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Interview: Adrian Alaberg

Words By: Luke Hickey


How long have you been doing comedy? What drew you to specifically doing stand up, as opposed to other forms of comedy? What has been the best/worst part of the industry for you?

So I first did stand up when I was 18 and it was a bucket-list thing to do. Surprisingly it went pretty well (I wasn’t booed off stage) but I didn’t really get fully into it until about two and a half years ago when I got hooked and started doing it frequently.

And I would say the answer to both of those questions is the people you encounter. The comedy scene is a total melting pot, you’ve got men and women, the young and the old, professionals and the unemployed. It’s great for its diversity but having this many different viewpoints coming together 2-3 times a week naturally there’s gonna be disagreement and conflict. It’s pretty easy to keep your head down and just stay focused on your craft though.


One thing I always like to ask comedians about is how they prepare, I generally find that it’s split 50/50 between performers who meticulously craft and memorise what they’ll say on stage, and those who have a rough idea of what the punchline will be but are just kinda winging the set up. Which one do you feel you are more like?

Oh man, I’m 100% the former. I used to memorise my sets word for word in my first 6 months. I would audio record myself in my room speaking out my set and then listen to it for two days, repeating it to myself throughout the day like a madman. These days I’m more chill but I still have very clear steps to every punchline.

Are there any Australian (local or otherwise) comedians you particularly like, or at least wanna give shout-outs to here?

Locally (before he moved to the UK) was definitely John Robertson. The dude is insanely talented, his wit is out of this world. He also has a YouTube interactive adventure game called “Dark Room” that I recommend people check out. I also really like Janelle Koenig, she’s incredibly funny. She’s also super cluey about comedy and how it works which I really love.

Other comedians/performers might start a YouTube channel where they review movies, albums, etc. Your channel on the other hand, has you reviewing frozen meals and playgrounds. How did this idea come about?

Well the original idea was a review channel where I review only the worst things. So in my first video rather than getting high quality beers like other reviewers might, I went and bought the cheapest shit I could find. I think people like my videos because shitty, poorly made things are inherently funny. Since then I’ve moved away from just product reviews and have started to go out on day trips and cook meals but I like to stick to that “worst” theme because negativity is funny. Look at any comedy film, the humour comes from problems and misfortune. I believe that if you don’t have anything negative to say, don’t say anything at all.

 

 

One of these videos recently appeared on US television show “Right this Minute”, and from what I understand you had no idea it was being featured. How did you find out about it, and what’s happened to you as a result from it?

I was actually in class at the time and I got a message through YouTube from one of the producers of the show saying that she wanted to air the clip. I’m not gonna lie I was pretty sceptical at the start. I was waiting for her to say she was a long-lost relative from Nigeria and ask for my bank details but luckily it turned out to be legit. She got permission from the executive producer and it aired the following day.

Since it aired I’ve picked up some more fans in the U.S and I’ve gotten some attention from YouTubers and comedians from over east which has been really cool. But, most importantly, having the clip air on TV was a great confidence boost. It showed me that people like what I’m producing and motivated me to keep making new videos.

Last question, care to share a story about the worst set you ever had?

So my worst set was on St. Patrick’s day last year when I got asked to do the closing spot at an open mic. For me it was huge because in comedy the closing spot is where they’ll put the best act to wrap up the night and I was pretty new to comedy so I was really excited. I had 7-8 minutes and made the mistake of trying brand new stuff which totally bombed, made worse by the fact that people had been drinking all day so while I’m on stage delivering my terrible jokes half the audience is falling asleep and the other half are on their phones ordering Ubers. It was awful. The night was topped off as I was walking back to my car and some bloke yelled at me from his 4WD “You sucked tonight!”. It was like a scene from a movie where the main character has reached his lowest point. It was just so tragic and cliched, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing.