Off Stage

A comedian and a pair of trousers which fell apart

Dave Callan is said to have performed his first comedy gig at age eight.
Dave Callan is said to have performed his first comedy gig at age eight. PHOTO: DAVE CALLAN

Ireland-born Dave Callan is no stranger to the entertainment business, allegedly having booked his first comedy gig at the tender age of eight.

The 39-year-old comedian is a familiar face on Australian television and is a regular on Good Game, a video game review programme on ABC 2.

He also hosts his own radio show on Australian station triple-j.

His brand of comedy primarily consists of observational humour and he is best known for the hilarious dance numbers he ends his shows with, such as a recent spoof of singer Taylor Swift's Shake It Off.

The self-proclaimed high- functioning chocoholic will be in town for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow later this month.


    WHERE: Kallang Theatre

    WHEN: July 23,8pm

    ADMISSION: $45 to $88 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to

    INFO: Rated M18 for strong language and suggestive themes

What are some of your pre-show rituals?

I like to have good healthy food and do some exercise and meditation. Writing a set list also helps. 

Do you ever have to deal with stage fright, and if so, how do you deal with it?

I don't really get frightened, but when I do, it all goes away with mindfulness and especially when you get your first laugh.

What is the worst heckle you have received?

I remember someone yelling, "You're not as funny as (Scottish comedian) Billy Connolly" during a pause for effect at an important corporate gig. I had to ignore it because, technically, it was true. 

Funniest blooper you have made onstage?

I was going to do a pole dance halfway through a set once and I had those special tearaway trousers that male strippers wear.

I made them myself so they weren't very good. They kept falling apart while I was doing the stand-up part and I had to keep pulling them up and put them together again. 

How do you deal with critics?

I think it's important to work hard and believe in yourself, no matter what people tell you. 

Most important thing for aspiring comedians to avoid?

It's vital not to go overtime or tackle controversial subjects before building up the skills to make them work. 

What is the key to making people laugh?

Having a fun outlook on life and possibly overthinking things.

How do you celebrate after every performance?

With much feasting and dancing.

If you were not doing comedy, what do you think you would be doing?

I was working in an animation studio before, so probably that. Or a ninja.

Who is your inspiration?


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2015, with the headline 'A comedian and a pair of trousers which fell apart'. Subscribe