Any comedian worth their salt can speak to people and make them laugh, but it takes a special type of comedian who can move people both to laughter and to tears. Anh Do is one of them, and he has received the Glam Adelaide seal of approval; luckily for us Adelaidians, he will be performing at the Thebarton Theatre this Saturday, the 28th of November.
Anh is continuing his Australian tour, The Happiest Refugee, revolving around his memoir of the same name, and he took time out of his busy schedule to chat to Glam Adelaide about it all.
Anh is excited to return to Adelaide, and to perform at the Thebby for the very first time. He told us he is jealous of Adelaidians, as Adelaide has some fantastic food and pubs, while being so close to state-treasures like the Eyre Peninsula and the Barossa Valley, which he believes has some of the best food and wine in the world. We have to agree with Mr. Do there, Adelaide is pretty rad.
The Happiest Refugee live shows recount the journey that has brought Anh to where he is today – to say it is moving and inspirational would be an understatement. The shows have been reviewed as being equal parts hilarious, heart-warming, and heartbreaking, and not only for the audience members. Anh admits that after 100 shows of the same tour, he still chokes up and is affected by his stories; “The show is a rollercoaster”, he affirmed, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Anh’s emotional and raw journey starts with his journey to Australia, as a toddler on a 9 by 2.5 metre boat, with 39 others; all but one survived the journey, which saw Anh’s family and friends encounter storms, shots fired from communist patrol boats, and multiple interactions with thieving pirates.
A horrifying raid by armed pirates resulted in a tense standoff, which involved a pirate dangling Anh’s baby brother overboard. This baby brother would go on to win the Young Australian of the Year Award, after being nominated by Anh, for his volunteer work with at risk youth. This encounter saw the pirates pillage Anh’s boat before oddly leaving them with a gallon of water; it introduced a theme in Anh’s story, which is, that kindness can come from where you least expect it. Furthermore, it is clear from his wonderful storytelling that if you believe in yourself and work hard, you can overcome anything, and Anh and his family are the living proof; you can’t get a much more inspiring moral than that!
Anh took the risk of pursuing Comedy, his passion, rather than a demanding yet reliable career in Law, and this risk certainly paid off for him; he has featured on many Australian television shows, he has written and starred in Australian movies, he has written a book series for kids, as well as his memoir, and he has always strived to give back to others around him. With the prize money from his first big comedy competition, he paid for his younger sister’s braces; he bought his mother a house; he went on Celebrity Deal or No Deal and won the big bucks, $200,000, for a young father from a housing commission who also was a carer for his partner.
Anh’s stories are not only humbling but hysterical; he has been mistaken for Jeff, the purple Wiggle, at least half a dozen times. Not wanting to disappoint the kids, Anh signs the autograph as Jeff, but told Glam that if he ever came across Jeff, he’d tell him to “wake up, stop sleeping, get out there and sign your own autographs.”
The future is looking bright for this much-loved comedian, as the inspiring tale of The Happiest Refugee will soon be brought to the screen. A few years ago, Anh received a call from a man with a deep voice claiming to be Russell Crowe, telling him how much he loved his book. Anh thought it was a friend of his playing a prank, and was about to tell him to knock it off, but soon realised that it truly was Russell Crowe, who was so passionate about helping to tell this story that he bought the film rights to The Happiest Refugee.
The Happiest Refugee is a highly unique experience, and one to definitely take up while there is still the opportunity; you will laugh, you will cry, and you will walk out feeling grateful, blessed, and inspired like never before.
Luckily, it’s not too late to buy tickets to Anh’s Thebarton show for this Saturday, but hurry before they all sell out! You can buy tickets to Anh’s Adelaide show or his remaining regional Australian shows here.