From humble beginnings on triple j to his current, worldwide acclaim, Sam and his offbeat brand of hyper-surreal comedy has rightly earned him the distinction of being one of Australia's most daring and unconventional comics.
Riding the gravy train all the way into 2016, Sam will premiere his new show, 'Not A People Person', as part of Adelaide Fringe, Brisbane Comedy Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
With the world at his feet and the future looking bright, Sam reflects on what could possibly be his most successful year to date.
After a massive year of shows and accolades, how did you spend Christmas and New Year's?
Barcelona. NO FAM! NO HAM! It was terrific; I almost missed Marion Shopping Centre and Queen St Mall.
What was your immediate reaction to winning two of the most coveted awards in live comedy in one year?
“Woweee I’m the best! And finally everyone knows!!!! Bow down before ye clown emperor!” I was totally shocked in Melbourne and thought I had no hope in Edinburgh. So much so in Edinburgh I was dicking around at the back of the room biting a friend’s earlobe after two breakfast-champagnes when my name was announced.
With your recent success, would you say 2015 was 'Sam Simmons' year?
No, not really. I think it all really begins now. Awards are subjective; some people find me appallingly unfunny. What the awards do is open doors, especially overseas. It means more time abroad and working even harder. 2016 is my year I feel.
In your early days, did you ever see yourself achieving such worldwide success?
Never. I guess the thing I did correctly was stick to my own style… whatever that was. Luckily people got on board.
You'll be premiering your new show, 'Not A People Person', in Australia. Firstly, are you excited to be coming back to Aussie audiences?
Yes, yes, yes. You guys are brutal, unforgiving audiences. If it’s not funny you let me know. Adelaide is my home town and Brissie is my little soul-sister. I spent two months in Brisbane while my wife worked on Benjamin Law's fantastic show. I loved [Brisbane] a lot, heaps more than Melbs.
Can you tell us what 'Not A People Person' is all about?
It’s about my social paranoia and my love of animals: simple, angry and dumb.
What have you missed most about Australia since relocating to London via Los Angeles?
My friends and Saturday mornings. We do Saturday mornings better in Oz, but not much else really, especially Oz TV… yawn.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give a young Sam Simmons?
Enjoy hair while you have it.
How do you respond to being described as a combination of Basil Fawlty's rage and Spike Milligan's lunacy? Are these comedy idols you aspire to?
Not really heaps [sic]. I love Basil Fawlty and I get the reference as there really is nothing funnier than an out-of-control irate man; and I’m not writing that in a women-are-not-funny way. I mean that men with power losing control are the best; anything that undermines that cliché is a good thing.
You also work in animal enrichment at Melbourne Zoo; can you tell us about the work you do with animals?
It was more in education, but I’ve raked up my fair share of shit.
If you could have the ability of any animal, what would it be?
The sexuality of a lithe jungle cat.
Can we expect to see you on TV again sometime soon?
Lots in the UK as I’m developing my dream sitcom over here.
Apart from touring 'Not A People Person', what other projects do you have lined up in 2016?
See above: lots of touring, lots of writing, lots of loving.
Sam Simmons Tour Dates29 Feb to 13 Mar - Garden Of Unearthly Delights @ Adelaide Fringe
15-20 March - Brisbane Comedy Festival @ Brisbane Powerhouse
24 Mar to 3 Apr - Melbourne International Comedy Festival @ Forum Melbourne