Luke Heggie, 37, was born in Brisbane but now calls Sydney home; he works construction by day and gets laughs by night. Heggie is performing at The New York Comedy Festival on Sunday November 11, and he sat down with Billabout via Skype to chat about being part of the funny business.
When did you work out that you were funny?
Um, I didn’t! I’m not even the funniest guy in my family, I just sort of jumped into comedy a couple of years ago because it was something to do, really. I’ve got two brothers and they’re probably funnier in a way, but they’d never get on a stage.
Is it hard not to crack up on stage?
Not when you’ve written the jokes. Once you’ve said them a few times, it’s easy enough to keep a straight face. Although sometimes I will [laugh] if everyone’s really laughing, but it doesn’t happen too often.
How are you prepping for your US gig?
I’m going through my stuff and making sure that it’s sort of translatable and that I’m not only saying Australian words – which is a fair bit for me. I’m quite Aussie, so I’ve been told to slow down and to just be more clear.
Are you changing your routine to suit the US audience?
Not really, no. I am leaving some stuff out that might be offensive to Americans and that wouldn’t be to Australians, but I can’t change it too much. I suppose that’s the whole idea, we’re a bit different.
How do you memorize your routine?
I work on building sites, so I’ve got a lot of spare time in my head to just memorize jokes.
Are the builders that you work with funny or do they offer you inspiration?
Absolutely not! Builders are not funny, they try to be, they offer you jokes, terrible jokes. They’d all very much love to give up building, but it’s a while before you’re able to make money with comedy, so we’ll see.
You’ve got two children. Do they think you’re funny?
My daughter who’s 4-years-old came to my gig for the first time last week and she had a great time. I mean, she didn’t understand it, but she had a great time because everyone was clapping and she got herself a box of Maltesers — that was about the highlight! [laughing] But no, not particularly, no one thinks that their dads are funny.
Have you been to the States before?
Yeah, I bought a car and lived in it for 6 months when I was about 21 or 22. I did 50,000 kilometers and I was just driving. I was a bit young and stupid, I didn’t even have a map! I had a good time pretty much everywhere, I liked all of it and found Americans to be great.
Did you get into any trouble while you were on the road?
No, not really. The odd cop would come and knock on my window and wonder why there’s an unconscious body in the back of the car, but that was it.
Interview by Shannon O’Meara.