Becky Lucas is the master of the surprise punchline.
She sets up a predictable joke and then, as nonchalantly as anyone has ever been, takes it somewhere extreme.
Like this, from her Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala spot: "I'm always scrolling," she says. "On my phone. You know what I mean? And I'm never like, 'f--- yeah, that was such a good scroll'. I just do it, when I could be doing something else."
'Like learning a language', you fill in inside your head, or, 'like learning how to bonsai'.
Instead, Lucas finishes, "like getting dressed up in a wedding dress and running around the park screaming, 'Where is heeeeeeeee'.
Followed by her instantly recognisable giggle.
She describes her comedy as 'playful' and 'cheeky', but it also packs a punch. If you're trying to place where you've heard of her, she's the comedian who made headlines last year when she was banned from Twitter, for saying that Scott Morrison's head should be chopped off.
She'll be in Launceston on October 5 for the 2019 Fresh Comedy Gala, along with Charlie Pickering, Claire Hooper, and Dave Thornton.
FV: You've recently been on [American talk show] Conan - how different is doing the late night TV circuit in America compared to appearing on Australian shows?
BL: It's completely different. Doing the [Melbourne International Comedy Festival] Gala was very nervewracking, but it's also more familiar because you know the crowd and you know, culturally, what they're going to like.
I think we look to America as a pillar: we watch so many of their TV shows and movies. When you're doing stuff over there you feel like the little cousin. So it's nervewracking in a different way, because you feel like you're not good enough. Which is silly, because there's lots of really bad comedians over there too.
FV:Do you think your comedy is culturally specific?
BL: No, there's just little turns of phrases that you forget aren't universal. You say stuff that, here, will ring a bell, or it's nostalgic, and people will just laugh. That obviously doesn't work in America. And they really don't like the C word. In Australia you can say that word and it's funny, and people get it, but audiences over there just shut down.
FV: Are you dropping a lot of C-bombs in your set?
BL: Not a lot, but sometimes a well-placed one can be good. And I forgot that they don't like it - or maybe I didn't. Maybe there's that part of me that wants to do it, just to annoy them. Like, as soon as someone says you can't do something, you want to do it.
FV: Do you think your comedy is specific to a younger audience? You know, that understands what millennials are dealing with, or, how Twitter works?
BL: You know, funny people grow old. And they can be the best audience because they're relaxed. They've been talking about gross stuff for longer than all of us. And older people know what's authentic. They don't have time for bulls--t. They laugh at what they think is funny. So I think [my comedy] is for everyone. And sometimes, for no one. [Laughs]
I dig a mix. If it's all young people it can be hard because young people are so self-conscious. They're worried about what they laugh at. But then young people know what I'm talking about a bit more a lot of the time. So a mix, it's fun to have a mix of people in the crowd. It's weird: having a group of people who have never sat down together before, laughing at something. That's fun.
FV: Have you been to Launceston before?
BL: I've done Fresh Comedy a few times over the past couple of years and I love it. I really love coming to Tassie.
FV: What have your impressions been of Launceston so far?
BL: It's normally pretty in-and-out, but I was thinking of coming down a few days earlier this time and maybe renting a car. I don't know, I was surprised by the monkeys in the park. That's weird. It's so cool.
FV: It is weird.
It's bizarre. I do like Launceston, I love all the houses.
FV: I was listening to your interview on [podcast] Wilosophy the other day where you were talking about how you're at a point now that you're only making time to do things that you really want to do, and I was like, 'OK great, she must really want to come to Launceston'. So, thank you.
BL: Yeah, it's good to have that on the record, so when I'm doing stuff people think that I'm, you know, 100 per cent. [Laughs]
But yeah, totally. I've done some awful gigs in my time. Truly. Really, really bad. I was talking the other day about this horrible gig I was booked for up in Gladstone. I didn't realise it was in a food court.
FV: Oh my goodness.
BL: Between like, a Terry White Chemist and a McDonalds. They handed me a little amp with an attached microphone that was on wheels, and I had to wheel it through everyone eating their lunch. And try and do comedy. It was so bad. Parents were covering their kids' ears. [Laughs]
FV: Who booked you to do that? The owner of the food court?
BL: It was this weird promotion that a takeaway chain was running. These guys were like, 'We'll get comedians in every store!' And it just did not work. It was a disaster. I think they lost their jobs.
It's been a while since I've been booked for something as dire as that. You just try and think of it as a story, I guess - but it's genuinely so awful, it's like an out-of-body experience. I think the people working in the McDonalds were like, ' I'll never complain about my job again'. But it makes me stronger - now, nothing can embarrass me.
FV: Well, I'm confident that the gig coming up is in, like, a venue. With a ticketed audience.
- Becky Lucas stars in the 2019 Fresh Comedy Gala at the Tramsheds on October 5. Tickets cost $48 through Trybooking, or $55 on the door.