My Subby Valentine

mkt_subby valentine

BREAKFAST radio, TV shows, stand up gigs, corporate MC-ing – there’s not much Aussie SUBBY VALENTINE hasn’t turned his hand to in the world of comedy. Now he’s appearing at the Comedy Store in Sydney and BBM’s RICHARD GADSBY got the chance to chat with him…

Hi Subby homkt_subby valentinew are you?
I’m fine thanks. I’
m actually working at the minute, so keeping pretty busy.

How was the show last night? Go down well?
It went great thanks. Really good. It was about three-quarters full, which is really good for midweek. Good comedians and the crowd were up for it as well, which always

What are you working on today then?
I’m actually doing some writing for a TV show, which is quite exciting.

You seem pretty busy.
I’m not always as busy as I’d like to be! It’s alright at the minute though. I’m enjoying the writing.

How often do you get to do stand-up these days?
This is the first time for quite a while to be honest. I’ve been working on a lot of bits and pieces so it was good to get up there again.

Do you go to many gigs just to watch these days?
To be honest, if there’s a night on that I’m interested in I’ll ask if I can go on for five minutes. That way I can practice a bit and also get in free that way! If it’s one of the big international acts or an ex-pat who’s come back, I might pay to see them.

Do you ever lose contact with comedians who go overseas to try and make it somewhere else?
Well, Facebook is an amazing thing, that certainly helps. Although I don’t do that many festivals as a comedian which is where a lot of guys bump into each other. But comedy’s a funny thing. You can not see someone for years, and then end up meeting them three times in a month.

You have a reputation as a top MC, which is something not all good comedians can do. What turns a good comedian into a good MC?
To be honest, I think it’s just because I chat with the audience. I think other comedians like that because it’s not just me reeling off gags. Sometimes, when you do that, you can accidentally step on someone else’s material which just makes them more nervous. I do more improv. When you chat to the audience, you get a feel for people as well and it can sometimes lead to the other comedians getting a bit of material out of it. But people are interesting. It could be their birthday, it could be some Danish person randomly telling you about the public transport system over there. People are great if you just get chatting to them.

Because of your reputation as an MC, do you do many corporate gigs?
Not as many as I’d like! They’re always the toughest thing to do but it’s usually a pretty good pay day. But, to be perfectly honest, most corporations aren’t necessarily interested in getting the best MC, they just want a big name.

When you’re introducing a comedian, do you ever get tempted to say ‘actually, I can’t lie to you, this next bloke is bloody awful.’
Haha! I’m tempted, of course, but you always have to be professional. If there’s an open mic night and a new guy comes up and really bombs, sometimes I’ll just say ‘well that was shit’. If it’s really that bad, then there’s no point ignoring the elephant in the room. If you come out saying how great they were, everyone will just think you’re full of crap. You can’t gloss over it. But, generally, I try to be nice to people.
Like, one of the favourite things I do is, if I’m introducing a comedian who’s a friend of mine, I’ll just make up a load of awards that they’ve won. So I’ll say, ‘ladies and gentle
man, put your hands together for the winner of South Africa’s Golden Bunny award…’ It gets all the comedians laughing as well because it’s kind of an in-joke.

You do a lot of other stuff nowadays, as well as stand up. Is there any aspect of it you like most – the radio work, writing for people, TV work etc?
There’s bits I like and bits I don’t like about all of it. I’ve had some good breaks, like with breakfast radio. I really like it when you’re left to do your own thing and interact with people. But, in reality, you’re never quite doing that because there’s always some cock in the background trying to stop you doing certain things. I actually had a show with Tom Gleeson was really fun. We had a lot of control and we both really enjoyed that.

Has the writing process changed for you at all over the years?
I’m probably braver now than I used to be. I was probably guilty of overwriting things when I was younger, now I’ll just go onstage and see if it works. I think you can spend a lot of time tinkering with your material, trying to make it work – but it’s only when you get it out there that you know if it’s going to work or not.

Obviously, you’ve been in the business a while now. Is there anyone coming through on the scene at the minute who you think we’ll be seeing in 10 years time?
It’s kind of scary seeing all these young kids come through who are really funny. Ray Badran is someone I really like. He’s a very good comedian. Actually there’s a British comic doing stand up here at the minute, Julia Clark. She’s interesting because she came over here traveling and started doing bi
ts of comedy, then went back to Britain because of the scene over there and now she’s come back. She’s really funny, and really hardworking as well. Yeah, that’s a bit frightening.

– Subby is appearing at the Comedy Store in Sydney every night this week until March 20th with Tom Gleeson, Julia Clark, Sol Bernstein and Michael Workman. And BBM has three free double passes to give away! To enter, simply email [email protected]

WHERE: Comedy Store Sydney
The Entertainment Quarter – Moore Park
(Formerly Fox Studios)

WHEN: Tues 16 March to Sat 20 March
Showtime 8:30pm (Bar opens 6pm) Two-hour show

BOOKINGS: Box Office P: 02 9357 1419,

Tight Ass Tuesday – Tickets $10
Wed $15, Thu $20, Fri $25, Sat $30