Interview: Kelly Mac and Take 3 return for a riotous Comedy Festival triple-threat

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Interview: Kelly Mac and Take 3 return for a riotous Comedy Festival triple-threat

Credit: Monica Pronk Photography

"I think people will walk out thinking, ‘I haven’t seen that before’". Kelly Mac and Take 3 are returning to delight Melbourne audiences at this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Kelly Mac will be showcasing her hit Wrong Side of 50 show at the fest, which sold out 10-times over during her trials, while she’ll also be joining two other powerhouses; Annie Boyle and Kru Harale, for a run of shows as the renowned Take 3.

This is the last time Take 3 will be performing as a split bill, and the trio are offering a two-show combo deal, in which you can buy tickets to both and get 30% off. We talked to the talented trio about their comedic inspirations, and what audiences should expect this time around.

Check out Melbourne’s latest stage shows, stand-up comedy and theatrical events here.

Kelly Mac: Wrong Side of 50

  • When: 7:30pm, 8:30pm – 10 to 14 April 2022, no show Monday
  • Where: Caz Reitops Dirty Secrets, 80 Smith St, Collingwood
  • Tickets: $15 – $22. Buy tickets here.

Take 3: The Return

  • When: 10 to 14 April 2022
  • Where: Caz Reitops Dirty Secrets, 80 Smith St, Collingwood
  • Tickets: $20 – $25. Buy tickets here.

Kelly, you’re described in the show teaser as ‘old as fuck’ – do you give as good as you get in Take 3?

Definitely. My promotional posters are a complete lie in that I seem to be smiling in a lot of them. These were all my mum’s choices, and I went with them, so clearly, I need a refund on my therapy money. The truth is that I have fun onstage, but I can also get angry. I’m amazed that there’s still shock value in a woman being angry on stage. Then again, it could be my ‘mum’ voice. I raised three kids on a property, so you need to go deep and loud to get action.

What also pisses me off, is this idea that there are certain topics that comedians should stay away from. What rot. Humour is one of the tools we use to deal with life’s stresses and problems. Of course, comedy is like gymnastics in that the trickier the subject, the higher degree of skill that’s required. Any idiot can land a forward roll. But to land a a double backflip with a triple twist – that takes a Nadia Comaneci who’s had her lettuce leaf that morning.

What are your highlights from your solo show?

At the trial show of ‘Wrong Side of 50’, I asked the crowd what they wanted to hear more of. Cue a bunch of women screaming for more jokes about uterine prolapse. [My favourite bit is] when we recreate the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, except instead of prisoners and guards, we divide the room into vaginal orgasmers and clitoral orgasmers. I’m joking – there’s no such thing as a woman who can’t orgasm vaginally.

Kru, you joke(?) that you left a life of luxury in Mumbai for the squalor of Sydney. How have your expectations differed from reality in moving to Australia?

Coming from Mumbai to Brissy, I genuinely expected to be the exotic creature. However I was very surprised to see the amount of Indians around. I am pleasantly surprised at the diverse, open minded, multicultural perspectives in the bigger cities. I also found that my comedic style matches the Aussie self deprecation, sarcastic sense of humour, so I’ll continue to try and make Australia laugh.

Take 3 has been praised for its generation-spanning lineup, what are the major comedic strengths you bring to each show?

Kelly: We tick a lot of diversity boxes. Sadly, this has not translated into a showering of grant money. As Annie says, we’re from different generations, and I’d add that we’re also at different points in our lives with differing priorities. So, not only do we each bring different topics to the stage, we also offer different perspectives on the same subject matter.

Annie: Exactly that. A voice and perspective from each generation.

Kru: The strength of spanning across three different generations gives the audiences three fresh perspectives and a unique blend of cultures and styles, resulting in humour with a broad appeal.

Who are your comedic inspirations, and whose fans would you appeal to?

Kelly: In the words of Isabella Blow, my inspirations are “anyone who makes a bloody effort”. For their razor-sharp wit, persistence, longevity and refusal to apologise – Joan Rivers and Don Rickles. I’m more of a storyteller, so Dave Allen and Billy Connolly are Gods for me. I grew up with the Pythons, the Goodies and Kenny Everett, which is an interesting mix of intelligence and the absurd, high-brow and bottom-of-the-basement low brow. More currently, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher. Here in Australia, if you like Jim Jeffries, Judith Lucy, Fiona O’Loughlin, Tom Gleeson and Kitty Flanagan, you might get a giggle from one of my shows.

Annie: Tig Notaro, Stephen Wright, Jimmy Carr.

Kru: Jerry Seinfeld, Sami Shah, Dimitri Martin, Trevor Noah, Wanda Sykes, Alice Fraser to name a few…

What can people expect from the shows, and is there anything in particular you want audiences to take from the experience?

Kelly: Some surprises, that’s for sure. I think people will walk out thinking, ‘I haven’t seen that before’ about at least one of us. As always, if you like the show, tell everyone. If you hate it, say nothing.

Annie: Expect to get to know us a little more intimately.

Kru: We generally like breaking stereotypes through comedy. Hopefully the audience embraces a broader worldview through the set.

Head here for more info and tickets for Kelly Mac, or head here for more info and tickets for Take 3.