Deb Carr had a chat to Col Elliot, one of Australia’s favourite comedians who is hitting the road for a mammoth Australian tour throughout 2014. Promoting both the recent re-release of the double CD set COL- FESSIONS, and the new release of his book "In Between The Laughter", Col is doing what he does best – telling his side of the story. He has been a household name on the comedy circuit for almost four decades.
There is no doubt that Col is a born natural when it comes to making people laugh and I was surprised to learn about his 'not so good times' in life. As Col said to me, “I prefer not to focus on the doom and gloom, I'd rather always find a positive”. There were times in his life when things were far from perfect, including having a heart attack at the age of 37, depression and a time of too much alcohol. That never stopped Col getting on with his life though.
Col speaks lovingly of his wife, Karen, who he has been married to for over 41 years and contributes a lot of his success to her. It was in fact, Karen that told him ‘you got to write the bloody book’, he says.
At 17, Col was sent to Vietnam, and is one of the youngest Australians ever sent to the war. Although he witnessed many traumatic events in Vietnam, Col chose to get on with his life with comedy playing a major part of that. It was in the navy that Col started to perform comedy to be able to buy drinks and earn some cash.
Col and I chatted about his character, Chooka Dennis – which is my favourite persona, and I’m pretty sure it’s Col’s too. Chooka isn't the brightest kid on the block, but he's a likeable character, and I've included a video in this post.
When I asked Col about his biggest achievement in life he said, “I know it sounds cliché, but I have to say it’s my family, that’s my biggest achievement”.
When it comes to touring the world though, Col’s favourite place to be is back on home ground in Australia. “Aussies make me feel that we are mates when I’m performing to them. It’s not an act, it’s me sharing with them. Aussies are the best audiences in the world. I have been all over this country – I mean, I go places where they still vote for Menzies! But no matter where I am, I feel at home. No other country can do that for me.”
Col’s book is available to download on Amazon or visit his website for more information.
On another note, I asked Col if he was on Twitter or Facebook, and he replied “I’m still in awe of my fax machine” you just got to love that!