WHEN Rhys Nicholson got his break through Raw Comedy at age 19, he was not afraid to make his appreciation of penis a central theme of his act.

In an interview with the Star Observer while in Brisbane for the Brisbane Comedy Festival, he said his act has evolved in the five years since his first one.

“There’s still plenty of filth in there,” Nicholson said, musing on his new show, Eurgh.

“I’m trying to be a bit more arty this time.”

The flyer for his show states: “Look, I have no idea what I’m doing, but people seem to be liking it.” However, when working out his shtick, Nicholson spoke with a different level of clarity.

“When I first started, I made a pretty straight-forward decision to always be myself. I mean an amped up version of myself. I am definitely not a character,” he said.

Receiving rave reviews as a “confessional comedian”, Nicholson said that his jokes and stories were inspired from life experiences. In the past two years, he went through some big changes, such as shacking up with his partner and taking a huge career step.

The Sydney-based comedian’s latest tour marks a step into the unknown, as it is his first as a full-time comedian since quitting his job last year.

He admitted that while backing himself into the risky world of full-time professional comic, he was given a gentle nudge into his new life — by his old life.

“I had a bit of a crisis about it. It was exciting but it was also ‘what if this doesn’t work out?’” he revealed.

While Nicholson’s comedy can be confronting, he had a dose of his own approach while toiling in his old job.

“I used to work in ticketing in the box office of (Sydney’s) Enmore Theatre and I would sometimes be selling tickets for myself and it was at that point I thought I probably don’t want to do this any more,” Nicholson said.

Regarding his latest show, critics have given him high fives but Nicholson was playful and teasing about what offers: “You will have to come and see the show. It has llamas, guard llamas and it’s even about instincts.”

He later confessed that he still “makes cock jokes” to earn his living.

Nicholson was also adamant that Eurgh resisted a little life message at the end of the show, as he believed “most people just come in for a laugh”.

At the same time, he said there was a conscious effort to move beyond “telling dick jokes in rapid succession”. That is not to say that he gets any less nervous delivering more developed jokes and stories in front of an audience and at the risk of hecklers.

But Nicholson promised his latst show was authentic.

“I don’t go up there and play some kind of character or anything like that,” he said.

“The only thing that’s fake is the glasses.”

INFO: Rhys Nicholson is currently touring Australia. Visit rhysnicholson.com

 There are a few seats left at his Brisbane show that finishes this weekend. Tickets available here.

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