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Comedian on the Rise

Siobhan Ryan speaks to young comedian, Daniel Muggleton ahead of his Sydney Comedy Festival debut.

Up-and-coming comedian, Daniel Muggleton, is a favourite in the Sydney comedy scene. Recently labelled Sydney Comedy Festival’s ‘FRESH artist’, he is the creative director of two local comedy rooms, Mug and Kettle Comedy and Eveleigh Comedy. Off the back of recent performances in Melbourne and Adelaide, Muggleton is bringing his show Son of Parents back to his hometown for the Sydney Comedy Festival. Honi speaks to him about the Sydney comedy scene, and the road to becoming a young comedian.

HS: How did you make the leap from graduating Arts/Law to trying your hand at comedy?

DM: I got out of the law very quickly; my degree is still in the plastic sleeve somewhere. I knew it wasn’t for me so why work in corporate law for 3-5 years before having an existential crisis and quitting? The money, definitely the money.

Getting into comedy was simple too: I was in NYC visiting my girlfriend, she had a job which meant I had a bunch of free time so I just started doing open mics. My job is to turn up, almost on time, and then talk for 5-50 minutes for 1-3 free beers/coffees/tacos. It’s great.

HS: Tell us about Mug and Kettle and Eveleigh Comedy.

DM: Mug & Kettle Comedy is a weekly open mic room which I run with Samuel Kettler. It’s two years old as of a month ago and just offers guaranteed stage time for comics every Wednesday. Stage time is so important to comics so having a guaranteed space to try things is something I think is really important. It’s not going anywhere, even though sometimes it means a show takes 4 hours.

Eveleigh Comedy is a showcase room I host every Sunday. I basically invite my favourite acts on and give them 10 minutes in a super intimate space. It’s free and we get up-and-comers as well as big acts down like Tom Ballard, Rhys Nicholson & John Cruckshank. It’s a great place to find a new favourite comic.

HS: You’ve just performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Whose show did you like best? What was the up-and-coming comedy scene like?

DM: I really enjoyed Michael Che; his show was so loose and conversational that he made a 300-seater seem small. Damien Power & Anne Edmonds are local powerhouses (and coming to the SCF); both great shows.

In terms of up-and-comers, it’s hard to go past my mates Corey White & Sam Campbell. Corey just has this killer ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ show and Sam is just like nothing you’ve ever seen and probably funnier than anything you’ve ever seen.

The favourite show I saw was Chimp Cop, featuring Tim Clarke, Ben and Rosie Vernel & Adam Knox. It was a really silly sketchy cop drama, just so funny and clever in destroying every stereotypical cop movie ever. I don’t think they’re coming to Sydney but I’m pretty sure there’s a sequel coming to MICF 2016. I’ll be there, you should be too.

HS: How did you name your show Son of Parents?

DM: It’s supposed to read like a job title. Like it should’ve been ‘Daniel Muggleton – Lawyer’ but somehow at 25 I don’t really do anything traditionally classifiable so I had to get basic: I’m a male, I have parents… Son of Parents.

HS: Why should we go to see it?

DM: Because my parents are really supportive. If you don’t come, I’m gonna be performing to the who’s who of Five Dock RSL and while I play the blue-hairs like a champ… I’d prefer an audience that might be able to relate to the show on some level beyond us being the same species. Also people at Adelaide & Sydney Fringe seemed to enjoy it.

HS: What do you think about the current comedy scene in Australia, in particular smaller unknown shows and performers?

DM: I think the scene in Australia is really thriving. I’m very new in comedy terms but the quality out there is just epic. I think the main thing is sure, go see Arj Barker or Wil Anderson or whatever but then take a chance on an unknown act. There’s so much talent out there, and even if it’s shit you’ll be able to talk about that for long enough to get your money’s worth.

Son of Parents is on from Tuesday 28 April to Saturday 2 May, 9:30pm at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville. For further details on Muggleton’s comedy rooms, check out Mug and Kettle and Eveleigh Comedy on Facebook.