ROSS Noble likes nothing better than having a laugh, even if it is at himself.
And he doesn’t try and duck any blows.
Speaking to the Shepparton News this week – him in Sydney and us in Shepparton – he was standing next to a significantly large construction site, idly watching the labourers therein slaving away.
While he was planning to get away – by plane – to Launceston.
The connection that both cities are on his 27 town tour Down Under with Humournoid, his latest on-stage incarnation that will be at Westside PAC Shepparton on March 11.
That’s 20 years since he first came to town.
And that laugh?
“It’s not as exhausting as working on a building site — I’m not digging ditches, so you won’t hear me complaining,” he said.
“People in the regions always get ticked off and say, ‘you never come here’, so these are extra dates that I’ve added.”
If you haven’t seen Noble live, he has probably graced your TV screen performing at an International Comedy Festival Gala in Melbourne, or perhaps you’ve watched his performances on YouTube.
The award-winning English stand-up comedian and actor said there was no time to relax after his Australian tour.
“Are you saying I’m only popular in Australia? When I go back once these dates finish, I’ve got two months in the UK; they’re still happy to see me over there,” he said.
Noble said despite Brexit, Europe had recently opened as a “big tour destination”.
“What’s been peculiar — because of the internet you can now see British TV all over Europe — Europe has opened up as a big tour destination,” he said.
“We were doing Holland, Belgium — right across Europe.
“They speak such good English in the Netherlands — maybe better than Australians — but it’s not for me to say.”
Noble has been to Shepparton many times.
He first visited 20 years ago, switching performance venues between Shepparton and Mooroopna over the years.
Noble’s healthy motorbike obsession sees him currently riding a KTM 1290.
“I might be on my bike — it just depends where we go afterwards,” he said.
“Sometimes if we end up in far North Queensland, and the next gig is down in SA, I’ve got to make sure I can do a loop.”
But back in 2007, Noble motored 26 000km on a motorcycle from gig to gig.
People coming to Humournoid will witness a set reflective of Noble’s comedy stylings.
“The show is basically whatever’s going on in my head — the set I’ve got for the show is a giant version of my head, which is split in two,” Noble said.
“I’m not the sort of comic that does two hours of one-liners.”
Noble said his style of comedy had changed over the years.
“When an audience first comes to see you, they don’t really know what you’re about, you have to explain yourself a lot more,” he said.
“Then you get diehard audiences who say ‘oh, we get it; we know where he’s coming from'.
“People trust me and get me now — they know when I’m joking and not joking.
“Some comics might do a joke but if the audience don’t know who they are as a person, that can go badly.
“When they know who you are, you can get to things quicker, it’s all about context.”
Today, Noble is regarded as one of the world’s best comedians, and assured The News although it was 2020, you could still say anything.
“There’s this misconception that ‘you can’t say this anymore’ — nobody is going around saying ‘you can’t say this thing’,” he said.
“You can literally say anything — the difference now is there’s consequences.
“People could make a joke, and nobody would share it; nowadays, especially on Twitter, it’s in writing.
“If we talk about Kevin Hart who got in trouble for homophobic tweets, it’s not necessarily the joke itself, it’s the intent behind it.”
Noble always returned to context when it came to the art of joke-telling; he said it’s not always best for two people to say the exact same joke.
“If Bill Cosby ever gets out of prison, went back to comedy and made jokes about his nagging wife, that’s going to be very different to anyone else doing it,” he said.
“Jim Jefferies could do a joke about drugs — it’s one of those things where because he’s talked about taking drugs in the past, it means one thing, whereas if someone who was super squeaky clean was to do the same joke, it could be like they’re being judgmental.
“People nowadays aren’t prepared to accept that everything is nuanced — you can’t put blanket rules on things, especially on comedy.”
Go to rossnoble.com to book your tickets to Humournoid.
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