Missy Higgins

Show Us Your Roots

Me and the so-called ‘wog humour’ don’t see eye-to-eye, for reasons I’m still coming to terms with. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy the television show Acropolis Now, but I see it as a kind of Aussie Happy Days, and I like the idea of that ground-breaking live stage show Wogs Out Of Work but it seems to me that it just keeps recurring – in only slightly varied forms – far too frequently (like Greeks on the Roof, the Aussie adaptation of The Kumars At No. 42 that replaced the Indian comics with Greek ones – although it also saw fit to include a non-Greek actor doing a cheesy ‘wog’ accent with the evergreen [and purple] ‘Effie’ character).

This inability to deal with wog comedy means that I continue to neglect talented individuals – like Joe Avati and Nick Giannopoulos – who don’t quite fit into the unified field theory of comedy I’ve pretty much been working on since day one. The problem is that they are either preaching to the converted – doing gags that can only appeal to a limited audience – or selling themselves short – deliberately fudging the facts in a patronising and self-deprecating way, in order to appeal to the largest possible audience. Or maybe both those things are close to what I’m doing by avoiding wog comedy.

So then a bunch of comics – some with that Wogs Out of Work ‘wog’ background – take part in a show whose angle is that everyone in it is a foreignor of some sort (cue the Monty Python song ‘Never Be Rude To An Arab’) although the inclusion of an American and the Irishman seem to be the escape clause – the hedged bet for the bits of the audience that can’t or won’t embrace the less Anglo of the ethnic humour. (Ie people like me.)

However, I discover the show is hilarious, and the comedians, possibly even more interesting to talk to in this ‘wog comedy’ context as they would be under any other circumstance. And the presence of the American and the Irishman adds to the insight and the enjoyment, by allowing contrast. They enable me to put the ‘wog’ thing into context, and hence develop that unified field theory. Maybe I will even get around to giving Joe Avati the attention he deserves. But I still draw the line at Nick Giannopoulos!

Having said all of that, the transcript of the interview that used to live on this page was removed, to add to the Radio Ha Ha website, the sound file likewise removed since it appeared in Episode 4 of the Radio Ha Ha. I have yet to restore the transcript, but here is the sound file.

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