Joe Avati has a way of captivating his audience, he tells his stories in a relatable fashion, using a mixture of English and Italian keeping the crowds in fits of laughter. His humour is clean cut, he has always stood by his ‘no swearing’ policy, he feels that it is unecessary on stage. I couldnt agree more!
My Mum attended his Saturday 9th May 2015 show and here’s what she had to say;
“Not only did Joe Avati have the audience gushing with laughter, he delivered his jokes with precision timing and factual accuracy, which only an Italian-reared comedian could. Juxtaposed alongside his side-splitting humour were comedic pearls of wisdom about modern technology and parenting. His facial expressions denoted his artistic and acting abilities and confirmed that he is a true Italian with a devilish sense of humour. I have not laughed as much since I attended Jerry Lewis’s last Perth concert. Joe Avati is a true consummate professional and deserves to be rated as one of Australia’s best comedians.”
Joe Avati has been loved by Australian and International audiences for 20 years now. Ahead of his up and coming sell out tour in Perth, I wanted to find out more about him and asked all the hard hitting questions from astrology to current affairs… Well maybe not so hard hitting after all.. 😉
How did you go from being a shy child to a stand up comedian?
I STARTED PLAYING IN BANDS AND SONGWRITING WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER AND THAT REALLY GOT ME OUT OF MY SHELL. I PLAYED KEYBOARDS AND GUITAR SO I WAS PERFORMING BUT WASNT THE FRONT MAN SO THAT WAS OK. SO IT WAS EASIER TO MAKE THE LEAP FROM BEING IN THE BACKGROUND TO BEING THE FRONT MAN WHEN I STARTED PERFORMING COMEDY. A LOT OF PEOPLE REALLY DONT BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY THAT I WAS EXTREMELY SHY. IN MANY WAYS I STILL AM. IN A BAR OR CLUB I WOULD NEVER GO AND TALK TO ANYONE UNLESS I KNEW THEM AND SOMETIMES PEOPLE MISTAKE THAT FOR SNOBBERY WHEN IN FACT I AM JUST EXTREMELY SHY.
Were your parents supportive in your journey?
I DIDNT TELL MY FOLKS THAT I WAS TRYING OUT AT COMEDY NIGHTS. SOMEONE ELSE TOLD THEM THEY SAW ME. I WANTED TO MAKE SURE I WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEM TO SEE ME. THE FIRST TIME THEY ACTUALLY SAW ME PERFORM LIVE I HAD ALREADY BEEN A PROFESSIONAL COMEDIAN FOR ABOUT A YEAR, THEY KNEW IT MADE ME HAPPY AND I WAS EARNING A BETTER INCOME THAN MY DAY JOB. MY FATHER ALWAYS SAID – GET A DEGREE SON THEN YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT – I GOT TWO AND NOW I MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH. EVERYONE IS HAPPY.
Im sure all the women want to know if you are one of those Italian men who can cook?
BEING A QUALIFIED FOOD SCIENTIST MOST PEOPLE AUTOMATICALLY THINK YOU CAN COOK – FOOD SCIENCE, WHILST IT DOES PLAY A BIG PART IN THE COOKING PROCESS, DOESNT ACTUALLY TEACH YOU HOW TO COOK. I DO COOK BUT I AM SELF TAUGHT. I DONT FOLLOW RECIPES I JUST FOLLOW MY INSTINCTS. PROBLEM IS SOMETIMES ITS HARD TO REPLICATE A DISH WHEN YOU PUT IN A PINCH OF THIS AND A PINCH OF THAT.
What has led you to survive in this industry with international success and sell out shows?
I THINK THAT HAS BEEN BECAUSE MY SHOWS HAVE ALWAY BEEN ABOUT AN EXPERIENCE. YOU DONT JUST COME AND LAUGH YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE AND THAT EXPERIENCE COMES HOME WITH YOU AND STAYS WITH YOU FOR DAYS, WEEKS AND SOMETIMES MONTHS. ALSO MYSELF AND MY FELLOW COMEDIANS PUT A LOT OF WORK INTO CONSTANTLY TRYING TO MAKE THE SHOW BETTER, NEWER, SLICKER AND FUNNIER SO THAT OUR AUDIENCES KNOW WHEN THEY SEE “JOE AVATI PRODUCTIONS” AT THE TOP OF THE POSTER THEY ARE GOING TO GET A QUALITY SHOW. I HAVE SPENT YEARS TOURING AMERICA AND EUROPE AND HAVE LEARNT SO MUCH ABOUT SHOWMANSHIP. SOMETIMES AUSSIE ACTS ARE AFRAID OF PUTTING ON A SHOW.
Fluffy girly question ALERT … What star sign are you? (sorry had to ask)
ITS FUNNY HOW STAR SIGNS MEAN SO MUCH TO SOME PEOPLE AND NOTHING TO OTHERS. I ONCE HAD A FRIEND OF MINE ASK ME TO READ HER STAR SIGN FROM THE HOROSCOPE IN THE PAPER. SHE WAS CANCERIAN AND ON PURPOSE I READ HER SCORPIO’S HOROSCOPE FOR THE DAY AND SHE SAID “OH MY GOD THAT IS JUST SO SPOT ON FOR ME RIGHT NOW” – ANYWAYS TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION MY BIRTHDAY IS ON 23 AUGUST SO I AM RIGHT ON THE LEO/VIRGO CUSP. IF YOU ASK MY CLOSE FRIENDS THEY WILL TELL YOU I HAVE QUALITIES OF BOTH. I WOULDNT REALLY KNOW WHAT QUALITIES LEO’S OR VIRGO’S HAVE. I AM MUCH BETTER AT TELLING YOU IF A PERSON HAS A NICE SOUL OR IS EVIL. I AM DRIVEN MORE BY ENERGY.
