HOW far would you go for your career? Perhaps you’d move interstate, take a pay cut for the right gig, or even put up with the world’s worst boss. But would nude bungy jumping ever be part of the deal?
For Port Melbourne comedian Tommy Little, ripping off all his clothes and plummeting off a platform in New Zealand was terrifying and even a tad humiliating, but it gave him plenty of fodder for his stand-up shows.
Luckily, Little says he gained more than wind burn from the experience – he also gained a more daring attitude.
“I felt so uncomfortable, I think the whole of New Zealand felt uncomfortable,” he says.
“I think it’s important for life – you should occasionally be uncomfortable and you should occasionally be awkward, so you can go through the spectrum of life, otherwise you’ll just have mediocrity.
“So what I’m trying to say is get nude and find something to jump off.”
Little has worked his way up from obscurity, with his first year packed with 106 unpaid shows, to hosting Channel 31’s talk show Studio A, to making appearances on The Today Show, Mornings with Kerri-Anne, The 7pm Project and radio station Nova FM.
This year, the 27-year-old is returning to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with his new show, A Fistful of Apologies, which he describes as a show about “being young and stuffing up in life”.
“It’s about me, I became an uncle for the first time and I had a think about what I would tell my niece if I had to give her some words of advice. It really cleansed my soul of some of the mistakes I’ve made, some private, some not,” he says.
Little says considering huge success as a comedian is rare, he’s lucky his career choice is “kind of working out”.
“I think I just sucked at everything else, I don’t think it was so much a choice as a last resort,” he says.
“I try not to think about it at all because it’s a really bleak outlook. Only a few people do really well at this and the odds aren’t very good. I have no plan B, so I try to surge on and not think about it.”
So what is it that makes a comedian laugh? Little says he still enjoys simple humour.
“If you give me Australia’s Funniest Home Videos and it involves a pinata, I’m happy. Ideally the comedy I’d love to do is not just funny but also works on a deeper level as well, but still the funniest thing for me to watch is someone getting hit in the nuts.”