Chopper’s grand goldfield return

March 30, 2024 BY

Punchlines only: Comedian Heath Franklin said if you want to see a 20-year-old kid philosophise and spout life lessons there's plenty of that out there, but Chopper's all about the punchlines. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A FEW years ago, an icon of Australian comedy hung up his moustache to explore new avenues for his material.

Now, Heath Franklin is back on tour as Chopper in his new show Not Here to F*ck Spiders, so named after an Aussie aphorism the comedian said means a lot and nothing at the same time.

“It’s a slightly ambiguous statement of intent,” said Franklin. “I’ve learnt from politics over the years that it’s best to stay neutral.”

Franklin’s last stop in Bendigo was as himself as headliner for the Bendigo Comedy Festival and the comedian said the break from Chopper had paid off.

“One of the purposes of taking a year off to do a show as me was to get all that out of my system so I could focus on doing the Chopper character properly,” he said.

“I think it was kind of like how every now and then someone in a band has to put out a solo album.”

Performing as himself and playing Chopper, said Franklin, required different comedic and performance techniques.

“Especially as Chopper I try to express myself in terms of physicality,” he said. “You end up using your whole body like it’s one big eyebrow.”

“When you get rid of the glasses and the moustache you’ve got that range of facial expression back.”

The year Franklin spent in front of audiences as himself, he said, also helped him get past the feeling that he was retreading the same steps as Chopper.

“In the past I’ve looked back and realised I was using a bit of goodwill of the audience to motor through a few sections, but I think this one’s really strong in terms of laughs from start to finish,” said Franklin.

Not Here to F*ck Spiders is not a lecture against bestiality, as Franklin said he’s a neutral party, but it is according to the comedian a ‘really banging Chopper show’.

“Some people are good at telling a one-hour story or philosophising…but I’m a jokes guy so I’m just going to stick to telling jokes.”

Not Here to F*ck Spiders will be on at the Bendigo Bank Theatre on 12 April at 7.30pm. Tickets available via Bendigo Venues and Events.