Make no bones about it, Damian Callinan may be one of Australia’s most versatile, prolific and popular comedians, but he is terrible at writing career biographies.
You would think that this former drama teacher turned stand up and character comedian would be falling over himself to reveal the extent of his rapid success but his struggles with humility inexplicably seem to hold him back.
A clear example of this misplaced aversion to self promotion is his choice to wait until the 3rd paragraph to inform the reader that he was one of the stars of the TV sketch show Skithouse [Australia, NZ, UK & France]; was a regular on Australian Rules football comedy Before The Game and has recently joined the cast of Channel 10 sketch The Wedge. Not to mention his TV appearances on such shows as Rove Live, Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala, Joker Poker, Good Morning Australia, The Fat, Off Road and countless others.
His maddening coyness extends to his extensive radio career, which has included co hosting stints on JJJ and 774ABC Melbourne as well as regular segments on Mix FM, Fox and MMM. He can currently be heard on Radio National doing regular satirical arts pieces and on 774ABC in a variety of character and co-hosting roles. But don’t ask him to tell you that these segments have become hugely popular because he won’t.
It’s bad enough that he is circumspect about his media career, but his extensive live credits also get the same treatment. Year after year he has produced quality shows on the Australian festival circuit that have showcased his skills as a gifted writer, stand-up and character comedian. He’s won a truckload of awards for them, but he hides them away like bad Christmas presents. Read this list and marvel at his reluctance to exhort his own virtues.
2006 - Spaznuts [MICF Piece Of Wood – Comedians Choice & Moosehead Award]
2003 - The Cave To The Rave – The Story Of Dance [MICF ABN AMRO Foreign Exchange Award – Trip To Edinburgh Fringe]
2003 – [TV Best Newcomer – Australian Comedy Awards]
2002 – Proxy Heroes [MICF Barry Award Nomination]
2001 – Sportsman’s Night [MICF Barry Award Nomination]
2000 – Out & About [MICF Moosehead Award]
2000 – Sportsman’s Night [Melbourne Fringe – Best Comedy]
1999 – Speech Night [Melbourne Fringe – Runner Up Best Comedy
1997 – [Adelaide Comedy Festival - Make Me Laugh Award – Trip to Edinburgh]
1997 – [MICF – Runner Up – Raw Comedy National Final]
That’s without mentioning his other solo shows and collaborations with fellow comedian Lawrence Mooney that his Mum thought were just as good. Now he’s using his mum as a vehicle for endorsement! These critiques are a little
“Callinan is clever, intelligent and terrifically talented ... his character work is superb … a huge success”
“One of the best shows on offer ... deserving of the wildest of applause”
“Damian Callinan stood up and proved why he is one of Australia’s most successful comedians”
ADELAIDE ADVERTISER - _____ STARS
He’s unlikely to elaborate without being prompted but he not only regularly tours the nation as a headline stand-up act but has also been a regular on the Melbourne Comedy Festival Road Show since 2001 achieving a reputation for localising his material for each show. This flare for tailoring his content has also seen him become a much sought after speaker, debater and MC at corporate events for a wide range of clients and audiences with a specialty for the education sector.
What else hasn’t he told you? He is a much sought after comedy director; recently wrote and performed Babysitting, his first show specifically for kids; is working on Borrydale, his first novel for Text Publishing/Cannongate and prefers to write his biographies in the 3rd person but isn’t very good at it am I?