Perri Cassie on his 2017 MICF show, Channel Perri, and his comedy heroes

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival has brought together a wide array of comedians and performers for another year, bringing a stack of world class shows through to the city until April 23rd. The comedy festival in Melbourne has also proven hugely fruitful for Aussie comedians marking their mark as emerging talent – one such talent is Melbourne’s own Perri Cassie.

His show, Channel Perri, is showing at The Unknown Union at 1000 £ Bend until the end of the festival and as it kicks off, he tells us some more about it all.

How would you describe your show to someone who hasn’t seen your comedy before?

It’s very joke-based and very dry. I don’t tell long-winded, life affirming stories – the idea of the show is that it’s like channel surfing through my mind, flicking through one topic to the next, catering to a world whose attention span grows shorter and shorter. Including my own.

You’re based in Melbourne – how much of your surrounding influences your comedy?

I think this city influences me a bit, I have a very strong love/hate relationship with Melbourne. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has happened here in this coffee-guzzling, train-delayed, snobby, Manhattan wannabe metropolis, but all those things just make it easy to pick apart. Also, I love coffee.

How long has this particular show been in the works and what have you learned most from how the material has landed with audiences since its inception?

A whole year. I think I’ve crafted my style a lot more since I started writing. I had a really great run with a split show during MICF 2016 and it sort of helped me really pick who I was and what I wanted to be as a comic and sort of shed off that second skin a lot of young (particularly white male) comics tend to have.

Tell us a bit about the type of comedy that prompted you to get into performing yourself? Who would you cite as personal comedy heroes?

Louis CK was maybe what prompted me the most into wanting to actually do stand up in a physical art form. His show Louie was such an influence on what I wanted to be, it gives really good life advice and paints an accurate picture of what it really is to be a person (it’s shit but it’s beautiful). But you sort of realise that you’re 24 (now 27) and nobody gives a fuck what you think. Nothing you say is insightful. You really can’t help anyone and even if you could, they don’t want to listen

And then as time grew by, I got more and more into Hannibal Buress, he’s my real comedy hero, I really admire him as a joke writer and his delivery is so unique. So those two, but also, Conan O’Brien – he may be my single biggest comedy influence – think every interviewer ever has asked me about my social media output of jokes, that all started when I was like 16 and trying to write jokes that were similar to his monologue, I loved him so much, and still do.

The MICF is obviously a huge platform for comedians and performers to find new favourites of their own – any particular acts you’ve been keen on?

Tom Walker, he is insane and I love him. What an act.

Would you be taking this show to any other festivals?

If it goes well then I will, I sold out my first night, and the second night is looking to be the same. If the reviews are good and the people laugh, then I’m coming to a city near you. I want to go and tour the States more than here though, that might be first on the agenda.

Perri Cassie’s Channel Perri is on until April 23rd as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. For more information head here.


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