Joel Creasey: Queen Of The Outback

Joel Creasey: Queen Of The Outback
Image: Joel Creasey

Joel Creasey is an Australian comedy icon and now he is cementing his status as one of this country’s top comic personalities with his new special, Joel Creasey: Queen of the Outback, set to begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video, February 17.

Creasey spoke to the Star Observer in support of his new special and about his reign as one of Australia’s favourite comedy stars.

It’s my third televised stand-up special, but certainly my first on this scale. It’s rare for stand-ups to perform outside. We are creatures of the dark who like dingy pubs and air-conditioned theatres generally. But it was a terrifying thrill nonetheless,” Creasey says of his special, which was filmed in Broken Hill.

Broken Heel festival

The outback town, made famous in the classic comedy The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, now plays host to its renowned LGBTQ festival delightfully named the Broken Heel festival. It was during last year’s event that Creasey filmed his special.

“The Broken Heel Festival is utterly sensational…The love and joy that was in Broken Hill was truly unmatched. And it certainly wasn’t lost on me that Broken Heel is, at heart, a drag festival. So to be allowed to have that stage time I was incredibly appreciative of. I don’t say this lightly, but it was possibly one of the happiest weekends of my life.” 

Some might think that country towns may not be as accepting or open to LGBTQ comedy but Creasey says, “I don’t think there’s a major difference between rural and metro audiences. If anything I find rural audiences are sometimes a bit more ‘up for fun.’ I think performers who ‘water’ their material down for audiences really misjudge rural Australia…some of my favourite gigs have been in rural Australia. I often think of a gig…in a whiskey distillery in Kununurra. It was one of the best shows of my life. And being beside a whiskey distillery wasn’t bad either.”

LGBTQI-Centric Comedy

Creasey says the material in his new special will likely be familiar to his Australian fan base. 

“It’s new to a global audience, less so for keen followers from Australia as I wanted to present my ‘best bits.’ My stand-up is completely autobiographical so I don’t really tackle complex subjects like my peers do. I’m also not smart enough to give a ‘hot take’ on any political issue. I also…just love making people laugh”

“When you come to my show I really don’t want people to think too hard, I want it to be a reprieve from everyday life. I’m hyper-aware that people aren’t just buying a ticket but also may have booked a babysitter, cab, a restaurant, drinks… I like my audience to kick back, relax and laugh… I always say, ‘let me do the hard work.’ And, really, is making people laugh for an hour or so hard work? Not really. It’s a joy.” 

The Australian comedy scene is bursting at the seams with Queer stand-up talent and Creasey celebrates the new visibility and popularity of LGBTQI-centric comedy.

Queer Comedians In Australia

“I think people say, ‘there’s a lot of queer comedians in Australia,’ as we are so front and centre at the moment. I think that’s because we are all doing well. We’ve got talent like Rhys Nicholson, Geraldine Hickey, Hannah Gadsby, Tom Ballard, Nath Valvo, Josh Thomas, Melinda Buttle, Nina Oyama… and legends like Bob Downe, Dolly Diamond… the list goes on and I’ve probably missed out many. They’re all crushing it. I think Australia is incredibly receptive. It’s very cool to see and there’s space for all of us.”

“We’re all very busy dithering away at our own ‘craft,’ but I think that’s what makes it so exciting. And we all get along! Rhys in particular is my best friend and it’s awesome to have someone to vent to who has such a similar lived experience. I think people sometimes try to prod a rivalry. We’re actually just two kids, one from Perth and one from Newcastle, who watched all the fabulous women of stand-up growing up and thought, ‘we want to be just like them.’”

Creasey says he never really had a choice but to be an ‘out’ comic. “I’ve always been out – it was hard to keep my limp wrists in the closet. And of course, it informs my stand up to a degree. What queer comedians find infuriating, however, is that people think that when we mention our partners or our coming out stories it’s ‘gay comedy.’ It isn’t. It’s just us talking about our lives. Heterosexual comedians don’t get criticized for talking about their husbands, wives and sex lives and nor should they. Comedy is subjective and we all genuinely get that. If you’re not into my humour I totally get it… just find someone else. You’re allowed to do that.”

Mardi Gras Film Festival

Aside from a full comedy dance card, Creasey has a number of other projects in the works. “I don’t think many comedians can ever shake their ‘ambition,’ so I do have a few jobs coming up that will perhaps surprise people. One [is] a documentary for the ABC addressing the crisis Australia is facing right now with our pounds overflowing with abandoned dogs…it’s called New Leash On Life and will air later in the year; not to mention I host the national drive show for Nova and as far as I’m aware I’m the only openly gay person hosting a national prime time FM slot. It’s a privilege to do so and one that I appreciate every day. And of course… Eurovision!”

First up though is his comedy special. “I am presenting my special at the MGFF which is an absolute treat! I’m very excited. Otherwise, it’ll be my first Mardi Gras where I’ve not hosted the broadcast…so I’m excited to just enjoy the atmosphere. My mum is joining me this year so I guess I better find her a feather boa and a harness?!”

Joel Creasey: Queen of the Outback will screen February 16 at 7 pm at Event Cinemas on George Street, as part of Queer Screen’s 30th Mardi Gras Film Festival. 



You May Also Like

Comments are closed.