Ask stand-up comedian Anthony Locascio if he considers himself a wog, and the reply is a resounding ‘yes’. But that certainty hasn’t always translated to him being comfortable using his cultural heritage in his comedy.
Speaking to the Ouzo Talk podcast, the proud Greek-Italian-Australian candidly recalls the night that he ditched ‘ethnic comedy’, only for that decision to be brought into new perspective after nearly being run over… by another famous Greek-Australian comedian outside the club.
“I was in the middle of doing 10 shows in Melbourne, and I just wanted to go to a club and do 10 minutes of just jokes, pure comedy – I don’t want to do this wog shit,” Locascio recalls telling himself.
“The next night, I didn’t have a show of mine, so I went and did a club set. I smashed it with my best ten (minutes).
“I thought, I’m really happy with this – this is great, this feels more like comedy. F*** this wog shit.
“I leave, and I’m going back to the car, about to cross the road and I almost get run over by this gold, Porsche Cayenne. It almost hits me, and I jump, holding my flyers, and on this sort of floating feeling of ‘I don’t need to be a wog to be successful in comedy’.
“I look in the windshield of the gold Porsche Cayenne, and who is it? None other than Nick Giannopoulos, the Wog Boy.
“It was almost like my life was at a physical and metaphysical crossroads,” laughs Locascio.
“It was like, you can not do the wog stuff and be happy just walking to the ute, or, you can go and do the wog stuff, and then you can drive the Porsche Cayenne.”
The now 30 year old is grateful for the opportunities and mentoring he has received from other ‘ethnic’ comics, including the likes of George Kapiniaris and Joe Avati, and is hoping to take the form somewhere else with the new show he is currently writing.
“It’s not like Joe does it, it’s not like George – and I love all of these guys. I’ve done so many shows with them, so many times, they’ve mentored me in a lot of ways,” says Locascio.
“I don’t want to be the next version of them. I might want to be the next version of that kind of humour, but it’s going to look totally different.”
The Ouzo Talk podcast is available on all major podcast streaming apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, SOUNDIS.GR and more. Subscribe so you never miss an episode. Listen also to Ouzo Talk episode Mary Coustas: ‘Greek women are super powerful’