Mark Chopper Read once said, 'Posh people love gangsters'. Thus, in his inimitable style, he captured the contemporary fascination with all things forensic and acknowledged the Freudian urges of the well-behaved members of society to unleash their dark and dangerous sides.
Heath Franklin knows this more than most. Ahead of his one-night only appearance at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the Brisbane Comedy Festival on 27 February 2015, the Australian actor, comedic performer, improviser and writer describes himself as possessing an 'unhealthy obsession with Chopper'. The former criminal lawyer-in-training says, 'I'm just a middle class, white guy. When I thought about what I wanted to say, I realised it was a lot more interesting if Chopper said it.'
And so the show Repeat Offender was born. 'Don't believe what you read in the papers,' says Franklin, about his inspiration, who died of liver cancer in 2013. 'Chopper is back.' Franklin, a veteran of the comedy circuit after leaving his law studies behind, will be performing Repeat Offender for a strictly limited run of dates not just in Brisbane, but Adelaide (28 February; 2 to 9 March 2015) and Melbourne (4 April 2015) too.
Heath Franklin's 'Chopper' is a much loved, Logie and ARIA-nominated comedy character who has sold more than 280,000 live tickets in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Other shows inspired by 'Chopper' include Chopper's F**kin' Bingo which was described in The Sydney Morning Herald in 2006 as one of the 'five funniest shows of the year', Harden the F*ck Up and Make Deadsh*ts History. His DVD Chopper's Shitlist can be purchased in stores now or online via Laughing Stock Productions.
Franklin says Repeat Offender is 'about that moment where every part of your body wants to smash something in half, like an amphetamine-addled Godzilla, but takes a few deep breaths, reassesses the situation and then does it anyway.'
If you'd love a laugh, but don't want to expose the kids to a series of f-bombs, see Heath Franklin try something a bit different as 'Pirate No Beard' with fellow comedian Harley Breen. They're performing a new child-friendly show entitled Captain Fun Pants and the Mystery of the FuNoMatic Fun Wand, appearing at both the Adelaide Fringe (till 15 March 2015) and Brisbane Comedy Festival (21 March 2015).
For Franklin, being a full-time performer is a dream come true. He reckons the only downside is all the time spent travelling on tour. 'It might be a few days, or a few weeks at a time,' the self-confessed family man explains. 'We earn our money, that's for sure.'