Josh Glanc is the ‘Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chamedian’

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Josh Glanc is the ‘Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chamedian’


He’s joined Shaun Micallef’s ilk as a lawyer-turned-comedian and has won awards for performances that involved singing whilst wearing bread on his ears and donning absurdist alter egos, but in real life Josh Glanc is an introspective, earnest and calm fellow. Not at all what you’d expect from someone who once wore a schnitzel around his neck for a press shot.

According to Glanc, you don’t need to know anything about Culture Club to appreciate his 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chamedian. He likes to keep his comedy “random” and this irrelevance between title and content is living proof of that claim.

“Besides having a title that either tickles people or is completely lost on them, the show is part of a response to my previous show and my experience in Edinburgh last year,” says Glanc. “Previously, I played one character and I told a story…so for my next show I knew I wanted to do something different.”

Glanc was presented as part of the Edinburgh Fringe’s Gilded Balloon program last year with his show Manfül, where he played an “American beefcake” character in a send-up of hyper-masculine culture. He then returned home to Australia where Manfül collected the Best Comedy Weekly Award at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and was shortlisted for the overall Best Comedy Award. He finished his winning year by selling out every single show at the 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

The first show he ever toured, 99 Schnitzels (Veal Ain’t One), has also won Best Comedy at the Adelaide Fringe World. It’s becoming clear that Glanc’s big career move may have been exactly the right decision.

In his previous two shows, Glanc focused on one hilarious, silly and surrealist character, adhering to more skit show than conventional stand-up, giving the audience minimal chance to get to know the real him. Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chamedian is less clean cut, more random, and has parts in between bizarre fictional characters where Josh comes out, just as himself.

“In Edinburgh, I just saw people just kind of doing what they wanted to be doing, and I was inspired to create a show where I just fill it with everything that I love to do. I also try and tell a story, but I’m not very good at that, so that’s kind of a hard thing to do at the same time as being completely random and silly.”

Just over a year ago, Glanc was working full time as a lawyer with a stable life and steady income. He seems proud of his recent comedic success, but says that the down time – in between his hectic touring schedule and numerous award acceptances – makes him “really existential.”

But this existential, introspective perspective might just be the reason that Glanc’s obscure brand of comedy is relating so well to audiences around the world. His plunge into the creative world after years in an uptight office setting seems to have given him a sense of having “nothing to lose”, meaning that he is the guy who’s happy to dance around with bread on his ears and a schnitzel chain around his neck.