Making money while making ‘em laugh

Sustaining a career in comedy involves more than just being funny.

Matt Kelly (left) and Richard Higgins (right) of The Listies. Image supplied.

Every week across the nation, aspiring comedians flock to open mic nights with set list notes written on the backs of their sweaty hands and their heads full of dreams. The biggest challenge faced by most comics at the start of their careers is making a room full of strangers laugh – but as professional comedians know, being entertaining is only part of what’s required in a successful comedy career.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts