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SEAN CULLEN: I AM A HUMAN MAN

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“I think especially with comedy, if you keep doing the same thing and go back to the well all the time, stuff just gets boring for you,” Cullen tells me. “If you look at the comics who are really successful…say Jim Carey – he started off as a pretty broad comic and then he kind of moved into being more of an actor and a character performer. People get to know your shtick. Look at Steve Martin, at one point he just said ‘you know what? I’m bored of this. I think I’m done with this’, and he moved on. It’s the only thing that keeps me engaged, knowing that I’m going to be doing something different tomorrow and it won’t be just this, it’ll be other things too. Not that I’m Steve Martin.”

With a little under five million followers, Steve Martin is one of the most prolific Twitter users out there, having embraced the technological advances of the last decade which Cullen believes are both good and bad for comedy. “I’ve got about 15,000 Twitter followers and that’s pretty moderate compared to some really successful comedians,” he says. “But I mean it gives you an opportunity to write short, concise, funny, observations or jokes. Or to float things out there and see the reaction they get. When I started out back in 1987…if I’d have had the internet to disseminate what we did, we would have been so much bigger I think. The Juice Pigs always struggled I think because we’re very weird – we’ve got a weird point of view. We’ve never had the exposure that, say, the Doug Anthony All Stars had when they got on television. Australia is a lot more…I dunno…to accept something like the Doug Anthony All Stars…in America at that time television was the only place you could go and they weren’t buying that.”

“If we had the internet people would have come to us and we would have built it from that. That’s what happens, people download a video a million times and then you don’t have to go to a network and be approved by a bunch of guys, you just do what you want to do and it comes to you. It would have been great to have that direct access to the audience. It some ways it’s hard – for music, say – even for comedy, but I think comedy has always been something which you go see live and music too is now turning back to touring. That’s where you make your money. Go with a bag, you open it, get all the ticket receipts and then you go home. If you can’t sell your album, you tour. And people are aware of you because you’re on the internet, and they’ll come see you. I do podcasts and show up to a town. A show, 2pm on Sunday afternoon – you’ll still be jam-packed because people listen to the podcast and they’ll come and pay for a ticket.”

BY JOSH FERGEUS