Rove McManus, comedian and radio host

My comedic title can be mixed in with my radio and tv presenting at any time and to be honest I can even bring it out in Dad mode as well. Trust me, my new ‘pull my finger’ routine is going down a treat at the moment.

Rove McManus is a man of many talents. From scrubbing toilets in a pub as a teenager, Rove is now one of Australia’s most popular comedians and a household name. The breakfast radio host, television presenter, father, multiple Logie award-winner and producer is in town this Friday to host Laugh Your Pants off at Jupiters Hotel & Casino. We caught up with Rove ahead of his Gold Coast gig to chat early mornings and ‘pull my finger jokes’…yes, he still uses that one, though it only works on his kids.

You’re on the Gold Coast on November 18 to host Laugh Your Pants Off at Jupiters Hotel & Casino, and a fair chunk of the population up here are now beside themselves with anticipation – what can we expect?
I’m starting to put together some material for a new tour next year so this will be a great chance for people to catch it in the fun stages where even I don’t quite know where some of it might end up yet. Having been in the U.S. for the past few years, it’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to perform stand up here at home so needless to say I am very excited to be able to get back in front of a live crowd and just have a good time. 

You wear many hats – comedian, radio host, television presenter, father, multiple Logie award-winner, producer, the list goes on. How you do manage to fit it all in to one day?
Starting my day in the middle of the night for breakfast radio certainly helps squeeze a few more hours out of the day. Which is probably why the title of “man who gets to sleep” is not on your list! Thankfully, most of my many hats can be worn at the same time so I do find myself getting a lot better at my multitasking. For example, my comedic title can be mixed in with my radio and television presenting at any time and to be honest I can even bring it out in Dad mode as well. Trust me, my new ‘pull my finger’ routine is going down a treat at the moment.

Let’s take it back to when you started out as a stand-up comedian – what was your very first gig like?
My very first gig was a shocker. It was a sketch that I performed with a group of friends but in a stand up comedy room, where the audience is used to be spoken to as opposed to the sketch we did where you shut them out. In a bad gig, the audience doesn’t laugh. We did so poorly they were talking, which means they weren’t even paying attention to us any more!

What was your very first job as a teenager?
I had a job cleaning tables and toilets at a pub in Fremantle, Western Australia. The collecting glasses and emptying ashtrays part I had no problem with, but the other cleaning I had to do in the toilets made me see things I can’t un-see that still haunt me to this day.

How are you handling the early mornings with the 2DAY FM radio gig? What’s the best and worst part of the job?
The early starts can be pretty brutal and I do find myself learning to never ever consider the snooze button when the alarm goes off. It’s just too dangerous a temptation. I have even had to put my alarm on the other side of the room to force myself out of bed to even shut it off. The upside is once I shuffle my bleary eyes into the studio, I get to have nothing but pure fun with the human ray of sunshine that is Sam Frost for three hours, which makes it worth the effort. Plus it’s nice to be able to say your workday is pretty much done by lunchtime. Sure, you’re in bed by five o’clock in the afternoon but still …

What’s your best fatherhood tip?
Make everything as fun as you can. Post-Halloween I’ve somehow even managed to make vampires amusing to my daughter. It may have more to do with the whole ‘funny voice’ thing than the whole ‘drinking people’s blood’ part.

What does a normal Sunday morning entail?
We go to our local cafe for a solid cook-up breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs then head to the local playground to burn it all off while it’s relatively quiet and we can have the whole place to ourselves. It means even I get to selfishly have a turn on the slides without all those other pesky kids getting in the way.

Enlighten us ­– what are some words of wisdom that you live by?
Never eat anything bigger than your own head.

And, yes we’ll say hi to our Mum’s for you!
Thank goodness. I was starting to think you were never going pass to the message on!

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