Dave Hughes talks Missing Logies, Comedy’s Age of Outrage, and why Hughesy, We Have A Problem is his dream gig
Dave Hughes is a comedian at the top of his game.
Between hosting a hugely successful national drive radio show, and performing nightly sold out stand-up comedy shows, Dave certainly has lots to be happy about.
But it’s his hosting role on the popular comedy series Hughesy, We Have A Problem which he is currently most proud.
“This show plays to my strengths. My stand-up career has basically been letting people laugh at my own problems, so to do a show where people can come on and tell everyone their problems and we can all laugh our ways through trying to find solutions is why I find such joy in doing the show.”
After years of being a panellist on TV favourites including The Project, Rove, The Glass House, Before The Game, and The Footy Show, Dave felt it was time he took charge of his own show.
“I really enjoy being in the host's seat to be honest. The role of orchestrating laughs as well as being part of the laughs, it’s what I look forward to, having my friends happy to be involved and happy with the results.”
2019 has seen Hughesy, We Have A Problem shifted to the later timeslot of 9pm Sunday’s allowing the comedy to get a bit cheekier. It’s a move fans of the show are clearly appreciating.
Last weekend’s episode rated higher than the preceding big-budget Sunday Night Takeaway, a Thursday encore screening see’s HWAP double its weekly audience. And when online viewers are added it becomes clear this little show is actually one of the most successful programs currently screening on 10.
“I'm getting anecdotal word on the street; people are loving it. Everyone involved is doing a good job. Anyone with an objective eye and certainly an intelligent eye for television would say that it's a really good show”
A mixture of work and family commitments will see Dave miss hosting the Logie awards for the first time in 4 years. A move he describes as bittersweet;
“I will be sad on the night. It's something I've been very proud of over the last four years because of how well they've turned out. But yeah, someone else can have a go.”
While Dave loves being part of the national platform the Logies provide, it’s clear the lead-up to the perform also consumes him.
“It takes a lot of brain space. It's rewarding, but it does take brain space and it's something I would wake up early in the morning pondering over a number of weeks”
“I would go to little comedy clubs and say here I am, and I'd basically pretend I'm doing the Logies. I'd go to dodgy little pubs in Melbourne, full of backpackers who wouldn't have a clue who Karl Stefanovic is, and the audience would be like what is this guy talking about?”
While it’s yet to be confirmed who will be hosting the Logies in 2019, Dave’s advice for his replacement is simple;
“Whoever does it just have fun with it. Offend a few people. You'll get a few articles saying you went too far, that's what you want really. Don’t be boring!”
.@DHughesy is tackling the biggest issue plaguing parents in 2019...should we be letting our kids play Fortnite?— Hughesy We Have A Problem (@hughesywhap) April 7, 2019
If the kids are anything like @realrossnoble then maybe we might need to have a long, hard think about it 🤔 #HWHAP pic.twitter.com/NOq6MzLxNl
Despite living in an “age of outrage”, Dave has little concerns about offending people;
“I don't think I've really changed my comedy in the past 20 years. People can choose to be offended if they want to be. But I think if the comedy comes from a good place…
We recently had Dylan Alcott and Kurt Fearnley on the show, and they made a lot of jokes about being in wheelchairs… as long as we're all laughing along, as long as we're all laughing together, it's fine.”
While Dave remains unsure what his TV future will be, hosting a live Tonight Show remains a long-term goal;
“Because of the streaming services it’s basically a different world than what it was ten years ago. Everybody can just binge watch every bloody TV show. It’s crazy! But yeah, I reckon there is room in Australia for cheap and cheerful Tonight style shows to be honest.”
“I don't know what my future will be, but this show has certainly helped me realise I'm absolutely comfortable being in that host seat.”