A bittersweet farewell

Comedian Jarryd Goundrey. (Supplied) 367988_01

Matt Hewson

For a vanilla slice connoisseur like Jarryd Goundrey the diagnosis of lactose intolerance rang the death knell of a lifelong love affair.

The news from his doctor that he needed to give up the custard-filled treat was a dagger in his heart, but Goundrey, a soldier turned comedian, is not the type to meekly say goodbye.

Thus, his current 52-show national tour, visiting every capital city and many rural centres, both gathers his best material from the past two years and farewells his favourite food in style.

“Completely honestly, it’s very selfishly an excuse to treat my body terribly and go out on a bang; if John Farnham can have a farewell tour for his music, then I can have a farewell to vanilla slice,” Goundrey said.

Goundrey centres a lot of his material on his “accidental” recruitment to the Army and his experiences there between 2005 and 2012.

But he said until he began doing comedy and discussing those experiences he never identified as a veteran.

“After I left the military I didn’t go to Anzac Day services, I didn’t wear my medals, I just kind of moved on in my life,” he said.

“Obviously, when you do comedy you need material, so I thought I’d do a show about that other life I’d lived. And then, every show that I did, there were veterans in the crowd (who) wanted to support me.

“That was an eye-opener for me, to realise I’m actually a part of this community.”

Goundrey now donates 10 per cent of the profits from his shows to the Australian National Veterans Arts Museum, which helped him launch his comedy career in the early days.

Goundrey said despite his love for Geelong, where he’s visited and performed many times, he didn’t have high hopes for our vanilla slice.

“I reckon Geelong’s awesome, but I’ve found there’s a connection; the shitter the town, the better the bakery,” he said.

“You know who won best vanilla slice? Shepparton. And that place sucks.”

Jarryd Goundery will farewell vanilla slice at Valhalla Taproom at 7.15pm on Saturday, October 28 as part of the Geelong Comedy Festival.