Anne Edmonds, comedian, What's Wrong with You?
You want to leave a comedy show thinking, "Well, at least I’ve never done that!" ...
Anne Edmonds is calling you out. Well, perhaps not you specifically, but she’s definitely pointing the finger at society at large. The popular comedian has spent her near decade-long career dissecting her own foibles, and now Anne is turning her attention outwards with her new show What’s Wrong with You? The show is in town as part of Brisbane Festival’s mammoth program of events, and comedy fans are encouraged to take in one of her sets across September 18–21. We took the opportunity to chat to Anne about her comedic process, what kind of humour tickles her funny bone, and her not-so-secret love of karaoke.
You’ll be bringing your show What’s Wrong with You? to Brisbane Festival in September. We know you’re asking the question of your audience, but we’re very curious to know (and be honest) – what’s wrong with YOU?
A lot – and I’ve been talking about it on stage for about ten years. Time to talk about everyone else. If you must know, the main things that are wrong with me are I’m bad at cooking, I lose my wallet all the time and a deep nagging feeling that I’ll never be good enough that haunts me daily.
What inspired the direction of this new show?
A lot of frustration about people who always think they’re in the right and never seem to look inward. A road-rage incident I had literally a week before the show opened ties it all together beautifully.
Who would make the most inappropriate date to the show – i.e. is there anyone who wouldn’t enjoy it?
I don’t think angry men who wear their sunglasses on the top of their hats and hate women speaking are going to have the best night if they come along!
What’s the creative process like for you – do you commit yourself to sitting at a desk and writing new material, or do you wait for inspiration to strike?
I find the best way to write comedy is through open mics. When I have an idea I need to get to a stage ASAP, or otherwise I’ll talk myself out of it. I turn up with dot points and if I’m lucky, a punchline, and just say it. It’s probably the most exciting part of doing comedy.
We’re not sure if you’re aware how many media outlets have described you as “bursting onto the scene” in 2010. So what was life like for you before you did this bursting?
I was just a simple bubble floating around. No! I was normal – I had an office job and a place to live and even a boyfriend and the minute I started comedy, it all went away.
Do you remember the first joke of yours that really killed?
It’s not so much a joke, but a story of deep humiliation with an ex-boyfriend. People love that stuff! You want to leave a comedy show thinking, “Well, at least I’ve never done that!”
You’ve been succeeding at making audiences laugh for a while now, but what kind of humour tickles your own funny bone (your own jokes don’t count!)?
I love dark, character comedy probably most of all. There was a UK show called Nighty Night by Julia Davis that really ticked a lot of boxes for me. I love a horrifically tragic comedy character – Alan Partridge springs to mind.
We’ve heard you’re a fan of karaoke… what’s your go-to number?
I like ‘Break on Through‘ by The Doors. I went through a shocking Doors phase in my teenage years and locked myself in my room with Doors albums. I consequently know the words to almost all their songs and my parents still hate me, I think. I like to relive this at karaoke.
You’ve been nominated for some mighty fine awards in the past – what’s one title you really want to make yours?
I’m keen to win The Voice.
Finally, what do you think the child version of Anne Edmonds would think of the lady you are today?
She’d probably say I looked really old but was still behaving like a child. I think she’d be happy because the performing started early, and I’m still trying to complete the mission for us.