Interview - Brett Sheargold

Interview: Brett Sheargold, Entertainer & Comedian: 8th July 2004

Media Man Australia continues to explore the world of comedy...

What's your background?

My mum was in showbiz....She was a magician, a female magician was very rare in the 60's and 70's..She was the assistant to a very famous Australian magician Bob Merlini, after Bob died she went out on her own and toured the world, working with acts like the Bee Gees and Peter Allen.

How did you get your break?

Rodney Rude brought me on stage for my first ever gig and the Comedy store in Sydney...But really noone gave me a break. Promoters had faith in me..The old Harold Park Hotel was a great break for me I was the regular MC there for many years...I think I made my own breaks with sheer determination.

What do you consider the highlights of your career?

I think my career highlights are still ahead of me..Working with Robin Williams was quite a buzz.. So was meeting Britney Spears..

What are your current projects?

Have a few projects in the works including a DVD, The Golden Years of Hollywood.

How has the Internet assisted you?

Somebody put a website together for me in 1992, early days of the WWW. It has helped me in web presence but not really gotten me work..My website is a great place for promoters to get a resume' and photo's for publicity...I don't have to mail any of that stuff now.

Who are your mentors?

Never really had any mentors...Had to learn on my own.

What motivates you?

The laughter of an audience..

What makes a great promoter?

Someone who tells you when you are good, and tells you what they think you''ve done wrong, and what you can do to make it better. Promoters need to be straight shooters..That is very rare in this business.

What makes a great performer?

If you are talking about comedy..Someone who does what he thinks is funny, not what he thinks the audience will find funny.

Do you have any regrets?

Everyone has regrets..But you cant dwell on them..

What kind of performances, of any type, are your favourites, and why?

I like a performer to be real and not manufactured..Yes they are hard to find..

What do you like and dislike about professional wrestling?

I like the fact that its always on there is no off season, it's one of the greatest comedy shows on TV..I can usually get a laugh out of it...What do I dislike about it...People who take it way too seriously, like
star trek fans, they need an outside interest.

What is the most embarrassing moment of your career?

I was walked onto a completely black out stage and fell off..It was quite funny..

Tell us about some of the countries your work has take you?

I've worked in Europe but mainly in Australia, alot of my material doesn't translate to well overseas..

Describe a typical day for you?

I watch a lot of cable news read alot of newspapers and think of stuff thats funny...A typical gig goes for an hour, so that means 23 free hours a day.

Who is hot on TV?

It's not Eddie McGuire thats for sure. I think the biggest real find on TV in Australia in the last 10 years would have to be Catriona Rountree, smart, sexy and well spoken..

What would your perfect Reality TV programme entail?

I'd love to see World's Worst Acrobats or When Clowns Attack..

What media attention have you enjoyed?

I've done most of the TV shows, lots of TV people have come to my shows..To this day Elle McFeast has not understood my success.

Why is it important to collaborate with other good people?

Nobody can ever do everything on their own..Steven Spielberg doesn't act in his movies too.. It's always a team effort..

Who gave you your handle, "Hollywood"?

I hate it..But like most nicknames you have no say in it..It was said by an audience member when asking a venue if I was on that night.. They didn't know my name and just said that Hollywood guy, and just my luck it's stuck with me ever since.

What is success to you?

Improving on your art form...To keep growing..The money just comes after that.

What do you do to relax?

Love watching movies, I love DVDs you can get so many old classics now.


Editors note: An entertaining, informative and rare interview with Brett "Hollywood" Sheargold.


Brett Sheargold official website

Australian Comedian Hollywood Brett Sheargold

Triple M FM104, Brisbane

International Wrestling Australia

THE COMEDY CHANNEL | Comedian Profiles


f2 Network - The Sydney Morning Herald - Comedy Club


Stand-up raver who really grapples with his lines, by Alexa Moses - SMH - 18th July 2002

Comedy: What Is It?, by Greg Tingle

Bio (Credit: Brett Sheargold official website)

Born into a showbiz family, Brett Sheargold grew up around many of Australia's entertainment legends, Irene, his mother, was the assistant of the late Bob Merlini, considered by many to be one of the greatest magicians ever.

Brett's mother travelled the world, including tours of Vietnam and Korea, performing alongside such notables as the Bee Gee's, Peter Allen, Johnny O'Keefe and Lenny Bruce on his infamous Australian tour. Destined from an early age to be a performer, Brett's childhood was spent around the likes of Slim De Grey,Jan Adele,Buster Noble,John Mellion, Bunny Brookes,Lucky Grills,Johnny Pace and Ugly Dave Gray.

Legendary Sydney agent June Daly Watkins, impressed by Brett's fresh face and quick wit recommended him to the Nine Network's ratings king Mike Walsh. Almost overnight Brett made his first TV appearance, age 10, on Channel 9's, The Mike Walsh Show, he quickly became a regular on the show, and throughout most of his teenage years he would do segments on TV and radio covering various topics through the eyes of a kid growing up in Australia.

After a few drinks one night at Sydney's Comedy Store, Rodney Rude introduced a young Brett Sheargold to the audience, he was an instant hit, and the rest is comedy history....

A cult figure in Australian comedy circles.

His film The Hollywood Tapes was on the shortlist for the 2003 Tropfest Film festival.

In 2001 was spotted around Sydney with Irish songstress Andrea Corr.

Was the next door neighbour of mining magnate Robert Holmes a Court.

Made an unsuccessful attempt at coaxing former Prime Minister Paul Keating into a career in stand up.

1989 runner up Comic of the Year. (1st place was a shadow puppet production!!??true!)

Voted by his peers Most Sane Comic 97-98 Bazza Awards.

The youngest comic ever to be inducted into the Echidnas.

Some of his other TV credits include, Sixty Minutes, A Current Affair, the Sunday Program, music videos and TV comercials.

Hollywood Brett Sheargold is the comedian other comedians go to see. Was the resident MC at Sydneys Harold Park Hotel (Comedy Hotel) for much of the 1990's , and the regular presenter /judge of Comic of the Year (Which later became the Raw Awards). Some winners that Brett awarded were,Trevor Crook, Kenny Graham and Carl Barron.

Brett's cutting edge live show Comics in The Dark ( later made into a TV pilot by the Nine Network)
and his comedy appearances at rock festivals for Amnesty International LIVID and Alternative Nation, received rave reviews from the mainstream press.

During the Sydney leg of his Underwater World show, Melbourne comic Greg Fleet often invited Brett to join him on stage in an improvisational jazz session. Although neither have any musical experience,the tunes Greg and Brett played were a side splitting finale to the show.

Introduced Steady Eddy, Jimioen, Sue Anne Post, James O'Loghlin, Kitty Flanagan and Mark My Words on stage for some of their 1st ever gigs! TV beauty Julia Morris credits Brett Sheargold as a major influence on her comedy career. Bloke,Chris Franklin calls him Australian comedy's answer to Bon Scott,Greg Fleet calls him Australia's most under-rated comic'Russell Gilbert claims to have found Brett and Dannii Minogue in a passionate embrace at a Melbourne Nite Spot,

ABC presenter/ radio personality Peter Berner is rumored to have a restraining order on his personality, star of You can't stop the Murders, Peter Ackmel Saleh calls him one of the funniest comics he has ever seen and superstar Mel Gibson thinks he should get a haircut. His 30 second promo's for Foxtel's thecomedychannel are among the funniest ever aired. Winner of the 2001 Channel 9', So you want to be a stand up comedian? Davo, was a character written and conceived by Brett himself. Davo(Mark Patching)is considered one of Australian comedy's brightest new stars.

In 1993 Sydneys College of Fine Arts student Tyrone Townsend built a website consisting of pictures
and translated text from many of Brett's performances. According to the student it would have been the first website on an Australian comic.In 1995-96 Brett resided in Europe. Appeared on Italy's GBR Network.

In 1997 University of NSW Professor John McCallum wrote a thesis on Brett's act titled Don't Shit Ya Selves (a study of Hollywood Brett Sheargold). It is still used in media classes to this day, both here and overseas.

One of the interesting notes the professor made during his study was that, although perceptions would have you think otherwise, Brett's act is relatively clean, although catered for adults, it was found Brett has very little, if any, foul language compared to almost all the leading stand ups working today.

Over the years Brett has appeared with numerous International Acts including Robin Williams, English showbiz legend Max Bygraves, Barry Diamond (Seinfeld), Eric Bana (Hulk, Chopper) Rich Hall (SNL, Simpsons), Jeff Stillson (Ex Letterman writer, Osbournes Producer), and The Amazing Johnathon - Just to name a few.

For over 4 years Brett was heard every Sunday Night on the Number1 rated Paul Brasch Show FM104 MMM Brisbane.

Brett is currently in development for an interview program for network TV in the tradition of a Norman Gunston or Ali G,his interviews have already included some very funny pieces of television with The Duchess of York,Sarah Ferguson ,popstar Britney Spears,superstar Mel Gibson, boxing champion Jeff Fenech and Academy Award winning actress Jodie Foster. Not as well known is that Brett is a major player behind the scenes in Australia's newly revived professional wrestling scene. Brett is a consultant to International Wrestling Australia. Australia's leading pro wrestling organisation.

Brett is actively involved in the writing of storylines, character development, and overall production.

In fact many professional wrestlers credit Brett Sheargold for giving them their first break in the world of sports entertainment.The IWA segments that Brett wrote for Channel V, and UNDER the HAMMER on Foxtel, were some of the funniest and exciting live TV in 1999,2000 and 2001.

See him live and find out for yourself.