Danny Bhoy will get you hot under the collar — by talking climate change

Not known as a topical comedian, Danny Bhoy breaks new ground in his 2019 show, Age of Fools.

“It’s got politics in the show, but I’m very careful to say it’s not a political show,” he says. “It’s more about wider issues concerning us at the moment, but obviously inevitably that is going to breach into some politics here and there. 

“The show itself starts around 2016 with the US elections, and then spirals downwards and burrows into our current situation and Brexit and all those things. I’ve got a whole bit about climate change.”

It’s a different sort of show for the Scottish comedian whose lighthearted, anecdotal material won over Australian audiences more than 15 years ago.

“This is a lot more about world issues. It’s still the best show I’ve ever written and it’s a show for everyone. It’s a show that you can come and enjoy, regardless of your politics,” he says.

Bhoy is wary to call Age of Fools a political comedy because of the public’s growing fatigue in the face of non-stop bad news and ominous forecasts. 

“The first couple of minutes of the show, there’s a lot of tension in the room,” he says. “I sort of introduce it as a show about politics and I can feel the audience exhale with disappointment. I like that because, from that point onwards, I know what’s coming and I know how I build the show and ultimately I win people over. 

“As soon as you mention politics at the moment people go ‘oh for fuck’s sake, we literally came out of the house to get away from this’. What people are not getting at the moment is a funny take on things. They are getting this relentless political spiel and it’s depressing. But it’s quite cathartic to have that festering in your head and then go and see a show that dissects it in a funny way.”

Despite the UK Conservative party’s handling of it being a bit of a joke, Brexit hasn’t been funny. Not only does the whole debacle endorse xenophobia and division, Britain stands to enter long-term economical turmoil. The worsening climate emergency similarly doesn’t provide easy laughs.

“I set myself the challenge. I made a list of things I wanted to talk about and one of them was climate change. It was incredibly hard to write jokes about; I was in a library for days. I wanted to be really knowledgeable on the subject in order to make jokes about it. 

“It’s my favourite bit of the show now because I’m quite proud of myself for being able to take on a subject which is intrinsically not funny. But I took it on and I’ve found ways of making it funny, and of course it’s important as well.”

A stand-up comedian since 1998, Bhoy is a bonafide legend of the stage and has won plaudits year after year, festival after festival. It was his homeland Edinburgh Fringe which sparked his initial interest and he has catapulted onto the worldwide stage since then.

He is known for his observational wit and while his 2019 show appears serious to the naked eye, Bhoy has a way of spinning profound topics on their head, reimagining them in a new light.

The comedian, whose name stems from the nickname his grandmother gave him, has forged a strong Australian following through a run of sold out tours reaching all the way back to 2011 and beyond.

Age of Fools is set to be no different and will see the celebrated comic hit Melbourne’s heart of arts and comedy, the Athenaeum Theatre.     

Venues: Athenaeum Theatre & Hamer Hall
Dates: Tuesday March 26 – Sunday April 7 (bar Monday) and Tuesday April 16 & Wednesday 17
Tickets: $49.90 – $54.90