GLENN ROBBINS WITH DAVE O’NEIL
Much-loved funnyman Glenn Robbins will make a rare return to the stage this Saturday, heading a big comedy double bill at the Builder's Basement.
Robbins, best known for his stints as Russell Coight on All Aussie Adventures and Kel Knight on Kath and Kim, holds down such a busy schedule he does not often get a chance to ply his stand-up comedy trade.
Between radio hosting duties and his new TV show, Upper Middle Bogan, which caused a stir last week after taking a dig at the University of Wollongong's medical program, his live appearances are rare.
"It's a different mindset doing stand-up than doing radio or TV work," Robbins says. "It's great because it gets you 'comedically fit', it gets you tuned up and gets your brain moving in a different way."
Robbins will headline the Builder's Basement on Saturday, with Dave O'Neil, also a regular on Spicks and Specks, rounding out the bill. Robbins says he relishes the odd chance to get out on the stage in front of a live audience, appreciating the format's immediate and confronting nature.
"We filmed Upper Middle Bogan a year ago, so we're only getting feedback from that now," he says.
"With stand-up, you get it right away."
Working behind the microphone or in front of the camera means he has little interaction with audiences beyond viewing figures or ratings charts, whereas standing alone under a spotlight on a small stage is an entirely different ballgame.
"It's just more fun to do it. I prefer those small rooms, and the immediacy of it. You can think up a joke in the morning and do it on stage that night. It's not complicated by radio stations or networks or any of those processes," he says.
After making his name with such iconic characters as Kel and Russell Coight, it's no surprise Robbins calls himself "more a natural character performer" than an out-and-out comedian.
Still, he says, the occasional foray back into the live arena gets his blood pumping and his mind moving.
"It just takes you to unexpected places. When you're in full flight, there's nothing better."