PAUL Fenech is not afraid to offend.
Watch his cult comedy TV show, Pizza – a lowbrow slice of drugs, sex and mayhem – or slapstick series Housos – with its mob of public-housing dole bludges – and you’ll recognise that immediately.
But the glorified bogan of Sydney’s inner-west says he isn’t trying to be controversial – he’s just telling it like it is.
“Don’t shoot the messenger: this is what I see and what I hear – I didn’t make it up,” Fenech said.
“It’s the humour of the Aussie battler, which is kind of a cliche, but there are a lot of people doing it tough.
“Australians’ sense of humour has always been pretty broad and a little rude but it’s getting a little edgier and I think that’s because people are doing it tougher now than ever – the tougher the times, the crazier the people and then the crazier the humour.
“I don’t see many things on TV that are real. Even when they try do things that are real, like Struggle Street (2015 TV doco) which was trying to be like Housos but for real, the attitude is really judgmental – everything I do is true but there’s love there.”
Son of a Maltese-born father and part-Aboriginal mother, Fenech takes pride in his multicultural roots.
Moreover, he takes pride in being a “regular stooge” who goes to the movies, hangs at the mall and orders takeaway food.
“I’d worked in TV for 10 years before I got the chance to make my own stuff and I was at SBS at that time and I’d just won Tropfest three times with little short films about pizza delivery,” Fenech said.
“South Park was doing very well for SBS and they basically wanted an Australian South Park. I showed them these short films and we made a pilot and they waited two years before making a decision.
“The guy who was originally making the decision suddenly had a heart attack and died and his replacement came in and within two weeks commissioned the show.”
With a loyal fan base stretching back to the ’90s, Fenech sees his audience as “buddies”.
“They remind me of all my best mates and I travel around so I’ve got this mad, incredible national friendship that keeps backing me up,” he said.
Fenech brings new show, Fat Pizza & Housos, to Perth in December.
Community Newspaper Group has 10 double passes to give away to Fat Pizza & Housos Comedy Show at Astor Theatre on December 1. Enter here by 10am, November 3.
What: Fat Pizza & Housos Comedy Show
When: Astor Theatre
Where: December 1