
No, I’m not terrifying a baby! If I said yes to that and people bought tickets to my show, imagine what kind of horrific people would show up. It would be a terrible idea.
What’s your origin story, when did you realise you were a hilarious person?
Well my parents were killed by an accountant who had no sense of humour at all and so to avenge their death I thought I would enter comedy to try to make people laugh. And every time I make an audience laugh I know mum and dad are looking down on me and they’re saying “Good on you boy, you make us so proud” and a single tear drips down their face and I get a boner. But really, I mainly just needed attention and I didn’t get into acting school and then I kept doing comedy and it went kind of well. I realised I could drink and work at the same time and now I’m here
You’re performing in April at the Sydney Comedy Festival and your blurb mentions James Bond. What’s the relevance of James Bond?
It struck me that James Bond has never faced off against some big Islamic extremist and I realised that wouldn’t be a good movie, it would just be him in a bunker in Florida, sipping on a martini launching drone strikes into the Yemen. Look it’s a good point and an ok joke. I used to have a thing about how sexist it was and how even though it’s all modern stuff he’s still allowed to be sexist and a misogynist. You’re like “Oh it’s just James Bond, he’s from another time.” But then I go “No, he’s using a Samsung Galaxy and he’s using Wi-Fi, so he should be aware of women’s rights.”
What can people expect from your show ‘The World Keeps Happening’?
They can expect hilarity, my friend. Solutions to all the world’s problems and everything you’ve ever wanted from a comedy show can be found in my hour long oration on the situation of the world. I talk about Grindr, I talk about James Bond, sexism, homophobia, euthanasia, drugs. You name it, I solve it.
You’re also doing what you’ve called a ‘comedic lecture’ in Melbourne called ‘Boundless Plains to Share’. Do you think that people are more likely to listen to what you’re saying because it’s dressed in humour?
I think it’s just making it more accessible, right? I mean it’s like just trying to make entertainment out of talking about an issue and exploring it and looking at the history of Australia and how we ended up where we are. I have no illusions about the show fixing a problem or changing the world, but if it could just push people along then that’s what I’m going for.
Tom Ballard is performing at the Sydney Comedy Festival at The Comedy Store April 28 and 29. Grab your tickets here
By Victoria Saule