Anthony Morgan is a true comedy pioneer.
Starting out in 1982, Anthony's freewheeling style of often-improvised storytelling became the benchmark by which other comedians measured themselves. In the nineties he was an unlikely comedy superstar, selling out the Melbourne Town Hall off the back of his TV appearances – but in 1998 decided to throw in the towel and move to Tassie.
Now Anthony is back! At least, intermittently. Commuting across Bass Strait for ABC TV's Randling and Sam Simmons' critically praised ABC comedy series Problems, you may have clocked him most recently giving Ronny Chieng a hard time as Professor Dale in the ABC’s Comedy Showroom pilot RONNY CHIENG: INTERNATIONAL STUDENT and in Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor’s smash hit ABC series ROSEHAVEN.
"Free wheeling, free falling and free of logical structure"
"Morgan provided markedly superior comedy"
The Sunday Times (UK)
"wonderful comedy - daring, vulnerable and rivetingly honest"
“a brutally honest, hazy, yet disarmingly frank show”
You may have clocked Morgan most recently giving Ronny Chieng a hard time as Professor Dale in the ABC’s Comedy Showroom pilot RONNY CHIENG: INTERNATIONAL STUDENT.
And he’ll be seen later in 2016 in Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor’s hotly-anticipated ROSEHAVEN.
But Anthony Morgan has been working as a stand up comic since 1982. 1982!
In 1998 Anthony stunned the comedy industry and his management by announcing on stage in front of 2000 people that he was retiring. The existence of an updated biography probably means that you can whack a “semi” in front of that “retirement”.
Anthony’s conversational stand up style has taken him not only to every city in Australia, but also to London, Manchester and twice to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Anthony's stand up seeks to come to grips with the simple matters of domestic, political and social life. He does this by making these matters unimaginably complex then seeking to explain them to himself and the audience members. The result is ultimately satisfying but thoroughly confusing.
Anthony is a consummate live performer and has received awards at both the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals. He presented a show at every Melbourne Comedy Festival until his announcement in 1998 and constantly produced new live work in Melbourne and around the country.
Most people however know Anthony for his television work. This started in 1991 as a regular on the BIG GIG (ABC) and spots on HEY, HEY IT'S SATURDAY and TONIGHT LIVE. In 1994 Anthony became the Melbourne correspondent for DENTON (Seven Network). This more than anything else brought Anthony to the public's attention. Anthony's regular crosses saw him boxing against world champions, proclaiming his love to Kylie Minogue and getting a tattoo of Lenny Bruce on his back. Anthony also appeared on the Melbourne Comedy Festival debates shown on both the ABC and the Seven Network in 1994, 1995 & 1997. More recently, he’s even been spotted on the ABC’s SPICKS & SPECKS (more often than not resplendent in a well-loved cowboy hat) and Statesmen of Comedy on The Comedy Channel.
In the 1996 Melbourne Comedy Festival Anthony produced INK, PINK, YOU STINK: three separate shows to sold out houses in the 1300 seat Melbourne Town Hall. In 1997 more fans again flocked to see Anthony with his five piece band, “RON”.
Morgan returned in 2000, initially popping up at venues around Melbourne and reprising his 1994 Melbourne Comedy Festival hit, MORGAN’S BAR AND GRILL at the Comedy Festival. Later that year, Anthony launched his first new show since “retirement”; Bag Of Nails at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. This show saw Anthony back in full swing. It proved to be a welcome homecoming for old fans & something of a master-class for the uninitiated. Anthony followed up with the seething & dangerously self-titled ANTHONY MORGAN in the next year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival. After helping to close the Prince Patrick Hotel in January 2003, Morgan was up for a quiet drink and a fortnight of good old-fashioned pub shows at Bar Open in August.
In 2006 he returned to the Melbourne Comedy Festival from his newfound home in Tassie, and then again in 2007 with his new show Sackful of Bullfrogs, 2008 with Unrepentant, 2013 with Music for Goats and latterly 2015’s Born with a Tail and this year’s [YOUTH REFERENCE]..
In 2012 Anthony crossed the Tasman for two television projects, ABC TV’s RANDLING where he was teamed up with comedian Dave O’Neil for a game show all about words where over the course of 27 weeks we saw Anthony and Dave, the ‘Fitzroy Fireballs’ become triumphant victors of the series.
The second project also for ABC TV was the hotly anticipated 4 part sketch comedy show PROBLEMS where Anthony was part of the all star cast led by the undisputed master of suburban absurdity, Sam Simmons. PROBLEMS went on to air in the UK on the network Dave, and is now available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/tv-season/problems/id987343967.
Also keeping his live skills firing, Morgan has been performing at various comedy clubs across Melbourne. He will be sure to pop up again at a room near you.
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Updated: October 2016