Tayshus 'Australia's Comedy Superstar' first came
into being in 1981.
Since that time he has performed all over Australia,
the United Kingdom, Los Angeles, New York and Asia.
1983 he released the highest selling Australian single
of all time AUSTRALIANA,
selling over 200,000 units and going double platinum.
1997, Austen wrote and starred in INTOLERANCE
film based on a true experience that developed
into one of his stage routines. Intolerance won best
film and Austen won the best actor award in tropfest.
recent appearance on Andrew Denton's Enough Rope on
ABC TV was highly acclaimed and watched by over one
million people around Australia.
Tayshus will be appearing at the "Down Under
New York Australia Day 2006" event at Irving
Plaza in New York city performing alongside Colin
Hay of Men At Work and his band and several local
acts. This will be Austen's only appearance in the
United States for 2006.
Austen is co-writing his first lead-role feature film
with Robert Lewis Galinsky entitled, 'THERE'S SOMETHING
ABOUT JESUS which will be released in late 2006.
The film is slated to be directed by veteran Scott
Roberts (THE HARD WORD). He is also starring in DOIN
THE SPLITS, an Australian-US co-production feature
film also to be released in late 2006.
SBS "AUSTEN TAYSHUS AUSTRALIA DAY SPECIAL"
went to air on January 26, 2006 and was watched by
over 100, 000 people despite being aired at midnight.
Tayshus will be headlining the Melbourne international
comedy festival from the 12 April to 7 May 2006 at
the MELBOURNE TRADES HALL dont miss it if you
can, direct booking line 03 9659 3569 or www.comedyattrades.com.au
Austen Tayshus season at the Melbourne International
Comedy Festival 2006 was a sell-out and also a great
critical success, see reviews.
new Austen Tayshus DVD "Austen Tayshus Australia
Day Special 2006" will be available nationally
Entertainment from August 2006.
June 2006 Media Man Australia succesfull pitched Austen
Tayshus to Channel Seven's 'Today Tonight'
Man Australia Austen Tayshus media portfolio
Seven 'Today Tonight' - 4th May 2006
2CC - 3rd August 2006
Classic Rock 1025, Adelaide - 11th August 2006
Sydney Morning Herald - 23rd August 2006
Tayshus: Australia Day Special, by Jim Schembri
16 August 2006
Extra footage; short film
laughing, by Rachelle Unreich - 15th September 2006
The Courier Mail)
Those with delicate sensibilities always know better
than to watch or listen to any stand-up gig by hilarious
Sydney comedian Austen Tayshus. Those who fancy themselves
witty hecklers, however, don't. Witness the two unfortunate
souls Austen mercilessly rips into when they attempt
contributions to his act.
known for his 1983 mega-hit comedy single Australiana
- recited here for what he promises is the last time
- Austen is not from the hapless "the world is
against me" school of stand-up.
aggressive, politically incorrect and with edge to
burn, he fires off about politics, feminism, post-war
Germans and why indigenous Australians should apologise
for introducing alcohol to white society.
disk includes a funny half-hour off-cut reel and two
short films, including the fabulous Intolerance. Definitely
not recommended for mixed company, but killer entertainment
for everybody else.
Austen Tayshus steps in front of his audience and
hassles them. Most stand-up comics dislike hecklers;
Austen seeks them out.
this night taped as an SBS special and now
out on DVD, The Merchant of Menace: Australia Day
Special 2006 he's performing to what he describes
as a "basic audience really hard work".
diversified into TV and hopes to do a film with Billy
Crystal in Australia, but Austen Tayshus still has
to do what people expect.
request his Australiana routine ("How much can
a koala bear?"), so when Austen calls an Aboriginal
guy to the stage, asking him to apologise for introducing
the white man to alcohol, you suspect the irony has
gone over their heads. But he won't be deterred.
later says: "Recently, I did a show in Wardell
(New South Wales) where I started telling the white
people, 'You cause all the problems'. They got more
and more upset until one woman's husband threw me
through the window. But at least that audience got
from the bright lights or, in the case of many
of his gigs, the smoke-filled haze of a country RSL
club you'd think that Austen, aka 52-year-old
Sandy Gutman, might be different.
chance. Whether he's playing to an audience of 1000
or one, this is a man who enjoys riling people.
don't think many people see who I am. They see whatever
they want to see," he says over coffee in South
Yarra, Melbourne. "But I don't think there's
a big difference between the way Sandy is on stage
and the way Sandy is in life. I've always been a bit
of a chutzpahnik (Yiddish for someone with a cheeky
audacity). I like to upset people a little; it makes
life more interesting."
when he asks a person of Japanese origin to apologise
for World War II, it could be on stage, or directed
to a shy exchange student who is a guest at someone's
house (yes, it's happened).
in the late '80s, he was doing that schtick in a Sydney
sushi restaurant "whistling The Bridge
on the River Kwai theme song and getting the chef
to apologise" when the guy at the next
table sought him out. It was actor Johnny Depp.
loved me pissing about and asked, 'Do you want to
hang out with me?' We hung out for two weeks."
either get him or they don't.
lot of audiences actually think I'm being racist and
a lot of my stuff is misinterpreted. I'm a sweet fellow!"
who defend him include Katie Fischer, a friend Austen
hopes will play his wife in a sitcom that's in the
definitely an alpha male," she says. "There's
not one metrosexual bone in his body. But he's sensitive,
deep, emotional, intelligent and very, very funny.
He lives for his kids; he likes women and behaves
well around them. He's like a loveable old bear."
recently split with his wife of 13 years, but friends
say he dotes on his daughters, Isabella, 10, and Tallulah,
can expect some real-life stories about his ex to
appear in the sitcom he's developing. "All the
characters are loosely based on my family," he
this anger them? "I already don't talk to them,
so it doesn't matter."
is he averse to taking pot shots at fellow comedian
Jimeoin, or the lacklustre Australian film industry.
You can almost see the bridges burning. Not that he
life is littered with ex-managers, ex-agents, ex this
and ex that. Everyone can give you a story."
times I've been a bit arrogant. When you have fame
very young I was about 27 it's difficult
to handle. People deal with fame in different ways.
They throw phones at people's heads. Spit at photographers.
I've had my moments, but I love showbiz.
that woman's husband was beating me to death, I just
thought, 'I love this business'. As he was kicking
me in the gut, that was an epiphany."
in an Orthodox Jewish home, he studied dentistry before
switching to film school in his home town, Sydney.
there he drifted into comedy. As well as perfecting
his stand-up routine, he's released 20 records and
worked as an actor, writer and director.
never really concerned myself with how much money
I can make, but rather the impression I can make and
the artistic nature of what I do," he says.
think it's really important to follow your heart."
A stocking fillet - The Sydney Morning Herald - 12th
December 2006 - click