Tom Ballard: 'Australia is more of a Simpsons episode than a real country'

This article is from 2019

Tom Ballard: 'Australia is more of a Simpsons episode than a real country'

The Australian stand-up and former Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee discusses baby boomers and the current state of the world in a Q&A session

Anyone who has seen your stand-up knows you don't pull many punches. With this year's show, how angry are you with the world?
Enough is about how capitalism sucks bigly. I dropped out of university after six weeks so I've only just figured this out at the age of 29. I lost my full-time job last year which made me think about the nature of work and the raw deal my generation has been served up by neo-liberalism. Plus there's that whole climate change situation, so I thought I may as well wear a suit and get up onstage and yell jokes about all that.

Politics can't be helping either. Australia seems just as messed up as the UK and US at the moment?
Yes, politics everywhere stinks. For us it's almost worse because our politics are dogshit like yours but no one even cares about it because we're Australian. We're more of a Simpsons episode than a real country. I am mightily cheesed off by our consistently awful choices as a country and a species, and I don't know what is to be done about any of it.

Those pesky baby boomers come in for a kicking in the show: how's that going down?
The routine in which I call for the baby boomer generation to hurry up and die seems to be popular with anyone who isn't a baby boomer and, occasionally, very popular with baby boomers who have a sense of humour. They lap it up because they know it's true and like to laugh at the little millennial getting all worked up. And then they go off to their beach house.

Have your folks seen the show? How did they take it?
Mum and dad have seen it and afterwards I tell them that none of it is real and I don't mean any of it but actually I totally do. They're helping me with a deposit to buy a house so they have to be placated.

Tom Ballard: Enough, Monkey Barrel, 2–25 Aug (not 13), 9pm. Preview 1 Aug.

Tom Ballard: Enough

  • 4 stars

Fight in the Dog Best Show Nominee, Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2016. Best Show Winner, Sydney Comedy Festival 2017. Top 3 Best Reviewed Comedy Shows, Edinburgh Fringe 2017. As heard on The Bugle. Tom spent 2018 hosting his own late-night satirical TV show, Tonightly with Tom Ballard, and watching the neo-liberal order…