TOM Ballard believes people like talking about serious topics and they especially like to do it while laughing.
The tagline of the show neatly summarises Ballard’s style of dealing with dark topics with humour: “Hey what’s the deal with man’s inhumanity to man? How about those bad things we all do?”
Ballard’s rationale for basing his work on such serious issues is “if we wouldn’t laugh, we’d cry”.
“I’m just attracted to things like terrorism, sexism, homophobia, racism and our apathy and all the silly things occupy ourselves with, when in fact, the world’s basically on fire,” he said.
“I just think that’s funny. I think there’s something very cathartic about coming together and laughing about that.
“I think there’s cool, political edge to comedy, where people come together and to have someone talking quite honestly, I think that’s quite refreshing.”
Much of The World Keeps Happening revolves around Australian politics and the Sydney shows are scheduled for the week after the Federal election. Depending on the results, Ballard may have to rewrite a huge chunk of the show but he doesn’t mind.
“A lot of the show is based on Australian politics and how crazy all of that is, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens this Saturday and see how that affects the show,” he said.
“The political direction of the country is more important than my show.”
Ballard is bringing the show back to Sydney after a sold out run during the city’s comedy festival and before he takes the show on the road to the Edinburgh Comedy Festival.
“Comedy is exciting and works when someone’s got an authentic voice. It’s taken me a while to figure it out,” he said.
“But it felt with this show it kind of landed on a mix of my present political beliefs and keeping it funny. I think some of my previous shows went into a preachy vibe.
“I know I love doing the show… it just felt like a show that had a bit to it and it’s done very well and feel very lucky to keep doing it.”
After Edinburgh, Ballard teases that we can expect to see him on TV shows later in the year, but won’t reveal too much more information.
“I have no scoops, sorry gays,” he said.
When asked for an elevator pitch to sell his show to Star Observer readers Ballard said: “Do you like to laugh? Do you like to think? Then you’ll love Tom Ballard’s The World Keeps Happening. It got nominated for a Barry Award. It got nominated for a Helpmann Award and the Comedy Store is pretty much the best comedy venue in the country. So me, in there, with you, is going to be great.”
The World Keeps Happening:
Venue: The Comedy Store
Dates: Saturday, July 9
Ticket prices: $26.50 + booking fee.