Satirist, writer, performer
What I’m watching: I've mainly been watching documentaries because I like to trick myself into believing I'm learning something. It makes me feel smart. I’ve just watched Hillary, on SBS On Demand. Whatever you think of her, would four years of that really have been that bad? Also Challenger, on Netflix, about the space shuttle disaster, and RBG on ABC iview. I didn't know a great deal about Ruth Bader Ginsberg but, as soon as I watched that, you suddenly realise what America has lost. Watching documentaries about what America has lost seems to be the recurring theme. I’ve been delighting in Aunty Donna's Big Ol’ House of Fun on Netflix, which is an absolute triumph. I just wish they didn't have to go overseas to get those opportunities. The show sort of defies categorisation. It can be extremely silly, it can be grotesque, it can be quite violent but it's so packed with comedy, a rich, mud cake of comedy. It’s thrilling to see Australian voices, tonally and the character of Australia, in an American setting.
What I’m listening to: There's no cool way to say this but I'm really enjoying the new Neil Diamond album, which is a collection of his hits recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra. I love pop music performed with a full orchestra. It’s a richer experience. I also love From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast. I think he is the richest comedy creator in history, full-stop. Steve Coogan knows that character inside out. Also Malcolm Turnbull's memoir, which I recommend as an audio book if only to hear Turnbull's impression of Christopher Pyne, which is genuinely amusing.
What I’m reading: Any New York Times, Washington Post, Atlantic, Time magazine article about what could possibly go wrong during this Trump-Biden non-transition period. That whole mess is endlessly fascinating and terrifying to me. I have two small children, so it’s difficult to get any reading time other than Mighty Mighty Construction Site, or Good Night, Good Night Construction Site, any of the Construction Site books really. I’ve just started the audiobook of Barack Obama's memoir A Promised Land and there's an anecdote in the first chapter where he goes into some detail about a conversation he had with one of the White House groundskeepers and I immediately realised why this book is going to be over two volumes.
What I’ve frantically been practising:
Cooking. I’m appearing on a few episodes of Adam Liaw’s new cooking show on SBS next year and I’m realising there are gaps in my skill set. But who knows where it could lead? I could start my own Pete Evans cult. That would just be a cult of watching old clips of TV shows and extolling the virtues of 5G.
The War on 2020 Livestream, with Mark Humphries, Nina Oyama, Sami Shah, Steph Tisdell, Nat Damena and James Schloeffel, December 11, 6.30pm, and December 12, 8pm, chaser.com.au/events/war-on-2020