Wollongong Comedy Celebrates 10 Years

That’s right folks, we’re talking about the best medicine in the world – laughter!

Laughter is your ‘happy hormones‘ best friend.  It’s that natural injection of endorphins that gives us that positive outlook.  You feel better, you look better and darn it, you’re having a really good time.

It’s the no. 1 contagious activity in the word . Whether you break into a full belly rumble (note: great for your abs!)  or look like your convulsing with a smile on your face, we all end up feeling the same way after a good laugh. Everything sparkles and life feels good.

There is so much to love about laughter and the  guys at Wollongong Comedy have been injecting the happy hormones into Wollongong at The Builders Club for an amazing 10 years.
Who is behind Wollongong Comedy?
Co-owners and partners in life and comedy Shane and Stu have 2 gorgeous children. Stu works a FT job on the side and Shane runs the business, teaches Ethics at school and is about to head over to Indonesia in October to rebuild houses for those in need.
In the last 12 months Shane and Stu have added another 2 rooms to their comedy empire. A monthly pro room at Little Joe’s in Dapto and the Illawarra’s first Open Mic Comedy room at Jane’s in Wollongong.
All this working towards creating and growing the comedy culture in the Gong. Let’s see what Stu (resident MC) and Shane (marketing power house and that gorgeous lady that greets you on arrival) have to say about the art of comedy and where it’s heading around Wollongong.
Tell me how comedy started for you?
Shane:    I met Stu.. Need I saw more… teeheehee
Stu:  I entered RAW Comedy in 2003 pretty much on a whim but have had thoughts of doing it since High School.  Gradually worked my way into the open mic scene in Sydney.
How did the idea for Wollongong Comedy come along?
Stu & Shane:  Marty Henchion started a comedy room called The Craichouse at The Builders Club in 2006.  Stu was a regular performer there.  Marty went overseas in 2008 and we looked after the room for him.  Upon his return, we worked the room together with Marty and his wife Alice.  In approximately 2010 the name Wollongong Comedy was introduced.  In 2012 Marty and Alice left to pursue other ventures and we took over the room.
What changes have you seen in the Wollongong comedy landscape in the past 10 years?
Shane:  More people are aware that you have a place to come and see great stand up comedy on a regular basis.  And now which has been very exciting is the growing number of local comics who are regularly attending open mic nights, running their own open mic rooms, winning RAW heats, working together and giving each other shit.
Stu: Certainly for me it’s the growing comedy scene over the last year.  Lots of local comics, new rooms and a great, supportive community of comedians.
What would be the three top ingredients for a stand-out comedy show?
Shane: Well written material, charisma, and a great audience
Stu: A great room with atmosphere, a great line-up of comedians, and a nice big crowd that’s ready to laugh.
Your most memorable moment in comedy?
Shane:  The day we thought we lost a comedian (name and details require many wines to spill the beans)  and being very humbled to have some of my favourite comics come and perform in my backyard to help out with a fundraiser.
Stu: Spending a month living in Melbourne doing a solo show and running a comedy room at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
What process do you use to develop your stand-up comedy material?
Shane:   As yet I have not put myself out there in the comedy world but the day has been booked.  Our open mic night Thurs 2 March 2017 will be an all ladies line up to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Stu: Ideas come to me, usually at the most inconvenient moment.  I write them down and then try to work them through in my head when I get a moment.  If I think I can make something out of it I settle on the wording and try it out at an open mic show.
Are there any stand-up comedy writing groups in town?
Shane:  No regular groups at the moment but we are working with the Wollongong Writers Festival this year and we are putting on a workshop ‘How to Write the Funny Stuff’ in November this year.   
Hopefully the beginning of many workshops to come.
Stu: What she said.
Best gig you ever performed?
Stu: Supporting Tom Ballard, I tried quite a lot of new material and it all worked.  The crowd loved it.
Biggest inspiration?
Stu: Doug Stanhope is a comedian whose style is what I’d love to be.
Worst nightmare?
Shane:  Headliner not turning up to a show
Stu: Pretty much all my material bombing in a show.  It’s happened before.  And of course the headliner not turning up is an absolute nightmare.
If you were a box of cereal what would you be and why?
Stu: Fruit Loops because I’m bad for you.
The best thing about my job is….
Shane:  Creating and being part of something special. Being a part of the comedy scene in the Gong.
Stu: hearing a crowd laugh loudly when a night works perfectly.
What are you working on right now?
Shane:  This interview……    or  ………  Our 10th Anniversary Show, our new Dapto room, Fringe event for Your&Owls festival, a Dalek Costume for book week
Stu: I have a Sydney Fringe Comedy show (called 4 Hours in a Float Tank) coming up next week.  I’m working hard to make that show as good as it can be.
Where would you like to see Wollongong Comedy in the next 10 years?
Shane:  Great Rooms, Great Scene, Great Workshops, Good Vibes
Stu: A few successful rooms.  Some regular regional tours.  Being able to pay Shane the wage she deserves for the work she puts in.
Why should someone go and see a comedy show?
Shane:  Guaranteed Laughter. And Laughter is the best Medicine.
Stu: Get out of the house.  See live entertainment.  Let people entertain you in person with something they created with their heart and brain.  Be surprised.  Watch people take a risk that sometimes will work and sometimes won’t.  Live life.
How important is it to you to support local comedians?
Shane:  The more we can support our local comics and local comic venues the more the talent grows, the less you have to travel to go for a laugh and it’s great to have the diversity in options of things to do out for an evening.
Stu: Personally I like to pass on any knowledge I’ve picked up along the way.  There’s some lovely young and new comics comic along and I like helping them.  From a business perspective, it’s also nice to have more comedians who live locally to be able to hire for local gigs.
Your final words…
We are celebrating this Saturday, 27 August with an all local comic line up. Marty Henchion as Headliner, Stu Macpherson as MC with some of our best and regular open micer’s.
Come and join the laughs at Illawarra’s longest running stand up comedy room.
Tickets: Presale $15 / $20 door
Doors open 8pm / Show 8.30pm
10% off at the delicious bistro Platform61 for prebooked
Visit www.wollongongcomedy.com.au or facebook.com/WollongongComedy and keep up to date with all upcoming shows.
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