2009 was the busiest year of my life. I was doing everything. In the space of 12 months I made two albums, wrote and performed a new Comedy Festival show (which encored in Fringe Festival), orchestrated a national album tour, got a gig acting on John Safran’s TV show, wrote monthly columns for Frankie magazine, went in Comedy Festival Roadshow, moved house, broke up and fractured my humerus in a bicycle mishap.
I didn’t necessarily need a time intensive weekly sketch radio show to helm, but the thing was, I’d accidentally-on-purpose landed this dream opportunity to go wild creatively on a respected citywide platform.
I’d been going into Triple R a lot to appear on the spoken word show Aural Text, hosted by poet Alicia Sometimes. Each summer, the tradition was regular hosts took holidays and had a b-team fill in. I agreed to take on a four episode fill-in job for Aural Text, 12-2pm Wednesdays.
I gathered together a hit crew of my favourite alt-comedy pals. We wrote some sketches and ideas. We brought scripts in to perform live. We lined up interviews with local notables such as Marieke Hardy. While our interview skills left a lot to be desired, station manager Mick James was so impressed with our comedy that he had to stick his head in at one point to confirm we were actually busting it live.
“You’re the most organised summer-fill I’ve ever seen,” he said.
It boded well.
By the end of our month, Mick was a fan. He offered us our own regular timeslot. We ended up kicking out the long-running comedy show in the Monday 7pm slot. They weren’t exactly happy about it. They gave us six months. The show ran for five years.
Thrilled with this promotion, we went to town. Writing, recording and home-editing our own sketches. We would leave ourselves room to do a news and reviews segment live in the studio. Add in special comedy guests and maybe one silly song and you had the hour.
Damien Lawlor was the unofficial captain of the good ship weird. His unbridled tenacity single-handedly kept the thing alive. Charlie Brooker grade genius engine of under the skin, on the money, in your face segments including the long-running Hugh Jackman Diaries and hyper-local gems such as Punt Road & Music Snobs Through The Ages.
Josh Earl was his loyal lieutenant. He brought whip-smart pop-cultural satire smarts to add lightness to Damien’s odd nebula. Songsmith laureate Craig Lee Smith made up his own songs about towels & biscuits.
Hats off to Eva Johansen, member of cabaret comedy act Caravan Of Love. I think she is a vocal genius. One of the main reasons I’m kicking off this reel is to share her delightful talents.
Lime Champions! Sketch comedy for men and women. It was a lot of work. It was a lot of fun. It was on when people were getting tea ready. I’ve been carrying around a CD of my favourite originals. I think they’re okay.
LIME CHAMPIONS IS AVAILABLE ON BANDCAMP
(Bonus sketches available if you buy the little album.)
- For more LIME CHAMPIONS you can check out this sampler.
- Witness Tony Martin’s stunning cameo as Gary Sizzle.
- The more discerning / daring among you can investigate the arthouse disturbia of Damien Lawlor on the Lime Champs Channel.