By Luke Voogt
Event postponed. Article written prior to Victoria’s latest lockdown.
Stand-up veteran and TV personality Lehmo will cruise down the highway to headline Punchlines on Pako – now at Norlane – next Friday.
The self-described “full-time funny person” is well-qualified to mentor the next batch of Geelong jokesters in the gig showcasing the region’s emerging comedic talent.
“To be honest though, I get as much out of it as they do,” Lehmo told the Independent.
“I always love meeting new comics because they’re so full of beans and they’ve always got fresh, different ideas.
“They’ll have a lot of questions and be excited to meet you.
“Sometimes young comedians will look for a magical tip that will propel them onto radio or TV. I’ve been around for a while so I’ve got a few.
“But mostly, at the end of the day, it’s just like any job – it’s about work. They’re often disappointed when I tell them that.
“In a sense you’re working all the time – you’re always thinking about jokes and other bits.”
Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann has been a regular on the festival scene since the mid-’90s, and has performed for Australian troops in the world’s most dangerous war zones several times.
His long list of TV credits includes co-hosting Before the Game, and appearing on current programs like Have You Been Paying Attention? and Hughesy We Have A Problem.
Lehmo has worked in radio since 2003, and can be heard on ABC Radio’s Grandstand on weekends and across the Triple M network throughout the week.
He regularly performed in comedy clubs and festivals across the globe until COVID-19 brought his travels and live shows to a grinding halt for months at a time.
But he still managed a few gigs in Geelong this year, joining Dave O’Neil for show at St Joseph’s College, brought ahead at the last minute to prevent it being cancelled by Victoria’s lockdown in February.
He also appeared at Kardinia Park in May. With Melbourne currently in lockdown he is thrilled to “get out for a laugh” in Geelong again next weekend.
“I can’t wait – it’s been a hell of a year for everyone, comedians included,” he said.
“We’ve had so many cancellations, especially June, July and August.”
Once the world returns to normal, he hopes to “do as many gigs as I can, in as many locations as I can” and go on holiday with his wife and son.
But planning anything further for his future is a “fraught business at the minute”, Lehmo reckons.
“I’ve always got 100 ideas floating around but I don’t want to share any of them,” he said.
“You never get ahead of yourself in this business or you set yourself up for a fail. You tend to only to talk about new projects once they’re signed, sealed and delivered.”
Lehmo joins local comedians Luke Massey, Sam Gebreselassie, Ash Greblo, 2021 National Raw Comedy Winner Prue Blake, Urvi Majumdar, Aurelia St Clair, Tim Young and MC Tosh Walker for Punchlines on Pako.
The group behind the gig, Locally Grown Funnies, had initially planned to hold it at Geelong West Town Hall on July 31.
They postponed Punchlines on Pako due to recent lockdowns and, with Geelong West Town Hall booked out on August 27, have moved the gig to Centenary Hall, Norlane.
Fellow Australian comedy veteran, Denise Scott, will headline another line up of emerging local comedians in a second Locally Grown Funnies gig on August 28 at Westend, central Geelong.