Lauren Bok and Joanne Brookfield

Interview 5 – Lauren Bok and Joanne Brookfield

“I’ve felt the steely, cold wind of a giant bomb stinking up the stage and when you get off and you’re like, I can’t look anyone in the eye…I’m going home to wash myself of the failure that is surrounding me.” Lauren Bok on a bad night at the office.

Lauren was the first of 60 women interviewed for Joanne Brookfield’s new book “No Apologies” – celebrating the power of women, their voices and their stories. When you do the math, that’s 60 interviews x 5,000 words per interview = 300,000 words that Joanne has skillfully crafted into a 65,000 word ‘must read’.

Stella questions: “Can we hope for the day when we don’t actually need the book? Where inequality at lots of levels: gender, race, disability, etc doesn’t exist?”

As Joanne points out: “The point of the book is that we’re not there yet!”

There’s a real sense of closeness among the comedy ‘sisterhood’, which stems from bizarre inequities and impossibly shaped hurdles. “We’re not allowed to get it right, but we’re always told we’re getting it wrong.”, says Joanne. It’s appears to be not just about equality, but a unique response rejecting/countering phobic, sexist material delivered up as entertainment by the comic majority.

Gender archetypes have made it a challenge for women to ‘rage on stage’. The suggestion is that ‘permission’ is gendered – “Go for it dude! But be careful ladies”. But of course comedy has the unique ability to mock itself, holding up a mirror in a powerful medium for different points of view and diversity of perspective – inclusive regardless.

As lauren so beautifully puts it…

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs

Interview 4 – Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs

Tune into a rapid fire chat with the authors of the book and hit show: ‘Women like us’, Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs.

In an hilarious look at gender stereotypes, parenting, comedy coaching and writing, Stella, Mandy and Ellen ‘rip the band aid off’ our changing cultural norms.

Mandy has coached over 1,500 people in the comic arts (“Yes and five of them are working” she quips) including Ellen who was writing a book at the time that was “getting funnier”. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and Women Like Us, now in it’s fifth year.

It’s not always easy to fathom the years of refining, testing, failing and succeeding that results in a truly funny – and what seems like an ‘off the cuff’, spontaneous comedy routine. Mandy reckons it took her a decade before she hit her straps. Ellen was dead against doing stand up, but delights in ‘making people angry’, leaving her nowhere to go but up with her audience – there’s no people pleasing without some kind of human sacrifice!

In a classic moment during the interview, Stella opens the topic matter up to more weighty issues like: what’s sexy about middle age and the disproportionately small number of women in comedy ,which they all get right down to. But not before Ellen shatters the more serious tone by announcing: “Before we do that, I thought my drink would last longer?” Stage and audience crack up with Mandy suggesting: “Sounds like the title for the next book!”

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Hung Le and Rod Quantock

Interview 1 – Hung Le and Rod Quantock

Stella brings in the maiden interview of the ‘Funny about books’ podcast live at the Newport Comedy Room with special guests and legendary comics – Rod Quantock and Hung Le.

Rod proudly confesses to having never written for his stand up routines, but Hung admits to aiming for a cracking punch line every three sentences!

In a conversation taking more twists and turns than a federal politician watering with a cheap garden hose, the group discusses whether comics are made or born, the delights of the classics and how much fun it is to ‘peel the tape off’ racial and political stereotypes.

“It really helps if you look funny‚Ķ” reflects Hung about physical comedy, to which Rod quips: “You lucky bastard!”

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Richard Stubbs

Interview 3 – Richard Stubbs and Evan Hocking

Comedy, radio and TV icon – Richard Stubbs – joins Stella and ‘grass roots’ comic Evan Hocking for a wild discussion covering everything from duty free to running the country.

Richard, who is best known for hosting variety show Tonight Live on Channel 7, pioneering breakfast and drive time radio comedy (XY Zoo on Melbourne’s 3XY and later on 3 Triple M) – has recently returned to stand-up between ongoing corporate gigs and presenting on ABC Radio Melbourne.

Like many Melbourne comedians, Richard had his first shot on stage at The Last Laugh in Collingwood during the early 80’s – where he (and many other aspiring comics) worked as a barman at the time.

Stella, Evan and Richard compare notes on the current comedy scene: “Four minutes on stage for a try-out, and no pay”, Evan reports flatly – with Richard curbing his earlier career interstate travel expectations, now being “put up overnight in the promoter’s spare room”!

We also hear some of Richard’s family tales as brother, father and son. Like many people approaching their 6th decade, he tells the familiar challenging stories of ageing parents, new loves and flexible careers.

His retirement plan will crack you up – look out for him as you come through customs at Melbourne Airport (or in federal parliament as this week’s prime minister)!

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Greg Fleet

Interview 2 – Greg Fleet

Veteran comedian and author of three books – Greg Fleet – joins Stella in a walk down (sketchy?) memory lane when comedy venues like The Last Laugh and The Prince Patrick were the ‘Valhalla’ of aspiring comics.

During their shared experiences in the 80’s, The Comedy Company and The Big Gig brought with them incredible television exposure for Australian comedians, who also made up the majority of the show’s writers. So comedian to writer and author isn’t such a big stretch.

In a frank, revealing and sometimes heartbreaking sojourn, Stella and Greg meander through his experiences of grammar school, acting, hard drugs and a mysterious father figure. It’s a heartfelt story of two very close friends (even closer in the early days ;>)

(Apologies to Michael Collins, Jacinda Arden and Dave Taranto whose names were mispronounced during the show).

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.