Wil Anderson is one slick character. As a stand-up comic he commands the stage, harnessing the audience from the first gag and delivering lines with such rapid-fire success that some are lost in the laughs from the ones before. He’s intelligent, engaging, and challenging, and one does not attend a Wil Anderson gig and come away having ‘just had a good time’. He’ll deliver a poignant piece on mental health and end it with a dick gag, and you’ll remember both long after the gig has ended.
His other “part time” gigs: from hosting Triple J radio with Adam Spencer; to hosting the very successful The Glass House on ABC1; to hosting drive on Triple M with mate Lehmo; to now anchoring the panel for 3 successful Gruen Transfer series (and 2010’s superb Gruen Nation series in parallel with the Federal election) further develops a pre-determined character for who you think Wil Anderson is: razor sharp, unrelenting, sociologically insightful beyond his years. He projects an image that he’s the kind of guy that if you made even the slightest mistake, he’d have you verbally hung, drawn and quartered inside 10 seconds. A person who commands your respect, for good reason. He’s the boss, he’s in control.
It was with these pre-conceptions I met Wil Anderson for lunch the day after seeing his new show “Man Vs Wil” at the Brisbane Comedy Festival. He is comedy royalty (or as close as we get in Australia), and I was nervous. What if I said something wrong, or looked at him funny – or worse, was late to lunch? These comics are merciless if you turn up late to their gig…
I need not have worried (for starters, I made sure I was at the restaurant first). On meeting him I found Wil to be thoroughly charming. Insightful – sure. Funny – hell yes. Gracious and self-effacing – absolutely. For someone who has a stellar comedic career & is considered one of the major stars on the Australian circuit (and now his star is rising quickly in the United States too), Wil Anderson is a straight up nice guy without pretence and a lot of patience. I asked for 5-10 minutes as an interview, and the result here is the entire 60 minutes he offered me in response to some very dry questions.
Wil shared about his influences, his time spent recently in LA establishing himself there, his work with Denton and the Zapruder’s Other Films team on the Gruen franchise (including plans for 2011 for Gruen), the fun and folly of be a touring comic, some of his other favourite distractions… and it’s all thoroughly interesting. Grab lunch and settle into my interview with Wil Anderson.
All tour, show & other Wil Anderson info can be found at WilAnderson.com.au.