Anthony Locascio – Heart Of Darkness

BMA Comedy Profile

Ahead of his upcoming show, on the 9th June at Smiths Alternative, we got to sit down with Anthony Locascio and talk all the important things through!

What got you into comedy?

I watched Eddie Murphy’s Raw with my dad and uncle at 11 years old (way too young, do not recommend) and watching how this guy was able to break them into tears with just his words, his thoughts, his attitude, stuck with me forever. Stand-up comedy is like an adult magic trick. I think subconsciously I always knew I wanted to do it, but the path to acceptance was not linear. My parents are both first generation Australians; my dad Italian and my mum Greek. They worked extremely hard to send me to a private selective school in Sydney. You can’t really repay that by pursuing a career in the arts, at least off the bat. So I studied Law at university, I worked in the Insolvency industry for four odd years, and as my soul spent the time slowly leaking out of my eyeballs at a cubicle, I finally ran out of excuses for not following my dream. I worked in Insolvency by day while doing comedy at night for two years, before packing it all in and chasing this full time in 2018.

How would you describe your comedy to the layman?

Storytelling, extremely personal, very cheeky, occasionally edgy, with a sprinkling of ethnic flavouring.

And how would you describe your style of comedy to a TV Exec looking to sign you to your own series?

SO diverse! Greek and Italian! Two ethnicities for the price of one. The next generational voice of an Australian subculture crying out for a new comedic hero and role model…or honestly, whatever you guys need me to be.

Who are some of your favourite comedians?

Eddie Murphy kicked it all off. As a teenager I watched the ‘Wog’ guys religiously, especially Joe Avati, and had an affinity to Carl Barron. As I got older, the more cerebral American comics would grip me: Chappelle, Burr, Louis CK. I think it was getting really into George Carlin that pushed me over the edge though, in terms of wanting to do it myself. The way he was able to infuse social and political commentary into his jokes, or vice versa depending on your perspective, was
simply revolutionary. These days I listen to EVERYONE (Spotify has a ridiculous library of comedy albums, the best way to consume stand-up). At the moment I’m smashing through some Kyle Kinane, Marc Maron, Sam Morril, Natasha Leggero, and Mark Normand.

What’s one of the funniest/weirdest things that’s happened in your career?

Well I was punched in the face on stage in 2019. A drunk English woman was heckling me pretty relentlessly, I retorted with an admittedly quite tame put down, at which point her boyfriend shot up and took a swing. Thankfully he only grazed my cheek before being removed from the room. I then finished my set like a god-damned professional, had a month long existential crisis, before turning the story into the closer for my 2019 hour show (video is on my Youtube.

What’s one of the proudest moments of your career?

don’t know. This is hard. The self-hating comic cliché is just that for a reason; I tend to diminish accomplishments because if I can do them, they can’t be that hard or meaningful. I try to not be like that as much as possible. Selling out the Sydney Comedy Store two years in a row in 2019/2020 was amazing, as is absolutely any time I get to travel to do shows. Also, I scored directly from a corner in football when I was 15, obviously completely deliberate.

Here’s a section where you can write anything you’d like (why wait for the right question?)

Prawns aren’t worth it. Such a high maintenance food, so much effort for the eater. Then you end up with sticky hands. Many prawn defenders will cite how well prawns go with condiments, lemon, garlic, aioli. I don’t respect foods that need to dress up to be presentable. A prawn is just a glorified cracker. This is very un-Australian, and I’m sorry.

Comedians hate being asked “tell us a joke” when people find out they’re comedians. So… What’s one of your favourite jokes?

Yes. Yes, we do hate being asked that. To work for free?? I don’t meet carpenters and immediately ask them to make me a table. Having said that…I saw so many shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year, given my show was early at 6pm. The joke which sticks out to me the most is from Brodi Snook – “The more tattoos a man has of his kids, the less likely he is to be allowed to see them”

What exactly is the meaning of life?

As best as I can tell, embracing the cyclical duality of it. Eat good food, fart. Make money, spend it on the people you love. Hear or see something funny, laugh loud. Fall in love, cry a lot. Live…die

Hecklers… A help or a hindrance? Do you have any particular favourite “comebacks/put downs” for the lippy segment of the great unwashed?

Hindrance, without a shadow of a doubt. You don’t see people going to Cirque De Soleil with pool cues, running on stage and swinging at the dancers. Yet for whatever reason, there’s this mythical agreement that comedy is the only artform that can be disrupted and it’s all cool…this is a sore point clearly haha.
Bottom line is; intelligent people don’t heckle.

The Danish word ‘hygge’ encapsulates a general feeling of warmth, happiness and glow. What creates this sensation for you?

I guess the obvious answer would be doing stand-up; really connecting with an audience and getting a bit of that sweet, sweet validation. But I’m just as happy spending entire days on the couch with my partner and our two cats, watching movies and eating pizza. Balance.

What is your favourite a) film, b) book, c) TV show, d) stand up set?

a) A Fish Called Wanda
b) One Hundred Years of Solitude
c) The Sopranos historically but Succession currently
d) This is very hard so I’ll give three; The Great Depresh (Gary Gulman), Equanimity (Dave Chappelle), and
Back In Town (George Carlin).

Anything you’d like to add?

I should probably plug the show! I’m very excited to bring Heart Of Darkness to Canberra specifically. I’m expecting a higher proportion of the audience to understand my literary references than most cities I’ve done this show in. The show explores the relationship between love and guilt via stories of some very naughty things I did as a teenager, juxtaposed with how in love I am right now. There’s also a dream sequence!

Heart Of Darkness will be at Smith’s Alternative on Friday, 9 June having played this year at Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Sydney, Perth, Newcastle and Wollongong Comedy Festivals) Tix via the venue

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