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Danny Bhoy 'Please Untick This Box'

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by Kiesten McCauley (subscribe)
My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
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'Funny' the Theme for Stand Up Show
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The delightfully funny Danny Bhoy

It's nine am in Brisbane when I call a hotel in New Zealand and ask to be connected with one of Australia's favourite international comedians Danny Bhoy. I can hear the reticence in the voice of the receptionist as he asks for my name twice and for Danny's real name (Bhoy is a stage name) before connecting me.

"I was expecting your call on my mobile," Danny explains cheerily when answering, "but that's fine."

We exchange pleasantries and compare time zones and the volume of caffeine we've consumed before getting down to the business of discussing Danny's meteoric comedy career and the new show he's touring to the Brisbane Comedy Festival Please Untick This Box. You usually only get about ten or fifteen minutes to chat to acts of his calibre, so I push into questioning as quickly as possible.

I start by asking how his new show, Please Untick this Box is being received in New Zealand and whether the act has been going the way he'd expected.

"Yeah I think so," he says, "It's still kind of finding its feet a little bit but it's been really fun to do so far because I think for that reason, that it's not 100% - well my shows are never 100% done, there's never a full stop at the end of them, so it's always kind of evolving. So far it's been good. I've added about ten minutes of new material just since I've gotten to New Zealand about stuff like their flag and various local stuff that's been happening here so I'll have to drop that when I come to Brisbane and I'll have to get some new stuff."

danny, bhoy, comedy, comedian, stand-up, brisbane, festival, powerhouse, please, untick, box
A glimpse of Danny backstage

Three minutes into chatting with Danny and I feel like I'm talking to an old mate. No, I seriously forget I'm not talking to an old mate and accidentally drop some salty language into the conversation. He doesn't mind a bit. He's charming and clever, humble and just downright fun to talk to. I can see why he's risen in the ranks of comedy so relatively fast. It must be very easy for audiences to feel the way I do at this moment - like Danny's a friend.

Danny Bhoy started his comedy career in Scotland in the '90s after seeing stand-up at the Edinburgh Festival. His debut was so popular; within three years he'd achieved the status most comics take five to ten years to reach. He's performed in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Sweden and the United States. Everywhere he goes, people love him. I'm just talking to him on the phone and I love him!

"I tend to read the newspapers of the country I'm going to a few days before I get there," he reveals, "So if you see me reading a Chinese newspaper it means I'm going to perform there in a few days' time. I like to be abreast of whatever's happening, whatever's current."

danny, bhoy, comedy, comedian, stand-up, brisbane, festival, powerhouse, please, untick, box
Danny makes being funny look effortless

Danny's adaptability, keen insight into the culture and current events of the city he's visiting, and instantly likeable nature see him winning fans and hearts wherever he goes. His show's theme is simply 'funny', which is exactly what you want from a stand up comedian.

"At the moment there's a whole lot of different subjects," he enthuses, "The show title refers to my take on some aggressive marketing and the corrosion of our privacy and people constantly wanting our information and that kind of thing, but it takes in subjects as broad as religion and politics and music and all these things, so it's pretty much a bit of everything really."

"The theme is comedy. I've always said that it's kind of weird that people want a theme because if you think about when you meet your friends in the pub or whatever, and you just have a good laugh for a couple of hours, no one asks the next day, 'Oh what was the theme?'," he laughs heartily, "you just had fun, you just laughed."

I'm loving chatting to Danny so much I don't even realise I've gone over my allotted interview time when I ask him about his ambitions and thoughts on fame.

"Everyone sees fame as the end goal. Like you get into comedy, you do the clubs, you do the circuits, you do shows, you do tours and then you get your TV break and when you get your TV break, that's when the world knows who you are. I've always thought of it kind of the opposite, which is that, for me the endgame is stand-up. The endgame is being able to walk out in a theatre – a packed theatre of people that want to come and without and bulls*&t they just want to hear you and you're completely unedited and completely unrestricted and you can say what you want and you can do what you want and that for me is the ultimate freedom."

Danny's live DVDs are available on his website, but why not do your laughing gear a favour and get into his live shows?

Danny Bhoy's Tour Dates

Canberra Canberra Theatre
5 - 6 March

Adelaide Her Majesty's
8 - 11 March

Perth Concert Hall
13 - 16 March

Gold Coast Arts Centre
18 March

Brisbane City Hall
21 - 23 March

Wollongong IPAC
29 - 30 March

Newcastle Civic Theatre
31 March

Geelong Costa Hall
2 April

Melbourne Hamer Hall
3 - 6 April

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