Juliet Rae Timmerman: The Latest Show of All Time at the Sydney Comedy Festival
Following the success of her late night show 'A Perfect Debut' at Sydney Fringe, the network has ordered a television pilot from perfect comedian Juliet Rae Timmerman.
An ode to the greats of American talk shows, this is a late-night show like no other. The show will be performed over two nights to allow for any mishaps, and we will send the best footage to the big time execs. The Latest Show Of All Time will feature all your favourite segments - the Movie Review, Childhood Truths, Uncle's Corner and more, with special guests and beloved sidekick Denise in tow!
Read the full interview below:
Juliet Rae Timmerman
I love the concept of the show – this is a taping of a pilot of a new late night TV talk show for the big time execs that is guaranteed to go perfectly. What inspired the concept? When you create new shows or new material, where does it generally start for you and how does that evolve into what we see on stage? What is the process like?
To be honest I haven’t worked out a reliable process for writing yet, it starts as a stream of consciousness when I feel funny or inspired (sometimes at 3am when I am trying to sleep) and then I go back and edit a lot when I’m in a clearer mind. My Sydney Fringe show A Perfect Debut was my first solo hour, and the late night show gave me a structure to work around. An hour seemed daunting to start but devising segment titles and writing within those parameters felt achievable. It also allowed me to play around with elements of sketch comedy, which is really the first form of comedy I was ever interested in but still have little experience with. I was also watching a lot of the Eric Andre show at the time which probably just got in my head.
Talk show television has garnered a certain reputation and the predominately male tribe of late-night hosts seemingly play into it wholeheartedly with their wide eyed enthusiasm and almost salesmen like qualities. What does your show have to say about this and why has this become the focus of your satire and attention?
The uniformity of American late night shows is jarring and they can feel very insincere – I wanted to both honour and ruin the traditional format in a way that felt spontaneous. The show was built around my standup character, a person who constantly finds themselves in bizarre and unfortunate situations. It feels fun to replace the archetype of the highly polished, enthusiastic late night host with a chaotic, disastrous person and let them lead the show to an unexpected victory or a complete catastrophe – I guess the audience can be the judge of that!
As well as doing this solo show, you are also part of a group of women who make up Confetti Gun and together you perform improv comedy as well. In what is so often a field dominated by male comedians, what have you gained both from going solo but also from being a part of this group? What do you think audiences can expect from the women taking on the Sydney Comedy Festival this year – particularly from yourself and from Confetti Gun?
Doing improv as well as standup has allowed me to explore two very different sides of myself as a performer. I am always inspired and supported by the women in Confetti Gun and improv is so freeing. The experience has given me confidence, taught me a lot and helped me develop my voice while never feeling like “a woman in comedy”. Writing solo just allows me to be a total control freak, overanalyse my ideas and get a heap of undivided attention onstage, which I also love!
Audiences can expect a brilliant variety of shows from everyone involved in the festival this year and among them are so many incredible women – Confetti Gun will be bringing fun, high energy improv, you can see amazing musical comedy (I can’t wait for Jacinta Gregory’s ‘80s Nostalgia Sad Hour’) and even ASMR (Issy Phillips’ ‘ASMR Live’ is unmissable).
You’ve described the show as an ‘ode to the greats of American talk shows.’ What does your new talk show promise to deliver through this pilot that will guarantee the audience a great night at the comedy festival? What can the audience expect and why must they ensure that they don’t miss this show?
‘The Latest Show of All Time’ will be fun, unexpected and above all really silly! I genuinely love the classic late night show format and I have included some key familiar elements, in my own way. For example, it wouldn’t be a true American talk show without a sidekick, so joining me for the ride will be my mentor and volleyball coach Denise – she keeps me grounded. I am pretty confident my pilot will be picked up by the big time execs at a major network so this is your chance to be part of television history, an unmissable opportunity.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:
Favourite production you have ever seen?
In 2014 I saw Book of Mormon on Broadway with Ben Platt (he was in it I mean, not also watching it with me) and it was mad
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?
South Korea – the only thing I love as much as comedy is kpop (I also want to eat my weight in tteokbokki)
Dream show to perform in?
I would like to be on Sesame Street but I want to be in the Big Bird costume – at least try it on. I think I would perform well as an enormous bird
Plays or musicals?
A hobby you have beyond the theatre?
I really love to dance and learn choreography for songs I like – naturally I have the spatial awareness of a Labrador Retriever but I am working at it and it brings me joy
What’s next for you after this show?
A nice long sleep, and then I’ll start writing a new show. I’m also part of the team behind a podcast/radio play called The Derryn Hinch Justice League - it’s a ridiculous political satire, I love it. We’ll be releasing that sometime this year so keep an ear out!
The Latest Show of All Time opens at the Factory Theatre on May 17 as part of the Sydney Comedy Festival. You can get your tickets here.