Demi has a weird mind. Her jokes tackle unusual topics, from warthogs to secrets told by beer cans. So it’s only natural she should attract weird people, as she did recently in her podcast with fellow comic Bart Freebairn, ‘We Are Not Doctors’.
“One girl sent us a message saying, ‘Hey guys. My name’s Jess. I have a pet pig and he really likes getting in my lap, but he won’t stop stepping on my crotch. His hooves are too hard for that.’
"And then she ended it by saying, ‘I don’t even know what I’m asking for. See ya!’ That one was one of our favourites. She now tags us in her Instagrams of her pig running around on her lap.”
Demi is a precocious comedy achiever, having started performing at age 15. In 2013, at age 19, she won both RAW Comedy and Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s So You Think You’re Funny competitions. Demi thanks her own anxiety of aging for her early start. “Basically, two things made me start performing comedy,” she explains.
“The first was watching a tonne of Lano And Woodley non-stop, which is awesome because I now know them both. Second thing was I just figured I was 15 and I was like, ‘I’m getting old; I better get into comedy. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.' I just thought I was past my prime and better do it before I get too old.”
Her stand-up show last year, ‘Life Mechanic’, won many accolades, including being nominated for Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Best Newcomer and winning Sydney Comedy Festival’s Best Newcomer.
Her new show, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, however, is slightly different. “My character in the show is I’m a 46-year-old stepdad named Gavin who’s locked in his basement while he’s on the phone to a life-insurance salesman, who’s not allowed to let him out. He nearly drowns at one point.
"He runs out of food and eats poisoned chocolate from an advent calendar from 1989.”
Demi says the idea for the show started as a joke, but quickly began to be taken seriously. “I just thought about the complete opposite person of me: 46-years old, stepdad and builds luxury doghouses for a living.
“I told people that’s what my show was, and they were like, ‘That’s actually a really good idea’. I always used to be stressed out and worry about being a real stand-up and this is like, ‘Why haven’t I been doing this the whole time? It’s amazing!’ It’s really so much fun.”
While ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is very much a one-person show, Demi was able to rope in a special guest to voice the life-insurance salesman: her dad. “I write everything he has to say down, and he reads it and constantly says, ‘Demi, this is stupid! It doesn’t make any sense!’
“He loves it now; he’s constantly asking when are we going to record more lines for him. He just wants to be part of bloody everything. He’s got about 30 friends on Facebook and he’s like, ‘I’ve been plugging your shows, so don’t forget to thank me in the end’.”
Demi Lardner Shows17 Feb - 19 Mar - Adelaide Fringe
21 Mar - Canberra Comedy Festival
30 Mar - 23 Apr - Melbourne International Comedy Festival
4-7 May - Sydney Comedy Festival
18-21 May - Perth Comedy Festival