Danielle Walker, comedian, Brisbane Comedy Festival
It's terrifying when you first start, I would not have put myself through that for a hobby ...
When it comes to up-and-coming comedians, upstarts don’t get more in demand than Danielle Walker. After nabbing the Raw Comedy National Champion title in 2016, Danielle has been on a near-vertical upwards trajectory. Know for her unique brand of stage banter – part deranged and twisted, part bawdy and effusive and part amateur art show – Danielle has one of the most engaging routines in the biz. In March, Danielle will take the stage at the Brisbane Comedy Festival next month, performing her new show Bush Rat from March 6–11. We had a few questions for Danielle about her first encounter with comedy, her unique style and what we can expect from her show.
For many stand-up comedians, getting up on stage is almost a compulsion – no matter how terrifying a prospect it seems. What first drew you to the comedy stage?
I’d had my cousins and a few friends tell me to do stand up for a few years before I did it. I was always too shy, and then I moved away from home and got more confident and decided I would do it – probably because my dad wasn’t saying ‘Danielle!’ and shaking his head at everything I say.
What was the light bulb moment where you realised that comedy could be more than as passing interest?
I don’t think I had a light bulb moment. I don’t think I would have started if I thought it was just going to be a hobby, it’s terrifying when you first start, I would not have put myself through that for a hobby.
Who were some of your comedic idols when you were first honing your craft?
I never really watched comedy before I did comedy, so can I answer with my Uncle John? He told us he picked his nose too much as a kid and that’s why his index finger was missing. Not true, his friend cut it off with an axe when they were teenagers trying to behead a chicken for dinner. Classic.
You scored the Raw Comedy National Champion title in 2016. What did winning that award do for your confidence as a performer and growth as a comedian?
It made me feel like I was on the right track with what I was doing, and just keep doing that.
We’re excited to check out your new stand-up show, ‘Bush Rat’ at the Brisbane Comedy Festival. What sort of ideas and concepts made for perfect comedic fodder for the show?
Death. Pigs. Family. You know, the usual.
You’re known for going from sweet as an angel to somewhat demonic in a split second during your shows – does this technique ever come in handy in your day-to-day life?
I think it scares people in my day-to-day life.
Is there a famous joke out there that you really wish you had written?
Nah, I don’t really think I could pull off someone else’s joke.
Who are some other comedians on the Brisbane Comedy Festival that you think are mind-blowingly funny?
There’s heaps! I love watching newer performers, like myself, Alex Ward and Angus Gordon so much! And I also can’t wait to see Sam Simmons and Becky Lucas’s new shows.
We were stoked to see you pop up on Get Krack!n last year – what was a highlight of working with both of the Kates?
They’re great! It was really fun to make them laugh and also see them get grossed out by the sea cucumbers I was handling.