After battling through the Monday morning public transport commute, an unassuming  office employee was shocked to see his photo plastered across billboards on the Sydney trains network.  After a closer inspection, Bob Deacon came to the unhappy realisation that he was the face of Sydney Transport’s anti-littering campaign.

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Bob Deacon caught in the act

“I’m shocked and dismayed” fumed Deacon as he slurped on his morning long black with a dash of cold milk, “It’s very out-of-character of me to drop a coffee cup on the ground.  I would at least leave it wedged between the palings of the bench if I couldn’t be bothered walking over to the bin”

Deacon continued “I find the term they labelled me vulgar also.  Surely they could have used ‘Hey Litterer’ or something.  It shows the sort of foul-mouthed filth that they employ in those government departments”

Deacon also went on to point out that whilst he cannot deny the photo evidence of his recent littering, he has picked up a lot more than he has dropped at by participating in local Clean Up Australia Day campaigns.  “When I was in the 1st Nyngan Scouts we used to pick up rubbish out at the Bogan River weir, mainly chip packets and Orchy bottles impaled with a snippet of garden hose.  Whilst it was annoying that there were so many litterers in the community resulting in us missing out to Cobar in the prestigious 1997 NSW Tidy Towns Competition, it was good to know that the local hospital wasn’t being clogged up with people suffering from Vitamin C deficiencies”

Bob Deacon has apologised for his thoughtless and careless actions and has given this message to the community, “Listen to the old anti-littering slogans like ‘Do the right thing, put it in the bin’.  It’s a lot less aggressive than ‘Hey Tosser!’.  And on a positive note, I’m just glad they photographed me dropping something trendy like a coffee cup.  I hope the viewers can see that it’s a long black and don’t think it’s something soft like a mocha or something”.

 

Ever since Bob Deacon found out that his father trod the boards in the Nyngan Dramatic Society’s 1970’s production of ‘Damboola’ performed at the Nyngan RSL and Civic Club, he knew that acting was in his blood.  It became further inserted into his bloodstream (like a blood transfusion or whatever… we are talking acting here not medicine) when he found out that his grandmother’s cousin’s wife’s nephew was none other than oscar winning actor Matthew McConaughey.

“Hollywood life doesn’t really interest me”

Whilst McConaughey prefers to act in Hollywood blockbusters, his Australian-based cousin prefers to stick to community theatre in the outer suburbs of Sydney.   “The demands that go pass the parcel of Hollywood life doesn’t really interest me” Deacon elaborated, “There’s no way I would shed 20kg for a role the way Matty did for Dallas Buyers Club.  It was bad enough having them ask me to tie my hair back for a recent theatre production of Lady Windermere’s Fan”

Whilst there is currently only one Best Actor Oscar in the Deacon/McConaughey pool room, Matthew has missed out of several roles to his lesser know cousin.  Deacon reminisced “I think someone told me Matty auditioned for the role of lead guitarist in the nightclub scene in Channel 9’s Love Child too.  They obviously felt I could bring something to the character that Matty couldn’t.  Sure he’s acted alongside some huge Hollywood stars but he is still yet to share the screen with Rhonda Burchmore”.

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Background unbearded Bob at his best

Whilst Deacon and McConaughey have a cousinly rivalry, they are both fans of each others work.  “I usually head down to the local Hoyts to check out whatever dogs breakfast of a film Matty has churned out” joked Bob, “I usually email him a video of my  latest show to the agent contact link on his website, which I’m pretty sure he watches and picks up a few techniques”.

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Hitting the town for Matty’s bucks party

Check out Matthew McConaughey’s new film ‘Free State of Jones’ in cinema’s now, and Bob Deacon’s next theatre show COSI with the Lane Cove Theatre Company from 6-9 April.  Also, check out Bob’s Sydney Comedy Festival show This Ain’t No Packet of Fads on 10th & 12th May.  Look here too www.bobdeacon.com

 

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Snuggled in the armpit of Sydney’s inner west, the stage of iconic Factory Theatre is where Bob Deacon will be performing his latest hour of brand new material as part of the Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival.  We visted him at his Redfern home to find out how the show is shaping up.

