4 min read

10 Questions with Dave Thornton, stand-up comedian and actor

"When I was doing breakfast radio...the ugliest side of me came out."
10 Questions with Dave Thornton, stand-up comedian and actor

STAND-up comedian, actor, radio personality, and voiceover artist Dave Thornton spoke with Adam Zwar.

"Dave grew up in Geelong, took his first steps into stand-up comedy in his early-20s, and his 'gift of the gab' was soon recognized by Nova and then Fox FM, where he hosted various shows including the top-rating Fifi, Dave, and Fev," Adam said.

"Personally, I was always grateful to be able to cut to yet another hilarious piece of Dave Thornton wisdom on the Agony series.

"These days, he's bringing up two girls, and doing some of the best stand-up of his life."

1. When were you most happy?

"[I did] these gigs in South Africa...in these massive theatres - a casino theatre to 3000 people a night - just getting up and doing stand-up," Dave said.

"They were treating us really well, and the locals were so happy we turned up.... They just loved you being there.

"Stand-up seemed to have just hit, relatively... People were electric about it... and it was, it was really, really nice to see."

2. Who would you like to apologise to and why?

"When I was doing breakfast radio, because of the sleep deprivation that was happening, probably the ugliest side of me came out.

"You're in meetings, you're so short and impatient, and you just want to get out.

"Apologies to anyone that had to put up with that, because...at times it might have come out as malicious. I wasn't intending on it, I was just at wits' end."

3. What is your greatest regret?

"My father passed away when I was 19.

"We never really got a man-to-man conversation. It was always father to son... we weren't sharing thoughts."

4. What do you still need to do to live a satisfactory life?

"I love being a dad. I love those two little kids, and I just want to try and do the best I can by those girls.

"I hope that I can do a good job.

5. Who is the person that most influenced you, and how?

"It would probably be my mum. My mum and I have always been very close," Dave said.

"She just showed the conviction that she really has when [dad] passed away.

"She was just this shining light of, 'I've got to get on with things...' and she's kept that going for the rest of her life.

"She's the hero that you needed at that point in time... I was always like, 'if she can do it, I can do it'."

6. When was the last time you cried, and why?

"It brought tears to my eyes when my eldest, Frieda... said 'Daddy, when I get sad, you always try to make me happy, and I love you for that.'

"When she said it to me, I was like, 'oh, that's exactly what I want for her.'

"Talking about it now, it's exactly hit me."

7. What is your current state of mind?

"Overall, I'm pretty good.

"The lockdowns have thrown us all around here in Melbourne... but I think I've found a pretty sweet pocket at the moment to survive this.

"I've found the right space because I'm not watching the news a lot, and I've distanced myself from all of that, so it's helped a lot.

"But I still get surprised... 'Oh, yeah, this is a lot'."

8. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

"It's probably clichéd, but my kids.

"I heard Barack Obama explain... it's like your heart is on the outside of your chest, and it's like you want to look after it, you feel a bit helpless at times...

"I do think [they're] probably the better things that I've done, thanks, in large part, to their mother."

9. Who would you like on your side in a battle, and why?

"Tommy little. I've never seen a man work so hard, be so dogged, and be so dedicated to what he does.

"He never talks about that, never expects anything from it. If there's a problem, he's very pragmatic.

"He's had as many setbacks as anyone else, but he just gets on with it. He's a really refreshing guy to be around."

10. What would you like your last words to be?

"I'm a stand-up comedian, so I guess the last words... 'Is that my time?'

"Only comedians would see the tunnel of light and go, 'Is that me up? Am I done here? Surely not'."


Adam's book Twelve Summers: Being a life-long fan of Australian cricket is harder than it looks, is out now.

Find Adam Zwar on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

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