English comedian Gordon Southern is no stranger to Australian audiences. He has been spending about half of each year here for almost a decade. His multi-award winning comedy is sharp as a tack and his rapport with the audience genuine and often unexpected twists and turns showcase his improve skills to great effect. Southern returns to the Adelaide Fringe with a brand new show called That’s a Fun Fact! The normally very civil Mr Southern has answered all our questions by uncharacteristically shouting all his answers at us in Caps lock.
Is that fact that your 2017 Adelaide Fringe show is called That’s a Fun Fact, a fact that is fun?
I’ve always wanted to be asked questions in the style of a Dr. Seuss poem, so thanks. Short answer? Yes. There’s facts that are fun and facts that aren’t fun but I have fun with them. There’s also some ‘lies’ or as they’re now known ‘alternative facts’.
You have spent an awful lot of time in Australia in the last decade and we seem to really like you and the way you do the comedy thing. Is it your second home?
I’ve spent a lot of time here and it’s been far from awful. I love Australian audiences and generally I’m here in the summer and not too far from a beach in the day.
The process of writing this show has been different to your past shows, how much have world events shaped what you wanted to do this time round?
I never actively create satire, it just oozes into jokes about other things. This year I got my amateur historian hat back on as I wanted to work out how the events of the last 30 years led to the crazy upsets of ‘Brexit’ and Trump in 2016. The show is still silly, but there’s a thick seam of WTF? Running through it this year.
The Trump administration seem to be quite happy to be offering up ‘alternative facts’ to the media. Surely those might be fun, but are not facts?
Alternative facts are another nail in the coffin of clear English. All part of the spin doctors bag of tricks that create smokescreens and misdirection so as to baffle us. See also ‘insurgency’ , ‘alt right’ and ‘climate change’.
Has anybody challenged you to fact check your fun facts, either because they thought they were not facts or not fun?
By not laughing you alert me to a fact not being fun. We got rid of most of those in Perth! All challenges, corrections and amendments will be gratefully received. I also welcome any fun facts the audience might want to add to the show. Bring ‘em and sling ‘em.
Interview by Ian Bell
Gordon Southern’s That’s a Fun Fact is at Warehouse at The Producers (235 Grenfell St) March 4 – 19 8:30pm (no Mondays). Tickets from Fringe Tix.