Interview with Dan Rath: ‘I got sacked from my job at a yoghurt lid factory where I had to put lids on yoghurts’

Interview with Dan Rath: ‘I got sacked from my job at a yoghurt lid factory where I had to put lids on yoghurts’

Dan Rath
Words by Lucas Radbourne
In partnership with Dan Rath

Dan Rath is a mercurial stand-up comedian, and undoubtedly a comic everyone should see once in their life. We had a chat - if you can call it that - and the results really speak for themselves.

Barnstorming through all the comedy debate about punching up, down and sideways, Rath’s comedy takes self-deprecation to a whole new level. Melburnians will be able to see him in full force when he takes to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with his new show ‘Cockroach Party’.

It’s no small feat enabling audiences to laugh at his nervous, stuttering stage persona. It’s an even-greater feat to make them leave the room at the end of a 40-minute set, feeling like he’s some sort of tortured, dole-bludging genius. It will come as no surprise we didn’t get a single believable answer out of him. Would you have wanted any?

Keep up with Melbourne’s latest comedy news, reviews and interviews here.

Tell us about how you got into comedy?

 I was so nervous I drank eight medicinal craft beers and then got up and started belching into the microphone. It was a trivia night at Hogs Breath Café and I was given a lifetime ban. I haven’t had a curly fry in 23 years.

Sometimes punters say ‘it takes guts to get up on stage’ but for me doing comedy was a pathetic act of desperation and it just means I have a weird bravery in this one specific area. It’s like bungee jumping for cowards.

Was there a specific experience that inspired you?

I got sacked from my job at a yoghurt lid factory where I had to put lids on yoghurts. If you had a yoghurt in 2007 you may have noticed it was missing a lid. That’s when I started going to trivia nights and interrupting the host to belch into the microphone.

Who were you inspired by?

I was inspired by a local Brisbane comedian called Premise the Menace. He wore a straight jacket and strapped a knife to his head and charged at people like a rhino.

What can audiences expect from Cockroach Party?

I will be loading the crowd into a greyhound bus and driving on the wrong side of the road.

Rapid-fire. Describe the show in three words?

Chaos. Entropy. Decay.

Do you have a favourite heckler experience?

My favourite heckler experience is when I said ‘I was with my girlfriend..’ and this guy yelled ‘prove it’ The audience gave him a standing ovation. After the gig the heckler crowd surfed through a moshpit of adoring fans. He was such a cool guy and I was humiliated.

Name an interview question you wish someone would ask you, and answer it. 

How’s your sleep hygiene? Not too good. I drink an espresso and text a friend ‘why do you hate me?’

Dan Rath will be performing Cockroach Party from Thursday March 31 (tonight!) until April 24 at The Victoria Hotel on Collins Street. Book tickets and find out more information here.