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About Tom Ballard
Appealing to riled millennials far and wide with his baby-boomers rant, young Aussie comedian Tom Ballard has gone from strength to strength. Winning the 2009 MICF Best Newcomer Award for his debut stand up show Tom Ballard Is What He Is, Tom Ballard made his mark at just 19 years of age, co-hosting the popular ‘yoof’ radio breakfast show on Triple J before going on to host his own late-night satirical TV show on ABC Comedy, Tonightly with Tom Ballard. But live comedy is still where it’s at for this multi-talented comic, regularly travelling all over the world delivering top notch stand-up to his ever increasing fan-base.
Having performed alongside the likes of Wanda Sykes, Stephen Merchant, Jimmy Carr, Wil Anderson, Daniel Kitson, Danny Bhoy and Kyle Kinane, comedian Tom Ballard has brought three shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as hosting his own politics-focussed interview podcast, Like I’m A Six-Year-Old.
Tom Ballard was deservedly recognised for his talents in 2016, winning Best Comedy Performer at the Helpmann Awards and Best Show at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards as well as being awarded the John Pinder Prize at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. That same year, he also recorded his stand up show The World Keeps Happening for Stan Australia’s One Night Stan series. Now touring his 2019 stand-up show Enough in Australia before heading to the UK, we can’t wait to see what this fresh, cheeky, political raconteur has in store for fans next!
WATCH TOM BALLARD’S THE WORLD KEEPS HAPPENING
Romp through the perilous state of a society on the verge of moral collapse at a whip-smart pace with this deftly skilled comedian. In The World Keeps Happening, Tom is concerned with our collective inhumanity and the environmental crisis – but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves.
Reviews and Awards
Tom Ballard was nominated Best Newcomer in the 2015 Edinburgh Comedy Awards. In 2016, he won Best Comedy Performer at the Helpmann Awards, Best Show at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards and the John Pinder Prize at MICF. He won the 2017 Best Austrailian Show at the Sydney Comedy Festival.
‘Tightly paced… perfectly delivered and it’s funny as hell’Time Out Sydney
‘Hilarious from start to finish…absolutely flawless…’Adelaide Advertiser
‘Engaged, conscientious and consistently, archly funny, Ballard is precisely the sort of political commentator the world needs’The Scotsman
‘Ballard is primed to be at the forefront of a new generation of politically motivated comics, and you couldn’t want for a more dynamic poster boy’Chortle
Tom Ballard Tickets
The latest news on Tom Ballard’s live gigs and upcoming shows can be found here.
Comedian Tom Ballard was born to parents Judy and Neil Ballard and grew up in Victoria, Australia. As a childhood fan of shows like Gala and Seinfeld, he decided to have his first shot at doing stand-up comedy at the tender age of 14. Clearly a natural, Tom Ballard went on to become a national finalist in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Class Clowns competition where he revealed to Upstart that he “told jokes about my penis, wore an ugly shirt and freaked out when I met Ross Noble, and since then I’ve been hooked”.
With drama and theatre studies being his passion at school, Tom Ballard continued to explore his love for stand-up, going on to win the 2006 RAW Comedy competition. It was there that he was talent spotted by Triple J radio Program Manager Chris Scaddan. And the rest, as they say, is history. From 2010 to 2013, along with pal Alex Dyson, Tom Ballard co-hosted the “Tom and Alex” breakfast show on the national radio station, as well as debuting his first solo stand-up show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Juggling his fledgling comedy career with University studies all became a little to much, and Tom made the call to drop out of his law degree and pursue comedy whole-heartedly. He tells Upstart:
“I was initially attracted to stand-up purely for the attention. Everyone has to shut up and listen to you and you’re the only one on stage and everybody loves you because you get to make them laugh. Since then I’ve realised that comedy is significantly more than that. It’s so varied and challenging and raw and honest and chilling and thought-provoking and stimulating and joyful and instantaneous and you can do whatever the fuck you fucking want to. Daniel Kitson made me change my whole perspective on what comedy can be, but that’s also been blown out and expanded by the likes of Patton Oswalt and Bill Burr”
After four fantastic years with the Triple J show, Tom Ballard decided it was time to seek out something new. In 2014 he hosted a panel show about the wacky world of reality television for ABC called Reality Check. He also co-hosted SBS’s coverage of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, filled in for Tony Jones as host of Q&A, (an experience he describes as terrifying) and for nine months presented his own show on ABC Comedy, Tonightly with Tom Ballard.
2016 saw Tom Ballard creating not one but two brand new solo’s for the MICF. One of them Boundless Plains to Share addressed the history and hypocrisy of Australia’s immigration policies, particularly surrounding ‘boat people’, refugees and people seeking asylum. A show Tom Ballard himself described as “kind of like a comedy lecture”, he received a Moosehead grant to create the piece which sold to appreciate Melbourne audiences across the festival that year.. His latest show Enough has also been making waves, described by the Herald Sun as a “Blistering hour of motor-mouthed, slick-as-black-ice comedy.”
As a comedian whose material is so intrinsically linked to current affairs, there’s not a lot of rest to be had for Tom Ballard. He told Broadway World: “As a political-ish comedian, the slow collapse of society is really great for material. People seem very keen to have a brief moment of catharsis in their comedy, and I’m happy to sell it to them.”
Get More Tom Ballard
Want more of Tom Ballard? You’re in luck – his full stand-up comedy special is available to watch on NextUp – a digital comedy club where you can stream instantly over 120 comedy specials from some of the exciting names in comedy. Start watching free, no credit card needed.