Franklin to head up laughs

Emily AceSouth Western Times

One of the three biggest comedy festivals in the world, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, has hit the road to deliver the funniest acts to the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, led by the master of ceremonies and award-winning stand-up comic Bob Franklin.

The deadpan joker will be joined by Edinburgh Fringe favourite Carl Donnelly, WAAPA graduate Gillian Cosgriff, Venezuelan-born comic Ivan Aristguieta and Kiwi improviser and screenwriter Guy Montogomery, who will feature everything from stand-up to sketch and slapstick to song in two shows on Saturday.

Although stand-up is his mainstay, Franklin is also a writer, director and actor, with his television and film experience including Stupid, Stupid Man and Thank God You're Here.

Speaking to the South Western Times, the multi-talented Franklin said jumping between the roles was “no big deal” and kept him from getting “stale”.

“They all kind of feed into the other so it’s an advantage really, but I’m loving doing stand-up at the moment I must say,” he said.

Franklin jested he followed what he described as the “typical” path into stand-up comedy.

“I had a few beers and someone tells you to get up on stage and that’s all there is to it – could happen to anyone,” he said

“It’s a joy to go out there and make people laugh, I can’t think of anything better really.”

The comic has since picked up two nominations for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Barry Award and won both the MICF Piece of Wood Award and the Sunday Age Best Comedy Show of the Year Award.

Despite the experience of leaving his crowds in stitches, Franklin still gets nervous before fronting an audience.

“The fact that you can never tell exactly what will happen and you can never really depend on it going that well, it’s always going to keep the nerves jangling,” he said.

Franklin last visited WA six years ago and said he was lucky to be bringing his travelling band of funny-makers this way.

“It’s great to be travelling round and seeing the country and meeting a lot of other people – assuming that you get on with them, it’s a bloody nightmare otherwise,” he said.

Franklin said he was especially looking forward to bringing the show to the regions on the Australia-wide tour.

“I think that’s the greatest pleasure of the roadshow to be honest, to be able to go to places who don’t get much of anything really,” he said.

“It’s an absolute delight to do that and they tend to be pretty appreciative of the fact you made your way out there.”

As for the Bunbury show, Franklin had a simple message to share with the public.

“Have a look and see what else is on, if nothing else takes your fancy – rock up.”

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