A dollop of ‘LegendGary’ Reynolds
Stand-up comedian Gareth Reynolds, of The Dollop podcast fame, is bringing his Australian tour, LegendGary to The Rechabite on Wednesday, November 15. MELISSA KRUGER caught up with the hilarious, whip-smart comedian about tour life, accents, cat love, unwanted nicknames, and his favourite Aussie slang.
Hello! How are you? What are you up to?
Well I’m home for this first time in four or five months for a couple of weeks, so there’s just tonnes of little shit I’m doing to get ready for another trip away. There’s a lot of podcasting to gear up to be able to take a break, and just lots of little shit, just being a human again.
So you’ve got five months’ worth of shit to do in a couple weeks. How do you do it?
Well it’s one of those things… you just do it! Once you’re gone you really start to go ‘Okay well this is what I have to do.’ Saying it’s like ‘survival instinct’ overplays it, because you’re doing better than surviving, but you’re definitely like packing every day, moving every day, shows most nights. It gets a bit blurrish but it’s also great! Doing shows is great, but everything around it becomes a bit tedious, you know?
Especially trying to catch up on everything afterwards!
Yeah, like real stuff where the government’s like, ‘You owe us documents!’ and you’re like ‘Hey! I’m doin’ some shows tonight government, you can calm down,’ and they’re like ‘That’s not how this works!’ and you’re like ‘That’s a shame.’
Where do you get your energy from?
Well, you’re tired cause you’re like… sleeping in hotels. If you’re trying to exercise and be healthy, you can only do so much to get the sleep you need and with a lot of time changes. It adds up and you start to feel really tired. But you just kind of click in. As long as it’s not compromising how your shows are going, you just battle through it. And then you come back and you’re like, what happened?! My suitcase is an unearthed tomb, a time capsule that’s open because I had to get three things and the rest is just sitting there in a pile, and my cat’s like ‘Cool new house!’
How is José? [Gareth’s cat].
He’s probably like ‘Where the FUCK have YOU been bro?!’
I’d love to be like ‘What do you think’s going on?’ He’s like ‘You are crazy and you go out and you hunt food for me’ and whatever his little mind thinks. He definitely is happy to see me. I make it so he doesn’t have to leave my place which is great for him. After this trip I’ll be home way more for a few months and so that’ll do him right but he’s just happy right now, he’s like ‘Hey! We’re getting the gang back together!’
I have two people who look after José when I’m gone and my one buddy says that when he hears the wheels of my suitcase coming, he goes to the door. He knows. He’s like, ready to go. He’s like ‘Aahhh!’ you know?
Yeah! He’s like, ‘Everyone! He’s here! He’s here!’
Yeah, yeah, ‘Places! Places!’
I’ve been loving listening to We’re Here To Help — awesome podcast! I did nearly start crying for you when your co-host Jake [Johnson] started calling you ‘Garthy,’ though! Why do people give you nicknames that you hate?
I don’t know! We did a podcast the other day and he’s started calling me Garth, now. Cos the nickname is Garfy, with an ‘f’ [what Gareth’s mum calls him], so he’s shortened it now to Garth.
What are friends for after all if not to call you something you hate?
Eventually you stop fighting, and I’m just happy to be there. So, I go ‘Whatever the fuck you want to call me, I’ll just answer to.’
It certainly doesn’t help that you’ve named your Australian tour ‘LegendGary.’
Well you lean in!
Do you know why that’s quite special here in Australia? To have legend ‘Gary’ of all things?
Why don’t you walk me through the lore?
Okay, I’ll ask you this first. Given that you were raised by British humans, do you have any love for non-American sports like cricket, say?
I have love for them. I don’t have attentive love, but I love them.
Attentive love takes a lot of time, doesn’t it?
Cricket especially is one where I’m like, ‘I can’t.’ I remember watching my uncle watch cricket and I was like ‘What do you mean, Day four?! What the hell’s happening?!’ and he’d be like ‘Well, they’ve gotta go get lunch!’ And I’m like, ‘Lunch?! Doesn’t sound like a sport!’
Well, there’s a legendary Australian spin bowler named Nathan Lyon, and he’s known as ‘Garry,’ so when we think of Gary here, we think of ‘Garry the GOAT,’ who’s one of the best Australian spin bowlers ever.
Well, I’d rather it be that than, ‘the guy who fell and the wicket sodomised him’ or something.
Yeah, nah — you’ve done well there, accidentally. Anyway, back to We’re Here To Help. In the first episode The Quest of Wilhelmina, you talk about how you and your brother just decided to do Scottish accents for like a month when you were growing up. Is that true? Is that how you started getting into accents?
It was a summer! We dedicated a summer to it.
Yeah! Every time we saw each other we were Scottish. And yeah, it really was that sort of thing, where, I’ve always had an ear for it because I was raised around a lot of people who didn’t have my accent. I don’t really put much work into it. I mean, I’ll just try to get it into decent shape and then sometimes there’s a curveball on The Dollop and I’ll be like ‘Oh okay, well I’ve gotta be, like, Swedish-ish.’
How many accents do you have that you could just throw out there?
Oh god. I really don’t know. We did a show a week ago and it was Norwegian, and I hit it pretty well! But I’d say that I feel confident doing… somewhere between ten to fifteen.
Amazing. I was listening to an old Dollop recently, episode 168 from 2016! In it, you talk about liking shots! What’s your go-to?
Back then it was probably whiskey. Now it’s more a tequila. I love a tequila.
Fuck yeah, I love tequila! I wanted to talk about your crowd work. It’s amazing! I was rewatching your most recent special, England, Weed and the Rest. Have you always had that approach with your work where you hang out with the crowd a lot during a set?
No. After 2020 I started doing a YouTube show where people could send in suggestions and I would just riff on ‘em. I’d do it like a stand-up show where I would talk for an hour-and-a-half of audience-based suggestions and I was like, ‘oh, I’m pretty good at this.’ I always knew I could bullshit, and then as soon as I started going back on the road I started seeing how much I could flex that muscle. It really helps you change the energy of the show because if you can do commentary on what’s happening in the room. It becomes a thing where everyone is experiencing the same thing at the same time.
What’s really cool about that is everyone knows that they get to experience this particular version of that show, and that it’s different every night!
Yeah! I have seen more and more on the road that if I’m doing more than one show in a place that people will come to a couple of shows.
What’s the most interesting Aussie slang words you’ve come across?
My favourite’s ‘wristy.’ There’s a lot of good ones. ‘Wristy’ I find the funniest, and ‘rooting’ is such a gross one, but also, in America you say, ‘I’m rooting for the Packers this weekend,’ you know? I learned the Australian connotation at a live show with Wil Anderson, when I literally said, ‘I’m rooting penguins,’ and Wil was like ‘Hold on, buddy.’
Well, I’ve got one for you. I’ve inferred from listening to The Dollop that at certain points in your life you’ve been a fan of nitrous oxide. Over here, they call it ‘Nangs.’
Nangs… nangnangnangnang (laughs). That’s good I like that. My days of nanging are over but man, what a run.
While I was reading up about you for this, I found an interview with Dave Anthony where they ask him who’s the funniest person he knows and he said you. This isn’t a question, I just thought that was a nice thing and I wanted to share that with you.
Well, that’s very nice. I mean, I make him say that to me but it’s different when it’s unforced.