Heaps blue-collar

“It’s ready to go, like a packhorse that is ready to go” said Bob as he kicked off his birkenstocks and nibbled on a pink lady purchased from a organic stand at the nearby Everleigh Markets. “And performing at the Factory will be quite apt as I’m heaps blue-collar.  I did two-and-a-half days cotton chipping in the fields near Trangie in the early 2000’s which is an example of that”.

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A working-class Labor voter

Music and comedy, not musical comedy

We asked Bob whether he will be packing his guitar in the boot of his scooter for this show.  “Certainly” replied Bob as he reached for another apple with his coarse, working-class hands, “My style of entertainment is music and comedy, not musical comedy as my songs aren’t particularly funny. If you’re into that sort of stuff maybe go and check out Tripod or whoever”.

Bob’s show is on 27th-30th September and tickets are available at Fringe Comedy or www.bobdeacon.com

Bob Deacon’s late great grandmother’s favourite bird was the blue wren.  His grandmothers the Major Mitchell cockatoo, and his mothers was the willy wagtail.  With Bob’s brand new show ‘EATS, BEATS & PARAKEETS’ debuting at this years Sydney Comedy Festival, we caught up with Bob to ask him about his favourite bird.

“Probably the budgerigar” replied Bob as he gobbled down his last cashew nut in the local park in which we caught up with him.  “I would have called my show ‘Eats, Beats and Budgerigars’ but it didn’t rhyme.  I suppose I could have called it ‘Mars Bars, Guitars and Budgerigars’ but I didn’t think of that till just then and it’s too late to change it as I’ve already printed my posters”

“I learnt a lot about comedy from our pet budgerigar”

Whilst Bob’s families fascination with our feathered friends has helped him come up with the shows title, it’s also helped him in his performance style.  “I learnt a lot about comedy from our pet budgerigar.  If you talk and sing you’ll get told you’re a good boy and even might get a cuttlefish brought back to you from the annual beach holiday, but if you be boring you’ll get fed to the cat”

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Bob singing a funny song.

This is Bob’s third festival length show and we asked him how does he come up with enough material to fill the hour.  “I used to play rugby and the games went for 80 minutes.  It’s a bit like the coach pulling me off with 20 minutes to go.  Sure I’ve missed a few tackles and dropped a few balls, but I never miss training and my Mum and Dad travelled 7 hours to watch this game”

“Sure I’ve missed a few tackles and dropped a few balls”

The lineup in this years festival includes some top comedians such as Dave Hughes, Pete Helliar and Akmal.  What does Bob think of performing alongside such big names in the comedy industry?  “Big names?  Dave Hughes is only two syllables.  If he wanted a bigger name he should have called himself David Hughes”

Come check out Bob’s shows at the Factory Theatre on 3, 5, 7, 8 May 2016.  Tickets available at Ticketek or sydneycomedyfest.com.  Or at Bob’s website www.bobdeacon.com

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Said poster

 

Bob Deacon’s show hasn’t debuted yet, but it looks like it will be a shit show.  Sometimes you need to judge a seafood cookbook by it’s cover.

Bob excited for his new show!

Bob excited for his new show!

If Bob Deacon’s comedy was a seafood, it would be a type of seafood that not everyone likes, maybe like an Eastern Blue Groper.  Most would send him back to the chef in disgust, let alone consider ordering him from the menu.  “I wouldn’t go to see him even if you poked me in the eye with a burnt barge pole” said Geoffrey, a navy scuba diver from Lewisham who recently saw Deacon’s poster in a shop window.  “I’ve never heard of the bloke and I’m hoping to keep it that way.  Judging from the mermaid picture and the font, it looks like it would be a shit show.  Shouldn’t he be using Comic Sans or something?”.

“He doesn’t look like he’d be funny”

Another non-fan is Jessica, a professional dog walker from Vaucluse.  “I haven’t seen him either but I read his bio in the Fringe Comedy magazine.  He doesn’t look at all funny.  I mean his hair and beard look funny, but he doesn’t look like he’d be funny”.

