Open Up: A chat with Alex Williamson

Chris Daniel talks to Alex Williamson, the son Australia never knew it wanted, ahead of his Open Up tour this month.

International Philanthropist? Probably not! Loosest Aussie Bloke? Definitely!

The Adelaide comedian is best known for his dark humour that hits you out of nowhere. His character, the Loosest Aussie Bloke, manages to perfectly sum Australia up into a sophisticated series of stereotypes.

With over one million views on several of his YouTube videos, he climbed the ladder from comedian to celebrity in a short amount of time, venturing overseas to conduct some of the most awkward interviews online. Back in Australia, Williamson himself has appeared in films including Red Dog and zomcom Me and My Mates vs. The Zombie Apocalypse.

Ahead of his upcoming tour, we had a chat with Williamson. And yes, it went exactly how you would expect.

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Williamson’s character, The Loosest Aussie Bloke ever. Credit: shooterwilliamson

CD: First of all, I’ve been watching your videos online for the past few days and I must say, it’s enough to drive a man crazy.

AW: Time very well spent!

CD: Probably! I’m curious though… with someone who has such dark and crude humour, do you get yourself into trouble often?

AW: No, I think I manage to say all the dark and crude things in my videos; I show them with a bit of a cheeky smile. So, if there is some sort of horrible reference, people tend to forgive after they see the little cheekiness.

CD: What about when you travel internationally to do shows? How do other countries react to your humour?

AW: I have to slow down my speech because I’m from the country, so I can pretty much read a Harry Potter book in the duration of an Instagram video. When I go to places like the UK or New Zealand, I manage to slow it down so that they can understand me. I certainly hear the swearing and the heckling when I am at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. That’s where people get particularly drunk and you have to act like a teacher.

CD: You actually recalled your experience in the UK in some of your videos. How did you react as an Australian to the UK?

AW: I had actually never been there before. My mind is still surprised that they all know Neighbours and know who all the characters are. So forget the castles and the history, that was the most mind-blowing thing ever.

CD: Being from Adelaide and being exposed to ‘bogan’ culture, do you write your jokes, or do the jokes write themselves?

AW: Certainly there are some things that I see, like perhaps a couple having a domestic down at the Coles car park, and I’ll hear something and think, ‘That’s comedy gold’. I just watch people and how they behave, and then write the jokes over time. I try not to become the characters too much; I try to avoid going down and playing the poker machines every Sunday. It’s important to keep a fine line between reality and the comedy.

CD: You drop the ‘C-bomb’ more times than I can count on my fingers. What does that word mean for you in Australian society? It seems like a term that is thrown around so often.

AW: You have actually just answered that question, because I was just about to say that. It is thrown around very often – so often that it has now become a verb. I would absolutely rather be called that, than mate.

(Above: Alex Williamson interviewing Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. Credit: Video Ezy).

CD: You have interviewed a lot of celebrities. How on earth does someone think, ‘That’s my man’ and then hands you a microphone?

AW: I know what you mean, and I hope they don’t have their job anymore because I certainly don’t have mine. That was an interesting time. I had never been overseas before, so I took the opportunity and went to LA to interview Jennifer Anniston and other alleged big players of the industry. They seemed to like me… that young scruffy man in the corner.

CD: Have you got yourself into any ‘sticky’ situations with the interviews?

AW: I actually ended up talking to James Franco about masturbation on the red carpet, and I don’t think that was one of the powerful themes in Planet of the Apes. So he really stopped to ask me about my thought process, which was quite amusing.

CD: I remember watching the interview with Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, and I could imagine they were thinking, ‘Yeah just another normal interview’. But no, there’s you sitting in the corner.

AW: I was really flipped out too. I was a young lad who was a big fan of their work. So I was just a nervous little kid in that video.

(Above: Me and My Mates vs. The Zombie Apocalypse. Harsh language warning).

CD: Here’s a fun one. I’m downloading Me and My Mates vs. The Zombie Apocalypse and, before you ask, yes I paid for it.

AW: Oh well done.

CD: Yeah that’s seven dollars I’m never getting back. If the zombie apocalypse was to hit blue collar Australia, what is the first item you grab? Where do you go? And how do you survive?

AW: I don’t think I plan on fighting the zombies. I think I plan on giving them hugs and stuff. When I give them a hug, I tell them everything is going to be alright and, if they respond, then there we have it: the end of the apocalypse. I never know what type of zombies they are when I am asked.

CD: Put it into perspective then, its worse case scenario and it’s Shaun of the Dead all over again. What do you do?

AW: In that movie they just go to the pub, don’t they? That strategy would make a lot of sense to me.

CD: Finally, your show Open Up is coming to Newcastle. What can we expect?

AW: I’m a fairly honest comedian, so during the show, I guess I talk about different perspectives; about how people back in the day didn’t have Tinder and, of course, the use of the ‘C-bomb’.

You can catch Alex Williamson at his Open Up show in Newcastle.
Open Up, All ages
When: October 15th
Where: Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle
Tickets are available here

Feature image: Alex Williamson Open Up. Photo via Frontier Comedy