#036: Why political debate needs more comedians - Tom Ballard

By Jordan Michaelides
October 18, 2017

Tom Ballard 1

Image: Tom Ballard

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Tom Ballard ( @TomCBallard ) is a comedian, TV show host, and former Triple J radio presenter.

It’s kind of surreal to believe that after all those years of sitting in traffic on the way to university, listening to Tom & Alex’s breakfast show, that I’d find myself interviewing him in the flesh. Life can be funny like that.
I have immense respect for what he’s done as an entertainer - it’s the sign of a great comedian when they can effortlessly move across different mediums - whether it’s TV, radio, podcasts or stand up.

Tom’s podcast (Like I’m A Six Year Old) is undoubtedly one of the most popular Australian produced shows at the moment. His ability to have well balanced, inquisitive and funny conversations across many political topics is exactly what you need in a world where everyone’s screaming at each other. Although Tom is politically left, you’ll find many conversations he has with people who have diametrically opposed ideas - and yet a civil conversation is still able to be had. This is the secret weapon of comedy.

I believe it’s important that you and I continue to learn together about having deep, long form, political conversations. Without it, we won’t be able to make sense of the flood of content and sound bites that pervade our digital world.

This was a refreshing take on how Tom views his world, and challenges political conversations.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Topics covered include:

  • The first moment Tom realised he was funny

  • Choosing comedy over law

  • Why he started a political podcast

  • Creative process of writing comedy

  • Good vs great comedians

  • Recipe for the perfect comedian

  • First time bombing on stage

  • Political view summarised

    Enjoy the episode, 
    Jordan & Lauren





    Show notes

    • The first moment Tom realised he was funny {05:44}

    • Choosing comedy over law {08:23}

    • Lessons learnt from his parents {11:40}

    • Why he started a political podcast {21:36}

    • On reading more {30:18}

    • Creative process of writing comedy {32:43}

    • Good vs great comedians {36:03}

    • Recipe for the perfect comedian {38:33}

    • If he had to teach a room of budding comedians {41:35}

    • First time bombing on stage {43:29}

    • Political view summarised {49:27}

    • Morning & workout routines {57:59}

    • Best purchase under $250 {59:15}

    • What he’s most proud of {01:00:44}

    • A book he’d gift someone {01:01:58}

    • If he had a billboard anywhere in Australia {01:04:44}



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