We have seen Rob Shehadie on our TV screens since he debuted his career playing Rocky in Pizza in 2000, he then went on to do Fat Pizza, Housos and more recently the Nine Network comedy, Here Come The Habibs.
Now ahead of his new show Straight Outta Compo, Perth can get ready for a hilarious show jam packed with Australia’s finest selection of Wog Boys and their ethnic humour! I spent some time finding out more about Rob.
Who came up with the title of the show?
Tahir was the brains behind the title, there was a few names going around but that was the one that stuck, its very catchy.
Gives it a gangster feel.
I think you’re the first known Gangster comedians…
This is the first show we’ve done where the title fits the theme of the show! The other shows have always had a play on words with a woggy edge but this we try to keep that gangster comedian vibe!
What audience would be attracted to this show?
We wanted to attracted a different crowd, one that wouldn’t normally go to an Avati show or a George Kapiniaris show, having said that , it’s a clean family show open for everyone.
What makes this show stand out from the rest you’ve done?
Well in this show we all do our solo stand up routines, then we do sketches where we are all acting together.
Who wrote most of the material for the show?
We all sat around and worked on it and Tahir was the Director who pieced it all together.
Do you guys adlib much on the night?
YES !! If we don’t have a laugh up on stage then we aren’t doing our job. We can’t keep a straight face when we are acting and the crowd enjoys it.
So even as many times as you’ve done the show you still crack each other up?
Yeh, well when I look across the stage and see Joe Avati wearing a Wig and he is playing an old Italian man, it makes me laugh!
How do you think you get away with the risqué jokes in a time of conservative humour?
We are pretty careful what we do, personally I don’t do religious jokes or get too political, yes we pick on every nationality, but its comedy we love it we have been doing it for a long time. There isn’t enough ‘wog style’ programs or shows and people enjoy it.
How did you find the success of Meet The Habibs?
It was a show Tahir & I pitched to Ch 9 5 years ago, and we are pretty proud of Channel 9 for taking that step, its responsible for changing the landscape of TV. This generation isn’t watching sitcoms, we grew up on shows like Fresh Prince of Bel Air & Who’s The Boss. Kids today mainly view dramas or reality TV on Free to air channels, so when they see a show with a bit of comedy they see that its different. Every nationality can relate to the Habibs. I feel that we did something right for society in that show. I’m getting a different type of person coming up to me in the street. I’m getting your older Anglo Indian man telling me how much he loves the show and in this day proves to me that this show is breaking barriers just like Acropolis Now did in its day.
Did you always want to be in comedy?
It was actually an accidental pathway I took to be honest.
I was actually playing Rugby Union for Australia & NSW U/19s & U/21s.
Then in 1999 someone said come try out for Fat Pizza, I did it as a joke and here we are!
These guys have made a career out of their heritage and culture and brought us much joy and laughter. They have received 5 star reviews. They will be performing in Sydney next then last stop is Perth. I can’t wait to see the show!
Straight Outta Compo is brought to us by Zaccaria Concerts & Touring.
Interview by Bernadette Bosanac
Make sure you get your tickets here.
Ticket Prices $69.90
Venue Astor Theatre Perth
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