By Allan Sko
VOTE #1 FELTOPIA PARTY
“I’m forming a whole new Party. The Feltopia Party.”
So states Randy Feltface, and his intention of leveraging his swelling popularity and comedic platform to segue into politics. We’ll hear all about this manifesto soon, but first, we have some catching up to do. Let us examine what led this to decision.
Lockdown. Remember that? It was hard for everyone, of course, and a time for self-reflection for many. For a nomadic presence like Randy, it hit particularly hard.
“I was in a small house in country Victoria in the middle of nowhere, by myself, for eight months,” he reveals. “I grew a massive purple beard and went a bit insane.”
A keen hand at improvisation, Randy—crafty both in substance and in deed—forged a cunning plan.
“Eventually I got sick of being locked down. So I fled,” Randy candidly states, exhibiting an essential skill in the world of politics. “I forged some border crossing documents and went into New South Wales, then stayed on the run throughout 2021.
“I was dodging incoming lockdowns all over the country. I was up in Darwin, across to Western Australia, hustled my way up the Queensland coast, and just sort of scraped this career together.
“Then I bounced out of the country as soon as I could at the start of 2022.”
So like a tornado chaser but the other way around, I venture?
“I’m a storm chaser that is specifically trying to find fresh air.”
Surely, I posit, puppets are used to being cooped up, aren’t they?
“To be honest, I expect better from you than a question like that,” Randy says, the talk suddenly taking a turn. “I’ll let it slide because it’s early in the interview, but you better fuckin’ up your game for the next five minutes or I’m going to be ropeable.”
Realising, to my horror, I had been shamefully puppetist, I prostrated myself at Randy’s furry feet, penitent tears streaming down my face. Forgiving soul that he is—and perhaps, mostly,
because it really wasn’t a pretty sight—all was exonerated with a firm-but-fair warning, and the interview continued in a happier vein.
“It’s been a good few years,” Randy quips. “My career overseas has ballooned since last we spoke. I’m selling out across the UK and across the States and Europe.
Obsessed, as I am, with the origin of things, particular of those on a large and positive scale, how did this all start? With Grover and Elmo giving up their burgeoning comedy careers decades ago for the sweet honey pot of the Sesame Street gig, and Kermit et al running their own empire, there’s not many puppets strutting the floorboards these days.
“The puppet thing never really comes into it,” Randy says. “If you look at my backstory, I forged an unremarkably familiar path into stand up. I started comedy in 2005, blundering my way onto the Melbourne alternative comedy scene.”
This thought sparks a fond memory of Randy’s early days.
“I got in with a bunch of kids running a show—Kate McLennan, Josh Cameron, and Mandy Mannion—called The Wrong Night,” he recalls. “It was a sort of punk late night show where you would do your worst material. I loved that. I don’t know if you’d get away with it today, to be honest, because it was a space where everyone would do their most off-colour, weirdest shit. That’s actually where I met Sammy J.
“For some reason, I got absorbed into that game for a brief period. And from this, Sammy and I started doing stuff together.”
Flash forward to 2023, and us audiences are in for Randy’s best show-come-rally yet, it seems.
“I’ve already done the show 100 times all throughout Europe, the UK, and across America,” he says. “So I’m probably bringing the tightest hour of comedy I’ve ever done to Australia. Often, I start a tour in Australia, and then I take it overseas, so I’ve done it in the reverse order. I actually wrote the show in Australia, but I opened it in the UK.”
Whether you’re a longterm fan of Randy, or wish to finally see what all the fuss is about, his Feltopia tour will be showcase of his many and varied comedic facets.
“It’s got a bit of everything that I’m most well known for,” he reveals. “There’s a couple of songs in there, storytelling, physical comedy, and a bit of vague messaging. It’s a 65-minute barrage of sound bites.
“I’m really proud of the show,” he beams. “I think it’s really fun.”
The energy Randy exudes is infectious. The man seems tireless.
“Oh, I’m exhausted all the time,” he reveals. “But the hard work is worth it for those times that I’m on stage. But let’s be honest; I’m not exactly saving lives here.”
I lovingly disagree, stating how important comedy is as a comfort for those doing it tough.
“Well, yeah, I guess when you put it in that context,” he says. “I’m sort of saving my own life every time I get on stage as well. Because if I had to have a normal job, I don’t know how long I would stick around.”
And with this cheery thought we come, at last, to Feltopia.
“I am attempting, with this show, to stray from comedy into politics,” he states. “I’m hoping that the good people, my audience, will get on board.
“I’ve done a show where I became like a cult leader; I started a religion in The Book Of Randy; I’ve tried a whole bunch of different things.
“Now, I’m starting a whole new party – The Feltopia Party party. I’m going to be brutally honest and empathetic as much as is possible in the world of politics.
“I’ll probably last about five minutes.”
I know which box my ‘1’ is going on the form.
The Randy Feltface Feltopia tour bus will be swinging into the important seat of the Nation’s Capital on Saturday, 5 August. It all kicks off at 7pm, and
political donations tickets are $45 + bf via Canberra Ticketing.