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Dave Hughes

Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes has become a household name over the years, his trademark sharp wit and Aussie drawl winning him a legion of fans around the world.

This month, Hughesy returns to Darwin with his new show, set to have you in stitches. Tierney Seccull caught up with the cheeky comedian, and truly lovely human, for a chinwag.

Thanks for making the time to chat with me, Hughsey! Tell us about your latest show – what inspired it? 
Oh, I appreciate your time as well! Look, I’m inspired by the two-year shutdown of the world, basically, and not being able to get on stage for so long or travel. And you know what? I rediscovered my love of stand-up comedy, it’s my favourite thing to do in the world – I just bloody adore it – and I’m having so much fun on stage.

I’m getting on stage all the time and building up new material, and I just feel like it’s where I want to be. I can’t wait to bring the show to Darwin, and have people have the night of their freakin’ lives!

And if they’ve not had the pleasure of seeing you live on stage, what can our readers expect from a Hughesy show?
Well a lot of people who only know me from radio or TV haven’t had the real experience, and – I’m talking myself up here because there’s no-one else to do it for me – seeing me live is next level. I always say if you haven’t seen me do stand-up, you haven’t seen me, so come along and laugh your arses off!

Well that’s definitely something that’ll resonate with Territorians, we like to have a good time as you know.
Absolutely! I love the Territory, I love Darwin, and it’s an environment that I thrive in and I just can’t wait to get there … It’s been a fair time between drinks for me in Darwin so I’m bloody champing at the bit to get on that stage.

You’re a pretty busy bloke, with radio shows, TV shows, most recently as a judge on The Masked Singer, plus you’ve got a wife and three kiddos – if you manage to find any, how do you spend your spare time?
Stand-up comedy is my spare time to be honest [laughs]. I’ve given up all of my pastimes to be on stage. I liken it to a surfer who wants to surf – stand-up comedy is my wave, and I like to send [my waves] far and wide. Stand-up really is where I devote all my energy when I’m not doing anything else.

Bit of a funny one, my son came to a show I did the other day with Shaquille O’Neal – he didn’t care about me, he just wanted to see Shaquille O’Neal – and then he happened to see a show I did before. And he said to me “jeez, Dad, I had no idea you could make people laugh like that,” and I said, “mate, how do you think we got this f---ing house?”

Oh, that’s brilliant! You’ve had such a huge career, for a long time, but your bio states you’re a university drop-out and former abattoir worker. What’s your secret, Hughsey?
Well, when I was dropping out of uni – as I was dismally failing my last subject in my accounting and business degree – I was dreaming about being a stand-up comedian as I was sitting in the exam room. The idea of working at the abattoir, well, they never let me use the knives, basically [laughs]. They didn’t trust me with a knife but somehow people trusted me with a microphone. I think the key to my success was being useless at everything else, basically!

Hey, whatever works, right? You’re known for your Aussie accent and being pretty laid back, and what goes with that sometimes is a bloke that likes to have a beer at the pub, but you’ve been alcohol-free since 1992. What impact do you think that’s had on your career, especially given alcohol is such a big part of the entertainment experience?
I think stopping drinking did have a big impact, but I stopped drinking before I started comedy – I don’t think I’d have had the nerve to take up comedy if I was still on the grog.

Stopping that was definitely a big ingredient to how things have panned out, but I swapped one addiction for another. I stopped the alcohol buzz, and the only buzz I get now is when I’m on stage – I seem to buzz out just as much, and I’ll keep seeking that buzz out until the day I die!

While you’re in the NT, anything you’re keen to check out while you’re here?
I do love going to check out the crocodiles, so I’m hoping to get out and about, maybe even do some fishing if I can find some fishing spots. I wanna be out in the open air and look up at the stars and soak in the universe, basically. I’m hoping to bring the family with me for a weekend in the Top End. I can’t wait.

Dave Hughes Live
COST $55 | $50 CONC/MEMB

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