Tim Ferguson rolls into Ballarat with Near Death Experience

Dark humour: Doug Anthony All Stars, with mentor Paul ‘Flacco’ Livingston replacing Richard Fidler, will come to Ballarat on June 23.
Dark humour: Doug Anthony All Stars, with mentor Paul ‘Flacco’ Livingston replacing Richard Fidler, will come to Ballarat on June 23.

Tim Ferguson says he would rather float above reality in a boat marked “stupid” than be at the bottom of the ocean in a boat marked “clever”.

The Doug Anthony All Stars comedian, who made his directorial debut last year in Spin Out, says his buoyancy unsettles other comedians.

The trio – with their mentor Paul “Flacco” Livingston replacing original member Richard Fidler – will bring their tour Near Death Experience to Ballarat Mechanics Institute on June 23. 

“I went to nine schools which meant I was always low status because I was always the new kid so I learnt to be emotionally independent which is its own kind of crazy,” Ferguson says.

“I’m not saying my way of doing things is better, it does have downsides because it is quite often the denial of stark examples – for example I have multiple sclerosis and I’m in a wheelchair – but it’s better than surrendering to grim realities.

“It’s better to be above them in a boat marked stupid than at the bottom of the ocean in a boat marked clever.”

The Doug Anthony All Stars took out the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s Spirit of the Fringe Award in a return lauded as dark, sick and funny as ever.

“Our show was certainly a surprise for Britain they didn’t see it coming, they thought we much be old so we’d turn up and do our old material but it’s an entirely different show,” Ferguson says.

“This new show is about the pressure of being a carer and one thing nobody ever talks about is people don’t necessarily enjoy being a carer, they say it’s a joy. 

“Tell that to Paul McDermott he’s got a better things to do in his day than pushing a wheelchair.”

Ferguson says his boy-ish good humour is still a thorn in McDermott’s side.

“They just assume it’s the MS drugs that I’m on because it can’t be real because really good comedians are like Woody Allen, they’re nervous, they’re hypochondriacs, they doubt themselves,” he says.

“The self deprecation is real so when they see someone like me who is consciously optimistic, they think it’s a decision I make.”

The Doug Anthony All Stars will perform at the Ballarat Mechanics Institute on Friday, June 23 for two shows – one at 7.30pm and a second at 9.30pm. Doors and bar opens at 6pm.

To book visit www.trybooking.com/PJTS.

This story Near death experience first appeared on The Courier.