HAVING graced Berwick with his unique style of humour last year as support to Reginald D Hunter, Aussie-born comic Steve Hughes is looking forward to returning to the town on his own headline tour.
He’s been dubbed as one of comedy’s great social commentators and he certainly isn’t afraid to hold back when it comes to all sorts of issues – war, political correctness and the battle of the sexes to name a few.
Steve has been on these shores for 12 years now and said that despite starting his comedy career at an open mic night over the other side of the world, he hadn’t noticed too much of a difference between British and Antipodean audiences.
“Australians will either laugh or they won’t laugh – there’s no polite giggle in between,” he told ‘The Guide’ ahead of his Maltings appearance next week.
“When they do laugh you know you’ve done well, as they will do it wholeheartedly, but they will be deadly silent if they don’t think you’re funny.
“I’d say British crowds had a more varied sense of humour but then again there’s plenty of things to laugh about over here.
“Britain is itself one big contradiction. It’s a very interesting country as on some levels it’s quite free but then at the same time I think there’s almost an inbuilt psychological condition over here for people not to rebel too much. It’s certainly not like France!”
The western world as a whole has given Steve plenty of material for his current tour which began in January and will end at the end of next week.
“The arrogance of the western world is rather stunning,” he continued. “The US is only 200 years old but in my lifetime must have invaded more countries then any other nation.
“It’s strange because unlike in Britain where you don’t get that many anti-war jokes, in America there are loads of comedians doing it; you just never get to hear about them. American humour is either completely amazing or absolutely awful – there’s no middle ground. But there’s comedians over there at the moment who are some of the best in the business and I’d add London comic Ian Stone to that list as well.”
Admitting that his humour was very different from that of mainstream comedy poster boys Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard et al, Steve said although they might not realise it, some comics are in fact top-notch social commentators.
“There comes a time when people get sick of what’s going on in their country. A lot of people work too hard, are in debt, have kids to look after and have a certain degree of apathy to what’s going on outside of their own life but there’s only so much hypocrisy you can take from your home nation before you freak out.
“Comedians like myself sometimes say what the public are thinking. We’re not always the most intelligent in the most traditional sense but there are different kinds of intelligence.”