The burning question everyone wants to know…What do you think about Nonna Paola??
SHE IS FANTASTIC A NATURAL AND A BREATH OF FRESH AIR. BIG FAN OF HER SUCCESS AND ITS BEEN A WONDERFUL RESURGENCE FOR ETHNIC COMEDY AND COMEDY ABOUT THE TRUTHFULNESS BEHIND THE WAY OUR GRANDPARENTS ARE WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE CORNERSTONE OF MY COMEDY. I HOPE THAT BY THE TIME THIS ARTICLE HAS COME OUT THAT I WOULD HAVE ACTUALLY MET HER. HER SON AND I CHAT FREQUENTLY.
What sort of audiences do your shows attract?
I AM LUCKY IN THAT MY SHOWS ATTRACT AUDIENCES OF ALL AGES, MAINLY ITALIANS OFCOURSE BECAUSE I BECAME FAMOUS FOR MY BILINGUAL SHOWS BUT IN THE LAST 4 YEARS I HAVE NOTICED ALOT MORE NON ITALIANS COMING TO THE SHOWS BECAUSE OF MY APPEARANCES IN IL DAGO, COMICUS ERECTUS AND THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE ETHNIC WHICH WERE AIMED AT A WIDER MARKET AND MY PERFORMANCES WERE COMPLETELY IN ENGLISH. YOUTUBE HAS ALSO DONE WONDERS IN EXPANDING THE DEMOGRAPHIC OF MY AUDIENCES. I INSIST ON MY SHOWS AND PRODUCTIONS BEING CLEAN SO THAT ALSO HELPS BRING IN AUDIENCES OF ALL AGES – FROM 8 YEARS OLDS TO 80 YEAR OLDS.
Have you met a famous person/mentor who has left you speechless?
YES I MET THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA JEAN CHRETIEN. I WAS INVITED BY HIS OFFICE TO MEET WITH HIM TO WELCOME ME TO CANADA AND TO THANK ME FOR MY SERVICES TO THE ITALIAN CANADIAN COMMUNITY. HE LEFT ME SPEECHLESS BECAUSE HE WOULDNT STOP TALKING AND I COULDNT GET A WORD IN.
What is your “Back to Basics” show all about?
I CALLED IT BACK TO BASICS BECAUSE OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS I HAVE PRODUCED SHOWS WHERE WE HAVE HAD SKETCHES, SONGS, VIDEO ITEMS ETC AND WITH THIS SHOW THE GIMMICKS HAVE BEEN PUT ASIDE AND ITS JUST ME, A MICROPHONE AND AN AUDIENCE PERFORMING THE BEST OF MY OLD AND THE BEST OF MY NEW MATERIAL IN ITS RAWEST FORM – STAND UP.
What do you do before or after a show to wind down or relax?
I AM NOT REALLY A WIND DOWN KIND OF PERSON. I STARTED BEING BUSY IN 1999 AND HAVNT STOPPED SINCE. THE IDEA OF SITTING ON A BEACH DOING NOTHING FOR A WEEK WOULD DRIVE ME INSANE. I CANT EVER REMEMBER BEING ON A HOLIDAY WHERE FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR OR TWO EVERY DAY I WASNT WORKING. I FEEL MOST AT EASE IN THE MIDDLE OF A BIG CITY WHERE THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE AND LOTS OF ACTION GOING ON. IF I AM AT HOME IN MELBOURNE I USUALLY HEAD OUT TO MEET FRIENDS IN A BAR OR RESTAURANT BUT I LIKE TO JUST SIT AND PEOPLE WATCH CAUSE I DONT LIKE TALKING IN THAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT. IF I AM ON TOUR I HEAD STRAIGHT BACK TO THE HOTEL BECAUSE I AM USUALLY ON THE FIRST FLIGHT BACK HOME. SOMETIMES IF I CAN GET ON A FLIGHT STRAIGHT AFTER THE SHOW YOU CAN BET I WILL BE ON IT. I KNOW ITS A BORING ANSWER. I SUPPOSE YOU WERE THINKING I WAS GOING TO GIVE YOU A ROCK AND ROLL KIND OF ANSWER? WELL I COULD BUT MY MUM MIGHT BE READING THIS – SHE HAS DISCOVERED GOOGLE AND SAYS THAT SHE KNOWS MORE ABOUT ME FROM GOOGLE THAN WHAT I TELL HER. SO FOR YOU MUM I GO STRAIGHT TO SLEEP AFTER A SHOW.
Your shows have been sell out here in Perth and we are happy to see you have now released a 3rd show at the Tuscany Club in Balcatta. Details are in the above image.
Thank you so much for your time and we will see you in Perth very soon !