Simon Taylor can’t turn off his comedy brain

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Simon Taylor can’t turn off his comedy brain

Words by Augustus Welby

Simon Taylor returns home to premiere his new show, Simon Taylor is a Super Funny Boy, at this year’s Melbourne Fringe.

Taylor took his previous show, Right Now, around the country earlier in the year, including a full season at Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He comes to Fringe fresh off the back of a UK tour. A workaholic, Taylor is eager to launch into something new.

“I’m coming up with new material all the time. Even when I’m touring a show, I’m thinking about next year’s show,” he says. “Last night I had a dream where I was trying to find a bathroom while running from the police, and even in the dream I was thinking ‘there’s material here. Better wake up and write this down’.

“When I’m on a date or on holiday or at a funeral, my comedy brain is working to find something funny in it. It’s either a professional habit or a desperate coping mechanism.”

Taylor’s been a regular at MICF over the last decade and has done shows in India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, England, Scotland and Ireland, as well as 22 states across the US. He also spent time writing for Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

He’s not averse to smaller shows, however, and sticks to a regular gig routine in order to sharpen new material.

“The process for me is to think of an idea, then try it on stage asap,” he says. “I don’t bother writing it down because if it sucks I won’t do it again and if it kills I won’t forget it. I also don’t bother guessing if something is funny or not. I’ll put it on stage and let the audience tell me with laughs, groans or painful silence. I’ve been surprised when things I didn’t think were that funny got massive reactions. So even at ten years in the game, I still feel like I’m mining for laughs as opposed to manufacturing them.”

Taylor’s comedy looks at quirks within Australian culture and certain paradoxes and contradictions exhibited by the average white Australian. It reflects the experiences of someone who’s come of age in the early parts of the 21st Century.

“I always do comedy about what I care about,” he says. “My audiences these days are people of my generation who are interested in culture, social issues, personal identity, and uncoordinated dance moves. When I tour clubs and bars I can be performing to anyone, and I love that. But when I look at the crowd that comes to see me specifically, there’s definitely a lot of skinny jeans, edgy haircuts and vintage shirts. My people.”

So what can we expect from Simon Taylor is a Super Funny Boy?

“It’s about trying to find where we fit in a culture that is changing so rapidly. It details hilarious fuck ups I’ve made with technology as it becomes so complex it defeats its intended purpose of making life better,” Taylor says. “It’s also about how stories shape what we value in our society and how Pokémon could help bring long term peace in the Middle East.”

Taylor’s worked as a comedian for much of his adult life and his dedication has allowed him to find a voice within the artform. That said, he still gets motivated by observing other comedians at work.

“The inspiration I get from other comedians is their work ethic. When I was coming up in the scene, Nick Cody was out doing as many gigs as possible in a single night. Then a few years later, Dilruk Jayasinha and I were probably doing the most gigs out of everyone. Now I see guys like Peter Jones and Luka Muller doing even more than we did. The dedication to the craft is what gets me hyped.”

Simon Taylor is a Super Funny Boy comes to The Kodiak Club for Melbourne Fringe from Thursday September 12 to Saturday September 21 (bar Tuesday). Tix are $20 via the Fringe website.