Performing at sell-out crowds around the world with his purple pal, Randy, Sammy J is renowned as one of the hardest-working entertainers and one of the most unique minds working within Australia’s comedy circuits.
Sammy J and Randy have been Melbourne International Comedy Festival favourites since their first collaboration in 2008 where they were nominated for a Barry Award, given to the ‘Most Outstanding Comedy Act’. Ever since, the pair has been delivering happiness all over the world.
“Randy and I together, we sort of inhabit our own world and it’s a very fictional world,” he laughs, “we don’t really dabble in world affairs or anything, we just go nuts.”
Ditching his pal for a solo act, Sammy J is heading to Queenscliff Music Festival where festival goers will be treated to his smart, witty and entertaining performance.
“On my own, it’s a chance to be myself a little bit more and talk about more personal things, not that I’m up there having therapy, but I get to actually talk more about family things, and what’s going on in the world,” Sammy explains.
“They are two very different parts of the brain I think – plus Randy’s been banned from music festivals for at least four years, he got a drug bust many years ago at a festival in Tasmania,” he smiles. “He’s kept far away from these ones, but we’ll be doing lots more in future. It’s an open marriage, free to see other people along the way,” he laughs.
Performing for the first time at Queenscliff, Sammy is excited to be bringing some comedy to the diverse and high quality musical offering that QMF has established a strong reputation for.
“It’s a delightful and strange pairing of a musical comedian in a proper music festival so I’m excited about being the different thing of the day,” he says. “I’ve done Port fairy Folk Festival before which was amazing, and I know this one is a fair bit bigger, and it’s exciting! I like the idea of playing to people who have never heard of me, and a new crowd, trying to win them over basically, it’s a nice challenge.
“I’ll actually be dressing up as Bernard Fanning from Powderfinger and doing an hour of his songs because I think he’s playing that night and I want to really use up his crowd,” Sammy laughs. “And failing that, I’ll just do a set of my musical comedy songs, some new and some old.”
The award-winning comedian, writer and musician has been keeping busy since abandoning his law degree to travel the world and sing funny songs for a living. Between his solo shows and work with Randy as well as currently writing a children’s novel, Sammy is also a regular on ABC in Playground Politics – a hilarious, brilliantly-written and performed spoof of Playschool in which comedian Sammy explores political themes by building things out of cardboard and macaroni, and making excruciating commentary through an innocent, kid-friendly smile.
“That world of Playschool has been so fun because you can deal with some pretty serious topics but there’s a nice facade up, although it doesn’t always protect me,” he admits. “I have had some politicians have issues with what’s been said about them, but that’s all part of the joy of free speech,” he laughs.
Set to continue his stride well into next year, the likeable, clever and confident comedian shares one last plea for QMF attendees: “If people come and see me at the festival please keep your heckles to yourself, and don’t throw any wine glasses… unless they have wine in them then I’ll happily accept them. People can heckle me by placing a red wine on the stage,” he laughs.
When & Where: Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff – November 24 – 26.
Written by Talia Rinaldo