By Tiana Jones.
The Gelo Company’s Class Clowns is a youth focused stand-up comedy competition, which forms part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. We were fortune enough to chat with teen funny man, Lynden Hughes, winner of the Perth Class Clown heat and finalist in the Melbourne competition.
What was the best thing about the Class Clowns experience?
It really helped me work through a lot of issues I have with anxiety and self-doubt. Comedy is something I’m really passionate about, which makes it something I’m also really self-critical about. Getting as far as I did shows me I am funnier than what I sometimes think I am, which is nice.
How did you get into comedy?
I’m loud and annoying, and say stupid things all the time, so I thought I might as well try to get paid for it. Two years ago mum actually signed me up for Class Clowns without me knowing and told me about it like a month in advance, and so I freaked out- a whole anxiety spectrum of awful, awful times and basically I scrapped about nineteen entirely original sets because I hated them after about two hours, and on the day- about half an hour before I was supposed to go up I wrote a ten minute segment that was nothing but egg puns – and yeah, I wanted to prove I could do better than egg puns.
So where do you get your material from?
I like to say sometimes you take a big group of misfits and oddities and you put them together and you get a family- but sometimes you just get a bunch of arseholes. I live with one of those two, I’m not going to say which, because they’ll probably read this. Yeah, I get a lot of my materiel from personal experiences, and stupid things my brain does- ugh, it does some dumb things.
I’m working on this bit at the moment, where I will be listening to a song and there will be two words that aren’t supposed to be taken together, but my brain is just like ‘imagine if they were supposed to be taken together’. For example, there’s this lyric in Macklemore’s Downtown that goes “You don’t want no beef boy.” And in my head I just imagined this T-bone steak with arms and legs, because he’s a beef boy. I really hate that my brain does that. Also, there’s just all kinds of websites for writing prompts and ideas and I’ve been not necessarily super involved but have been part of the local comedy scene for the last five years or so- just following and sucking in material, like a sad vacuum.
So what did you think of Melbourne?
Melbourne is amazing, I love it so much. It is such a good city, it was probably one of my favourite things about the Class Clowns experience- going to Melbourne. It’s my favourite city in Australia. It was my second time going, first time for Class Clowns. I got to meet some of my favourite comedic icons and idols, I got to hang out with my favourite comedian, Tom Walker. He’s so nice- but again with the whole self-doubt thing, I’m not sure if he actually likes me or if he’s like, “He’s crazy, if I just be nice to him maybe he’ll leave me alone.”
Who is the funniest person in your life?
Um, me. No- I don’t know. Sadly it probably is me, because I’m the one who tries to make light humour out of everything. My family is like my material and most of my friends are at university, and I’m taking a gap year, so I don’t really see them a lot anymore, which is sad. Yeah, probably me, unfortunately.
Have you ever been heckled?
Yes, at the Perth heat of Class Clowns. My family came out to see it and I have a joke about how I got dumped by my girlfriend, because we had a fight and I said I wanted to take our commitment more seriously and the punchline is that she doesn’t exist. My little brother, after the first line about me having a fight with my girlfriend called out from the side of the stage, “You don’t have one!”
So he ruined the punchline?
He didn’t exactly ruin the punchline, just maybe gave it away- it was still a bit funny, I couldn’t be too mad at him, he was seven at the time.
So where would you like to take your comedy from here?
I’ve got a couple of gigs coming up in the next couple of months.
– In Perth?
Yeah, Perth, and in the surrounding WA area. I’m also kind of debating whether to do a show at the Perth comedy fest, because anyone can do it. You just have to be funny and have money- the two ‘unnies’. Or try and go for Raw Comedy this year, because they are both kind of on at the same time and I kind of want to do both. I can’t do one this year and one next year, as I have go to university next year. I’m trying to weigh up the pros and cons of both- at the comedy fest I have a guaranteed show and I could work on a whole hour of material and come up with something I am really proud of. Or I could try Raw Comedy, which is a lot more condensed and a lot more streamlined, and if you win that you get to go to Edinburgh, which would be amazing.
Are you the funniest kid at school? Check out the Class Clown website to stay updated on upcoming competitions and registration dates.