Alex Williamson is one of Australia’s best-loved comedians. He’s gone by several names down the years; Shooter Williamson, The Loosest Aussie Bloke, but a flower that squirts water in your face by any other name is still just as hilarious, and his ocker-themed brand of comedy has made him one of the funniest blokes going around the circuit.
As with many comedians of this era, Alex’s breakthrough was assisted by the creation of dozens of fantastic online videos, generally themed around poking fun at bogan Australians. A self-professed bogan himself, he still churns out the content to this day, across his social channels at a rate of knots.
We caught up with Shooter to chat about his current tour, why some of his jokes don’t hold up quite as well overseas, and what he might be doing if he wasn’t a comedian.
Music Feeds: First things first, how’s the tour been so far, how have the crowds been?
Alex Williamson: They’ve been receptive. It’s been a nice little boxing ring where you can say what you like and there are no rules. I’ve also had a good time doing Australian crowds after coming back from the UK and New Zealand where I had to slow down how I speak because I’m hard to understand for them, that’s how country I am. When we were there you’ve just got slow it down so they understand what you’re saying, and I can tell different jokes as well. It’s nice to come back to the Australian crowds because a few of the jokes and a few of the punchlines I had overseas were very Australian. For example one of my punch lines is just “Shannon Noll” and I didn’t realise that he’s not a global human, it’s just us that know about Shannon.
MF: Which crowds are more fun to perform to, city or rural?
AW: When I do a show in say, Sydney or Melbourne or the other capitals…If I do a 7pm show they’ll think “cool I’ve got time for one drink” before they see the show. It feels a bit rushed. But when I do a show in Bundaberg or Toowoomba or some Goddamned place, people are like “7 o’clock show? Cool I’ll get seven drinks and five pills in” before the show. No worries. They do rock up at the gigs a bit more like if they were seeing a DJ or something, and they think they can yell out requests, but I shut them up pretty quick, those rowdy cunts.
MF: You’ve been doing stand up for over a decade now. Do you ever watch back tapes or listen back to the stuff from when you were starting out, and do you think about your material back then with nostalgia?
AW: Even the early videos I think “how did this shit go viral? What the fuck?” I fully get that sometimes. I can’t even watch it back sometimes, the old stuff I did. I know there’s some diehards that might appreciate it. But I don’t even want to think about what I was doing back then. I’m sure it’ll get brought to my attention at some point.
MF: Do you still love doing this just as much, 10 years later?
AW: There’s been some ups and downs. It’s quite a depressing world, the world of a comedian. That’s why some of them end up popping themselves, just you on the road and the mini-bar. It gets a little bit like “what is this?” But the rewards are there. I like that I bring a little bit of joy to people’s day, and I’ll keep doing what I’m doing for the time being. I see no reason to stop anytime soon. The internet seems to be the future, it seems to be what people are striving to get discovered on, and get a name for themselves on these days. Even more so than television, it seems to be, as a stoned observer. So I think I’m probably in the right lane at the moment.
MF: You’re known for your social media presence, almost as much as your stand-up. Do you think that today it’s necessary to have a social presence to be successful in comedy?
AW: Yeah it is crucial to have the social media presence and the online presence. That’s why Kim Kardashian did a sex tape. That’s the equivalent of a comedian getting caught with drugs; it just helps your career. I would always recommend that. But the stage part is a completely different game. You can’t just stand up there and understand all the parts and all the intricacies; it’s really something that you have to work on. It’s been a good six, seven years now that I’ve been doing it. So the work has been there.
MF: Do you ever get sick of having to come up with stuff for your socials?
AW: There’s enough dumb cunts around that there’s always material. I don’t ever feel like I’m scratching my head. I just meet another dumb cunt and think “great, I’ll talk about this bloke for a bit”.
MF: If you weren’t doing this as a career, what would you be doing?
AW: I certainly wouldn’t be a high school teacher, which is what I’m trained to do. I was a high school teacher but then all the kids watched the videos and it got a bit messy there for a while. Not that I’d want to do that. I’d like to be a scientist, working on the medicinal marijuana. Trying to get the most chronic shit, that 99% THC shit. That’s probably what I’d do.
MF: Have you ever thought of doing a full-on musical comedy show, Bill Bailey style?
AW: Well, there’s a couple of songs in the show at the moment. One’s a song for my drug dealer who got caught by the police, an ode to him. The other one is about if being good at PlayStation 4 got you girls — you know how you see a good footy player with girls off their arm? I want to change that and I enjoy the musical parts of my gigs, and who knows if it could someday lead to an entire musical show, or me doing an album – like a Lonely Island-esque sort of album.
For Williamson’s full list of Aussie tour dates including his stint at the Brisbane Comedy Festival, check out his Official Facebook page.