Guy Montgomery checks his privilege in his new stand show 'I Was Part Of The Problem Before We Were Talking About It'.
Straight white male Guy Montgomery has lived in the fog of privilege his whole life... He knows that.
In his new show, aptly named 'I Was Part Of The Problem Before We Were Talking About It' (take a breath), Guy unlearns some of the blind spots that have made him problematic over the years.
Here, he tells us more about the stand-up set.
Dare we ask what you'll be addressing throughout this show? Well it sure looks like you've built up the requisite courage! The show is an attempt to reconcile who I am now with who I've been along the way. I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand, and was largely surrounded by other little white boys with affluent parents and it's not until you leave and experience the wider world that you realise this is not necessarily outstanding preparation for life, specifically developing empathy. It's about the machinery that turns confident young boys into wilfully ignorant, maniacal assholes. A lot of introspection and a lot of jokes, everyone's two favourite things!
Where did the idea come from and what was the process when it came to putting it together? I've wanted to do a more personal show for a long time but have been too cowardly to really crack myself open on stage for fear of being boring or alienating (possibly both). The last few years I've watched other comedians really open themselves up on stage and thought it looks so freeing and those have been the shows that stay with me the longest so now, after a few years of deferring, I figured it was finally time. Putting it together has been really challenging, it's the first time I've had something to say and filled out the show around that theme, rather than structuring a show around the best jokes I've written from the previous year.
Why are you 'part of the problem'? Because I grew up in this cloistered monoculture and that means, especially in my formative years, I was oblivious to tremendous pockets of society! If you're not aware of things, naturally you don't care about them and what can start as adolescent ignorance often blossoms into full-blown adult ignorance.
What's your favourite thing about Australia? The national anthem! The melody, the lyrics, the people who sing it, what a tune, what a song. I'm listening to it right now.
And your least favourite thing…? It's gotta be that no matter how much I ask, they refuse to play the national anthem in supermarkets, taxis, restaurants and bars! It's a beautiful song and something to be celebrated.
Is there anything you haven't covered in your stand-up that you'd still like to/you're planning to? Of course! This show is a step in the right direction but I would like to think I can keep reducing the line between who I am off stage and who I am on stage until eventually I can talk freely and funnily as I do.
You've got a podcast called 'The Worst Idea Of All Time'. Tell us about that. Well my friend and fellow comedian Tim Batt foolishly undertook a movie review podcast in which the movie never changes. So we would watch and review the same movie every week for a year (52 times). We've done it with 'Grown Ups 2', 'Sex And The City 2' and 'We Are Your Friends'. We have misguidedly started a fourth season in which we are watching the first 'Sex And The City' movie. Ride the wave! Listen to our nightmare.
Describe your show using any song lyric you'd like. "Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free, we've golden soil and wealth for toil, our home is girt by sea". I think we can all relate to having a home that is girt by sea.
Guy Montgomery Tour Dates
12-17 Mar - Brisbane Comedy Festival Sat 23 Mar - Canberra Comedy Festival 28 Mar-21 Apr - Melbourne International Comedy Festival 4-5 May - Sydney Comedy Festival