MOST satirists expect some negative feedback when they decide to parody celebrities, but for YouTube sensation and comedian Charlie Hides, he’s been the recipient of personal praise from the likes of Cher and Lady Gaga.

Lana Del Ray, though? That’s a different story.

The comedian, whose famous parodies simultaneously show admiration and respect for the divas he lampoons, is currently in Australia to perform to audiences in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Most notable for his take on Cher and Madonna, Hides said it was the strong personalities of divas and their uniqueness that inspired his particular brand of comedy.

“I love writing and performing character-based comedy and the divas are all such strong and unique individuals with such distinctive personalities,” Hides told the Star Observer.

“I love imagining how they might be interacting with each other away from the spotlight, when they are at home or in ‘off duty’ situations. The comic possibilities are endless. I’ve interpreted them almost as if they are sitcom versions of themselves, but I’ve put my own spin on them as characters.”

In his menagerie of female performers, picking a favourite depends on which weave he’s decided to don.

“When ever I make a new video, which ever diva or character I’m playing at the moment is my ‘favourite’,” he said.

“If I haven’t played a particular one for a while, when I put on the costume and see them looking back at me in the mirror it feels like I’m being reunited with an old friend.”

Hides has been the recipient of accolades, with one diva even declaring he was her “favourite impersonator”.

“Fortunately I’ve had lots of praise, several have said they feel flattered that I’ve included them in my cast,” Hides said.

“Cher has been very complimentary and said I’m her ‘favourite impersonator’. Liza Minnelli, Elton John, Kris Jenner and Lady Gaga have all been very kind. Recently when Gaga was in London she sent me flowers and a really sweet note.”

Hides has even drawn the attention of the Queen of Pop.

“I’m not sure what Madonna thinks about my portrayal of her but she did retweet one of my photos this Christmas,” he recalled.

“It was by far best Christmas present ever. It doesn’t matter when she thinks, at least I’m on her radar.”

He added that the only negative feedback he’s had was from Lana Del Rey, who she said: “He’s an asshole.”

After a few exchanges and mentions on social media — including a shoutout in a 2012 Star Observer story — Hides filmed a special episode of his show last year with Kylie Minogue.

“Kylie started watching my YouTube channel even before any of my videos had gone viral. She told me: ‘One of my gays showed me one of your Laquisha Jonz. I love her’. She was able to quote lines from my videos that even I’d forgotten,” he said.

“She’d been following me on Twitter and retweeting my videos for over a year before I worked up the courage to send her a direct message and asked if she’d appear in one. She replied with in two minutes: ‘I’ve been waiting for you to ask me for ages, I’d love to do it’.

“She was a lot of fun to work with and took direction very easily, she’s got great comic timing.”

Would Hides consider introducing the Australian pop princess into his repertoire, or even Olivia Newton John?

“I wouldn’t think of trying to impersonate her in my live show, I’m at least foot taller than her. Besides she does a brilliant job playing herself,” he said.

“Olivia is far too nice for me to have a pop at. Maybe if she slaps a flight attendant or makes a sex tape.”

Hides’ Australian tour marks second trip down under and also his second time going to Mardi Gras.

“When I’m in Sydney I’m definitely going to film something with my friend Courtney Act,” he said.

“Pam Ann is going to be on the cruise with me when we sail from Melbourne to Sydney. I’d love to film her and Cher having cocktails and a good old show biz gossip.”

Although Hides would not be able to make an appearance in the Parade or Party, crowds at The Laneway party can expect a surprise visit.

“You may very well be seeing Cher at The Laneway, and perhaps Madonna will be there rocking a pair of fingerless gloves,” he said.

However, this weekend he will take to the stage as part of Brisbane Pride Festival’s Comedy Gala, which is part of the city’s inaugural MELT festival.

He will also be performing in Melbourne on March 4 at the GH Hotel and later at the Oxford Hotel in Sydney for a number of shows between March 10-12.

“[Audiences can expect] Politically incorrect comedy, music and lots of celebrity impersonations… and some very famous cameos via video,” Hides said.

“Joan Rivers has recently become a much bigger part of the show due to the audience’s reaction to the topical material I’ve been writing for her.”

Just prior to Hides’ trip to Australia, the comedian was caught in a conundrum on how to approach Madonna’s latest song, and specifically her look in the ‘Looking for Love’ video and Grammys performance. The end result spoke for itself.

“More that 80 perc ent thumbs up from Madonna fans so I’m happy, but quite a few people thought it was too mean,” he said.

“We all know why she’s wearing the gloves and I thought I’d covered all the ‘man hand’ and ‘Iggy Pop arms’ jokes in other videos I’ve done before.

“If Madonna doesn’t like it she can give me a slap with her perfectly-gloved hand.”

Details and tickets:

Brisbane: brisbanepowerhouse.org/events/2015/02/14/brisbane-pride-comedy-gala
Melbourne: ghhotel.com.au/2015/01/charlie-hides-live-wed-4-mar
Sydney: theoxfordhotel.com.au/upcoming-events

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