Comedy

Jon’s pretty well done with the pure form of stand-up.
However, some people say that whatever he does, he does like a stand-up and he can sometimes be found performing a sort of, not quite, but almost, a bit like, a kind of stand-up comedy at the Laughter Cafe, organised by Univeristy of WA Entension and as an MC at events that can’t afford proper MCs, or events run by people he owes favours, or because he has decided to do something he hasn’t done for a while.

Thing is, his body is losing it and his mind is somewhere else.

He got bored.
He got old.
He got tired.
He ran out of material he never had.
He was asked to stop.

Thing is, he could have made it, he was a contender, but, well, fame was never something he craved. What little he has now is almost too much. Which is probably best for all of us.


Jon first performed stand up in 1982, but didn’t get serious until 1990. By 1994, he’d made comedy his full-time profession and has not made a decent living since.

Along the way he supported Alexi Sayle, Hale and Pace, American illusionist Robert Gallop (his show was called Extreme Magic and he turned Jon into a rubber chook, which would normally get a good laugh, but who knew the difference?).

When you look at a list of Australian comedians there are not many Jon has not worked with, or who have refused to work with him. They include Rachel Berger, Rod Quantock, Richard Stubbs, James O’Loughlan, Elliot Goblet, Austen Tayshus, Rodney Rude, Peter Rosethorn, Malcolm “Funniest Man Alive” Dix, and Rove McManus

Jon is a very serious member of the International Society for Humour Studies, Actors Equity (for ten years an Independent Performers rep on Performers’ Section Committee of MEAA, which meant, if you didn’t laugh at his jokes, he could call a stop-jokes meeting), Laugh Resort Inc (an association of lonely and dissolutioned standup comedians) and CAPS (Comedians Against Pollutants – a small, but highly effective counter-smoking, anti-establishment, anit-logging, anti-paste, free-range musical group).


This is Jon at The Comedy Cellar (owned in part by the dead Sam Kinison’s brother) in Madison, Wisconsin (USA), 1984. Sam has long left the planet, but most of Jon from the neck down remains on earth.

I was in the US for three months, travelling around by greyhound bus, watching comedy and performing in clubs desperate for acts.

I entered the Funniest Person in America competition on the recommendation of Kinison’s partner, ’cause he thought I was hilarious. I lost. The bloke who won was a writer for Rodney Dangerfield.