Five Minutes With Karl Chandler

Words by: Emily Schofield-Cox

Aussie comedian, Karl Chandler, is one half of the hit podcast The Little Dum Dum Club — a weekly show that sees him and Tommy Dassalo sit down with other funny people and just talk to each other for an hour. The result is a stripped-down look at who comedians are in and out of the spotlight, which can be pretty intelligent but also very stupid, and has made me snort with laughter in public on more than one occasion.

The comedy podcast is, especially in Australia, a niche market that can be hard to break into. Chandler is also a successful comedian and writer outside of the podcast, which I think gives the podcast a more genuine feel — it’s not either of the hosts’ breadwinner, so they aren’t stressing about commercialising it, they are just sitting down every week to have a chat. They don’t have fans; they just have “people who are aware of the show”, and are more likely to be sworn at on the street by their listeners than praised by them.

Although they can sell out big shows in Melbourne and Sydney, their ticket sales were so low in Adelaide that they have jokingly changed their trip there to a farewell tour. All of this culminates into being able to listen to the podcast and feel like you are sitting in the other seat around the table. You are listening to a conversation between friends that is so unrehearsed that you feel part of it.

Karl Chandler was nice enough to answer a few questions for us, so I’ll let him say it better in his own words:

I’m a pretty late adopter to The Little Dum Dum Club, but have quickly fallen in love and tried to force feed it to every friend I have. To get it straight from the horse’s mouth: how would you describe the podcast?

I think the podcast is two comedians trying to trick guests into lowering their standards and talk to us, and force them down to our stupid little level. There’s a lot of self-deprecation, a lot of fast food talk and a lot of what it’s like to talk to comedians off-stage.

You’ve been touring around the country (with a special farewell trip to Adelaide) doing live shows with Tommy Dassalo, do you find that a better experience than the normal pre-recorded podcast?

They’re two different beasts. To start with, we don’t get paid for pre-recorded podcasts! But we have a ton of fun at the live episodes, because not only do we get to see the people who listen at home, but we get to hear the audience’s laughs! And that’s the number one thing comedians are after!

The show gets some pretty awesome comedic guests to come along and have a chinwag on the show. Do you personally have a favourite guest or episode?

Hard to say. We’ve had a lot of famous celebrities on, but my favorite guests tend to be personal friends, so that we can all be a bit looser with each other. Some people who make me laugh the most would be Ronny Chieng, Dilruk Jayasinha and Lawrence Mooney.

Now that you have talked about chocolate mousse enough to be sponsored by a brand of it, is that the peak of podcast benefits, or has something trumped it?

No, that’s pretty much it. I mentioned my sneaky mid-afternoon chocolate mousse habits a while back, and for whatever reason, that became a real running joke. It’s now culminated in the fine folks at Yalla Foods using their awesome chocolate mousse to sponsor us. Some people dream of getting a gig on breakfast radio, but this is my dream. Because I’m a dickhead.

You’re also a prolific writer and comedian with regular stand-up routines around Melbourne. Do you have any advice for all the young Aussies looking to get into stand-up?

The only trick to getting better at standup, as far as I see it, is: write as much as you can, and get on stage as much as you can.

If you want to listen to The Little Dum Dum Club it can be found on iTunes or the Internet. Karl Chandler and his co-host Tommy Dassalo are also solo comedians, so their shows are happening around Australia as well, which I recommend getting onto, stat.