Typical unfunny email by Deacon

Typical unfunny email by Deacon

Cass is someone who knows funny, running a comedy room in Melbourne.  “nathan (sic) and I both agreed that he would put on a shit show.  You could tell that from his email.  Wil Anderson sent me an email once to enquire if he could play at my venue, I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.  The way he wrote ‘Hi Cass’ was brilliant!”

“He would put on a shit show.  You could tell that from his email”

Deacon does have his fans though.  Mrs J. Deacon hasn’t seen her son perform yet but is highly impressed.  “He told this joke once at dinner.  It was about two refugee’s catching a fish and not having enough oil or something.  I forget the joke, or if it was Bob or one of my other sons that told it for that matter, but it was hilarious”.

The ABC's Adam Stephen warming up the crowd at Deacon's show in 2014

The ABC’s Adam Stephen warming up the crowd at Deacon’s show in 2014, and Deacon in happier times.

Deacon’s show ‘In & Around The Sea’ opens this Wednesday at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville as part of the Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival programme.  Tickets can be found at http://www.fringecomedy.com.au.

7:15pm Wednesday 2nd September

7:15pm Friday 4th September

6:15pm Sunday 6th September

Bob looks on admirably at a poster of himself

Bob looks on admirably at a poster of himself

Some people think of comedy as someone telling a joke. Some people think of comedy as a man tripping over a dog. Some people may even think of comedy as a dog telling a joke about tripping on mushrooms in a grassy field on a sunny winters day. Bob Deacon agrees with this to an extent but doesn’t like to be put in a barrier like a racehorse that is put in a barrier before a race.

Bob made us a 3-in-1 coffee imported from Thailand as we caught up at is Redfern apartment.  After asking if we would like any milk or sugar, Bob sat down on his relatively new purple lounge purchased from a Hungarian exchange student to tell us about his new comedy show.

“It’s about the sea and stuff” said Bob as he plucked some stray hairs from his recently trimmed beard.  “I saw some kids down at the beach recently giggling as they poked a blue bottle with a stick, and I thought there has to be something in that.  There are some funny happenings between the little giggling devils with the stick, the deep blue sea, and the shallower, lighter blue sea closer to the coast”.

“I saw some kids down at the beach recently giggling as they poked a blue bottle with a stick, and I thought there has to be something in that”

Whilst some people may think of Bob as someone who wouldn’t say boo to a goose, Bob has been working the inner city comedy scene over the past two years saying boo to many geese as well as many other water birds with the obvious exception of the swan (as this would be disrespectful to the queen as she owns them).  “Comedy is like a juvenile seagull” said Bob as he sipped his coffee out of a mug with a cat on it.  “It sometimes will get bullied by the older seagulls, you know how they puff themselves up and do that walk, but if you stand next to the pigeons long enough looking sorry for yourself, the tourists will eventually go out of their way to ensure you get a couple of chips”.

“Comedy is like a juvenile seagull”

Bob prefers to incorporate a variety of musical instruments into his act.  He plays the acoustic guitar, the tenor ukulele, the jaw harp and the saxophone amongst others.  When we asked him what his favourite instrument is, Bob mused profoundly and then replied, “Depends on the audience.  If the audience is only me I don’t like to play anything at all.  I’d rather be sitting in the park with a J. D Sallinger novel and a packet of white chocolate and macadamia nut biscuits.  But if their is an audience, probably the guitar as it’s the easiest to see”.

Bob doing some musical comedy with a guitar

Bob doing some musical comedy with a guitar

Bob is hoping he won’t be by himself when the Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival commences this week.  Bob is playing three shows at the Factory Theatre on the 2nd, 4th and 6th September.  “It will be a hoot” said Bob when we asked him what audiences could expect from the show.  “Hoot means good.  I could also have said it will be a scream or it will be mad or something, but hoot is probably the most apt for this show”.

“In & Around the Sea” opens this Wednesday at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville as part of the Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival and tickets can be found at http://www.fringecomedy.com.au

7:15pm Wednesday 2nd September

7:15pm Friday 4th September

6:15pm Sunday 6th September