Dane Simpson: In Quotes

Stand-up comic, karaoke host, didgeridoo player, and proud Gamilaraay man Dane Simpson gives his thoughts on big time fame and small town life

feature (adelaide) | Read in About 4 minutes
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Dane Simpson
Photo by Jacqueline Cooper
Published 07 Feb 2024

I always love to talk about how I feel about things. In Always Was, Always Will Be... Funny I talk about Australia Day; what I think about it, how I feel about it personally, the reasons that I feel this way. I feel like we can come up with solutions and create a really good option to make everybody happy. What I love is telling silly yarns about my mob and what they’re up to. People who aren’t from a country town, or people who aren’t Aboriginal, or people who are different to me, they can still say: ‘I relate to that’ and I just think that’s so cool. There’s a particular story about my dad walking around in a motel in his undies. There was a bloke laughing too hard in the show in Melbourne and he said ‘the same thing happened to me’. It doesn’t matter racially – dads are dads – they’re silly idiot people and I find that really funny. 

Father and son: Bow and Dane Simpson (photo by Jacqueline Cooper)

My dad does this thing I call yarn-topping. He’ll try and top your stories. When you have your dad and your uncles in the same room, that’s where the gold is. I love a good session with all of my fellas and the cuzzes just spinning yarns and being silly. This show is about me, my mob and who I am. I live in a country town. I love going to the pub with my mates or my dad and spinning a yarn, being silly and if it gets a good laugh – that’s a good tester. 

There’s a mural here of me which is crazy and it’s mind-blowing. It’s so cool to have but my mates would never let me settle into that or brag about it ever. They’d be ‘Alright Mural Boy, calm down’. When they painted it, the newspaper asked my mum what she thought of it and she said ‘Yeah, they’ve got the same sized head’.

Mural by Reuben Boughtwood (image courtesy of Dane Simpson)


I’m not anybody special when I’m home. I’m just a cousin. There’s no people in Wagga who go ‘Oh wow, you’re from the TV’ and I love it, it’s just so normal. When I’m in Melbourne I’ll ring up a lot of comedians and friends. If you do go to the pub it has to be an organised, planned event – it starts at a time and it ends at a time. Whereas in Wagga, I live three or four blocks from the pub and I’ll just wander down there and grab a seat, have a laugh, be a bit silly. Dad might ring, he’ll catch the bus and join. It’s just so spur of the moment and silly – it’s just so normal for me. 

I talk about being a Blackfella all the time and the flavour of being mob is in my shows because I can’t help it. You joke about who you are and what you’re up to, but it’s who I am. Tom Gleeson was saying that 'I don’t understand how someone who is so Aboriginal can have a right-wing white man come to his show and walk out of there laughing.' I think that’s so strange but I love it. I love that people can come and have a laugh and enjoy comedy – it doesn’t matter who you are, you can relate to it in some silly way and that’s awesome. But I slip stuff in, I want people to learn something.



Dane Simpson: Always Was, Always Will Be...Funny, Rhino Room, until 2 March