Heath Franklin Is Bringing His Bogan Jesus Tour To Adelaide

Ahead of the Bogan Jesus tour coming down under, we chatted with Heath Franklin: professional comedian, top bloke, and absolute true-blue Aussie legend.

Ahead of the Bogan Jesus tour coming down under, we chatted with Heath Franklin: professional comedian, top bloke, and absolute true-blue Aussie legend. He’s come a long way from performing on television shows to the Fringe festival and many, many other shows.

Jonathan: Did you ever think that this personality would take off in the way that it has?

Heath: Not really, it was one of those things where I got quite lucky. I was doing the Ronnie Johns half hour at the same time that YouTube and online videos started to become popular, which really helped it pick up momentum. If we’d done the show a few years earlier, I don’t think it would have happened the same way. It all just happened at the right time.

J: After the Ronnie Johns half hour ended, you started doing Fringe shows, can you tell me a bit about them?

H: Well the Bogan Jesus show is going to be at the Arkaba in November, but the show I’ll be doing at the next Adelaide Fringe is one I’ve done a couple of time before called ‘The Line-up’. It’s me and couple of other comedians, I didn’t have a new show and I didn’t want to rush one, but I also didn’t want to miss the Fringe.

J: Are any of the other comedians in that show from the Ronnie Johns crew?

H: Probably not, we’ve all kind of scattered to the wind. Felicity is in the UK doing really well, Kaz is living in the UK as well and she’s a lawyer, James is pretty much the only person left in Sydney. Dan has been all over the world doing some great stuff, so everyone is pretty flat out. Unfortunately, there’s not much chance of a reunion at the moment.

J: How much longer do you think you’ll go with the Chopper character?

H: I’ll keep going as long as I’ve got good ideas for it. It’s funny, John Farnham is always like “This is my last show ever”, I dunno whether he looks at his bank balance or if he just gets bored, but he always comes back. [laughs] I don’t wanna do that, I can’t set a date, I’ll keep doing it for as long as people are interested in it and as long as I can make funny shows.

J: What’s next for Heath Franklin then? Are we going to see any new characters?

H: I’d like to get back into some TV stuff really. I’ve been doing it in New Zealand pretty consistently, and that’s really great. It was something I got a chance to do briefly with channel ten’s pilot week, me and some other people did some skit shows, which went to air a couple of months ago. It made me remember how much fun it used to be on set, and inspired me to get back into it. Being on TV is quite different to touring and doing live shows, but its heaps of fun. It would be great to get back into it. If nothing comes up, I might just write and make my own show, who knows.

J: Have you done that type of thing before?

H: I haven’t really been the man to direct and drive that type of thing before, and my skill set doesn’t really include organising a large scale production. If I can come up with some ideas that somebody is interested in helping me with, that would be great.

J: You’ve sold over twenty five thousand tickets in your career, which is a pretty hefty amount, how do you feel about that?

H: It’s one of those things where it just builds up before you even realise. Like, when you’re watching footy and they say it’s somebody’s 300th game. I look back on it fondly, but it’s not really something I think about, it’s kinda like ‘Oh that’s cool’, but I never stop and think about how many people that actually is. It means everything has been going well.

J: Have you got a similar stance towards the Comedy Choice Award that you won?

H: Yeah, that was really lovely actually. Especially after having some slow festival seasons, it was nice to have some good news after all the hard work. It’s a great award, and really shitty trophy *laughs*. I felt like I’ve worked harder on this year’s show than any show I’ve done in the past, I was hoping that somebody would notice and it would pay off. If felt really good that people noticed that. Festival season can be really stressful, it’s a repetitive routine of getting everything ready for the shows, it gets quite exhausting, especially with a long run of shows. You’ve got to make sure that every show is to the same high standard and that people are going to walk away happy.

J: Do you see many return viewers to your Fringe shows? Do you ever change it up a bit for those people?

H: A little bit, but I can’t put that ahead of the enjoyment of the audience as a whole. I feel like if people want to come back and see me two night in a row, that’s fine, but it’s going to be the same show. For the people who are just coming to see it once, I have the obligation to give them their money’s worth without compromise.

Heath Franklin is bringing his Bogan Jesus show to Adelaide at the Arkaba Hotel on November 15 from 7.30pm. Click here for tickets.

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