Local artist profile: Dane Knowles

December 3, 2023 BY

Too funny: Despite being new to the scene, Dane Knowles has been kicking goals since veritably day dot. Photo: FILE

THIS week we chat with local rising comedic star Dane Knowles, whose self-described “weird, often fairly anecdotal and pretty performative” breakout style, as seen at this year’s Bendigo Comedy Festival, has certainly set tongues wagging.


What initially motivated you to become a comedian?

I grew up with a family who really valued being funny and silly and I also grew up alongside really funny friends. Most of what we watched at home as a family was comedy. We’d go and see live comedy in Melbourne and family events or dinners were almost always about just making each other laugh. I think aside from those being the most fun memories, seeing those shows on TV or on the stage always made me think, “Oh cool, that looks fun and makes people happy. I want to do that!”

But I came to stand-up just a year or two ago from really wanting a creative outlet. I was writing down lots of ideas for funny short films or videos and eventually got sick of not making anything. Stand-up was a kind of instant creative fix because you can just write down the idea and then go perform it right away.


How would you describe your style and how did you develop it?

It’s a little weird, often fairly anecdotal and I’m pretty performative with it. I did quite a bit of drama and performing at school, so I guess I approach it like a different character when I’m on stage. I’m still relatively new to stand-up comedy, I only started in early 2022, so it’s developing, it’s changing and I’m still finding my style. I’m not sure if it’s something I’m massively attached to, to be honest, and I’ve always been interested in character and sketch or being a bit more experimental, so that might be something I’ll try in the near future.


Which other comedians inspire you?

The kind of comedy that I like is generally a bit weird or silly. I do watch a fair bit of stand-up and I think you always get more out of seeing it live. Some of the best acts I’ve seen over the last couple of years and ones that inspire me are people like Sam Campbell, Stu Daulman, Emma Holland, Spencer Jones and Zoe Coombes Marr. Then there’s TV comedy I grew up watching like Lano and Woodley,

Shaun Micallef, Dylan Moran, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, (A bit of) Fry and Laurie and Flight of the Conchords. This is just to name a few!


What are some fond memories you’ve had from your career so far?

The biggest highlight was probably getting to do the split show with Patti Fawcett at the Bendigo Comedy Festival in October this year. It was 20 minutes, which was the longest set I’d ever done and we had a good sized crowd. The people who saw it were really nice and seemed to really enjoy it. It was just a lovely feeling and a lot of fun. It has also been cool to get through to the semifinals of RAW Comedy and get to do some stand-up in Melbourne.


What would you say to young regional aspiring comedians who are thinking of making a go of the creative life?

I’d say go for it! Come down to an open mic night at the Cambrian, which is usually from 8pm on the second Wednesday of every month. The comedy scene in Bendigo is always growing and will only be better for having new faces involved.