Dave O'Neil had Ballina's RSL in raptures.
Dave O'Neil had Ballina's RSL in raptures. Supplied

Dave O'Neil bares his belly

DAVE O’Neil is a finely-tuned story-telling machine.

The multi-talented Melbourne comedian has written movies, books, appeared on TV shows (including ABC’s Spicks 49 times), and done stand-up for 20 years.

And when he took to the stage at Ballina RSL last Thursday he did so with a spring in his step, gladly mocking himself from the get-go.

“I asked for a Wu-Tang-style haircut the other day. But as you can see, they accidentally gave me the k.d. lang,” says O’Neil.

His timing was spot-on, raising his voice towards the end of quirky stories and then tossing in the pregnant pause.

Then, when the punch lines hit, the predominantly middle-aged crowd’s laughter would erupt.

With the audience well warmed-up, O’Neil probed a gentleman in the front row calling him “K-Rudd” (since he supposedly looked like the former Prime Minister).

O’Neil was more than just a comedian; he was a social commentator.

He humorously described the impacts of computer technologies on younger generations’ attention spans and demonstrated how to stop annoying children from entering your home – fully un-button your red flannelette shirt, bare your stomach and run towards them screaming with a beer in hand.

Last year, O’Neil also co-hosted a radio show on Melbourne’s Vega FM with the former Australian Idol host, Ian “Dicko” Dickson.

At the end of his Ballina show he recalled jumping over Dicko on a bicycle, falling off and breaking his leg.

“You should have seen me flying through the air,” says O’Neil. “I was like a pumpkin on a mosquito.”

The Australian comedy scene would be much blander without this pumpkin in it.

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