Tom Ballard captured our hearts as the Tom of triple j’s Tom and Alex until he resigned in 2013. Since then, he’s been busy- he hosts ABC’s Reality Check, makes his own podcast and MCs a raft of standup shows both on and off screen.
HS: Why did you leave triple j?
TB: Well I kind of won the lottery and got to enjoy my lottery winnings for four super-awesome-fun years and then got to the point where I thought I’d like to have a crack at trying to win some other lotteries. I loved that job, I love that station, I love those people, I loved that paycheck, but it was just time for me to spread me little wings and do different stuff.
HS: How is Post-Radio life?
TB: I’ve written so many more jokes after finishing up radio and I’ve been able to tour so much more and spend more time developing my stuff, I really think it’s helped make me a better comic. Plus I can actually enjoy doing a gig on a Tuesday night and have a drink with the other acts afterwards instead of running off as soon as I’m done to collapse into bed and set that GODFORSAKEN ALARM.
HS: You’re a Sydney native, but you’re performing more nights at the Perth comedy festival than you are at the Sydney one. What gives Ballard? Are we not good enough for your high brow humour?
TB: No one is good enough for my high-brow humour; I am a prophet who delivers brutal truth bombs about the human condition and all should bow down to my wisdom. Having said that, I’m doing the Comedy Store in Sydney, which is the best room in the entire country, and it’s a bit bigger than the Mt Lawley Bowling Club in Perth, so it probably works out to be the same amount of tickets for both runs. Happy now?
HS: What kind of comedy show are you putting on for the festival, are we talking narrative, one-liners, dad jokes?
TB: The show is structured around one main story about a homophobic taxi driver I met in Newcastle, but from that spirals a bunch of stories and jokes about MDMA, the death penalty, gonorrhoea, my hairy back and Michael Cera. My dad has seen the show and said that he liked “some parts”.
HS: If you could assassinate any talented up and coming comedian at this year’s festival, who would it be?
TB: Corey White. That profoundly talented arsehole won the Best Comedy at Sydney Fringe last year and Best Newcomer at Melbourne Comedy Festival this year and it’s all extremely well deserved because he’s original and hilarious. BLAST HIM! BLAAAAAST!