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Comics' Corner – October 2021

For those that haven’t seen Russel ‘Rusty Rhubarb’ Smith on stage, it’s a wild experience. Rusty has a cast of a thousand personas within, one of the most eccentric and daring character and one-liner comics going around. Will Crawford caught up with him for a chat.

How did you get into comedy and who are your inspirations?
I got into comedy when I realised that you only live once, and I’ve always loved a good joke and prank. My inspirations are definitely Chaplin, whom I can relate to, and early vaudeville such as the Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, and W. C. Fields. Then onto Jerry Lewis and Tim Conway – probably my all-time favourite! – then folks like Robin Williams and Steve Martin, et cetera.

What I think is real magic is someone who can make you laugh without saying anything! Prop comedians and improv comics are one hundred percent my favourite.
What three performers would you invite to a fantasy comedian dinner party?

My ideal three people to have dinner would be Groucho Marx, Robin Williams and Barry Humphries – but throw in Lee Mack and Sammy Davis Jnr as an appetiser. And Tim Conway as the waiter… Greedy, I know!
What advice would you give to new comedians?

Be yourself! This one is the most difficult for me as a character comic, and as someone who has, and still does, suffer from extreme stage fright and fear of failure. If you think it’s funny, go for it. Gotta be brave!
Tell us about your new regular gig at the Waratah Sports and Football Club!

I was approached to run a comedy night, and we’ve already had some awesome nights, including the All Girls Allstar Comedy Gala last month. The club is a great venue and we’re hoping to put on some great comedy nights going forward.
We are hoping to have the wonderful and crazily funniest bogan of them all, Chris Franklin and the Caveman this month – pandemic permitting. Also, all things going well, a big Christmas Comedy special in December. Watch this space…

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Header and thumbnail: Rusty Rhubarb

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