Tom Ballard is bringing his latest comedy tour ‘Enough’ to the Geelong Spiegeltent

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Tom Ballard is bringing his latest comedy tour ‘Enough’ to the Geelong Spiegeltent

With Tom Ballard’s latest comedy tour ‘Enough’ about to hit the Geelong Spiegeltent, we had a chat to him about what REALLY goes on off-stage for the Australian comic. Read on to learn about the development of his own comedic voice, the corruption of the Australian media landscape and thoughts on comedy as a political tool to overthrow capitalism.

Tom, we are so thrilled to have you feature in Forté Mag! First up, for anyone who seems to be living under a rock, give us the rundown on what you do and how you manage to make people laugh for a living?
Oh my gosh haha what do I do? I try to do comedy, I try to tell jokes about my life and the world, trying to make sense of its wackiness and hopefully make people feel better about how terrible the world can be, that’s the dream anyway.

We were so excited to see you return to the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 2019, your commentary on baby boomers has us absolutely dying with laughter. How would you say the festival and the content of comedy has changed over the years?
Thank you, the festival certainly has changed and grown, I think they are now doing around 600 shows every year. There are more people doing comedy now than ever before which is awesome and great, but that does mean it gets a little bit harder to stand out sometimes. I think that comedy has exploded, with the internet changing everything. The young comics who are just starting out now have probably seen more comedy by the time they do their first gig, more than other comics have seen in their entire comedic careers. I think you have to work really hard to create your own unique comedy voice, and not do something people have already seen before. I also think that Australian comedy exploded in a really positive way. Previously, the focus was predominantly on international talent, but now some of our homegrown talents is thriving. Having travelled overseas to Edinburgh and Montreal, I believe that Australian comics are as good as anyone else around the world.

While discussing how comedy has changed, how would you describe the nature of your material when you first started out and how has it progressed to be in the position that it is in today?
Well, when I started I was talking about myself, I guess I’m still doing that really, very self-involved like all comedians. My first couple of shows were about me coming out, and it was very personal, storytelling-based. Whether as now, I think I’ve progressed in a way where I like to talk about the state of the world. As I’ve become more politically conscious and outraged, I see that’s what I find myself talking about a lot more in my act. I hope I’m funnier and closer to finding my comedic voice, the most honest expression of what’s going on inside my head, I think it’s very important in comedy to not provide an audience with what you think they want to see, but instead, honestly discuss the things that you find funny yourself.

Your thoughts on the Australian media and television landscape are explicit, to say the least. It is easy to notice that there is quite a lot of corruption underneath its surface, how have your opinions been strengthened following the cut of your hilarious late night show Tonightly with Tom Ballard?
Hahaha! I definitely think its all a bit of a conspiracy. There was no real other explanation for the cut of Tonightly with Tom Ballard, it certainly wasn’t because of bad ratings but instead conservative government was afraid of our satire. Australia seems to be this very difficult place where if you want to make interesting provocative comedy, the public broadcasters are really the only places to go and they are getting undervalued by the government and people who don’t think they should exist. There was no follow-up or replacement for Tonightly with Tom Ballard, all those young comedic voices don’t have another avenue to do their work. Commercial networks in Australia seem to be hanging on for dear life to reality television and with our local content laws, we don’t have the opportunities that others do around the world. I guess we are still in this transition period where we don’t have as many new wave media outlets, and our more traditional media is floundering. Having said that I will do anything, so what do I know?”.

Alike many other successful comedians, the technique of mixing comedy and politics seems to be a clever way to get peoples attention, it certainly gets them laughing. How do you approach developing and testing this content? Are there any topics you steer away from or lines you won’t cross?
No, as a general rule. I’m very much up for joking about anything in the world as long as you are tackling it from the right place and you are thinking about it in a clever way. The powerful people who run out society, oppress and profit from other peoples suffering, they are the ones who deserve to be joked about and ridiculed. I think that joking about people who don’t have any power is kind of a waste of stage time, to be honest. If we are going to overthrow capitalism we have to do it through comedy!

You are about to commence your newest stand-up tour ‘Enough’, with Geelong being the third pit-stop! What can we expect from the show and what makes this different from other routines you’ve done in the past?
Well, it’s obviously the funniest show I’ve ever done. Even though I do say this every year I genuinely believe it this year. It’s about how capitalism is destroying our society and robbing us of a future. There is a lot of yelling. It’s also about trying to buy a house and not having enough sex. There is something for everyone.

When in Geelong you will be featuring in the Geelong Spiegeltent which will debut a stellar line-up of the best in comedy, music, cabaret, dance and more. How are you feeling about returning back to GTown?!
The Spiegeltent is a really beautiful venue, I’ve done a couple of shows there before. It’s bizarre really, with all the mirrors in the old Dutch tent. Definitely, an interesting place to be talking about my sex life, but that’s what I’ll be doing. I do suggest that everyone does come and see it, I love Geelong, it’s so beautiful. I think that no matter where you are from, if you are annoyed at older people, the state of the world and feel like we are getting ripped off by the current economic-political system then you are going to love ‘Enough’ by Tom Ballard.

After sitting down with Tom, there is simply no way we can miss his one night only live special in Geelong. Referred to as “bold, daring and delightfully offensive” by the Advertiser, we don’t doubt that we will be laughing hard in our seats.

He’ll perform at the Spiegeltent Geelong on Friday, June 21. Tickets via

Written by Bella Dalrymple