Rod Quantock is one of the reasons that Melbourne is the live comedy capital of Australia. As a pioneer of stand-up comedy, Rod has more than thirty years’ experience working in cabaret, theatre, television and radio.
In 2013, Rod celebrated his 45th year in stand up with a one off show at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre which received rave reviews in the media.
The truly remarkable thing about Rod is that for that time he has remained a contemporary stand-up comedian, evolving and staying at the forefront of the craft. His contribution was rewarded when he received the 2004 Sydney Myer Performing Arts Award, putting him in the company of such arts luminaries as Geoffrey Rush, Robyn Nevin, Nick Enright & Paul Grabowsky.
In 2015 Rod was recognized with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his service to the performing arts, and to conservation and sustainability.
Rod Quantock is a pioneer of Australian comedy with more than forty-five years in stand-up, cabaret, theatre, television and radio. He is the only comedian to have performed at all 30 Melbourne International Comedy Festivals and one of the few – perhaps the only – to be awarded an Order of Australia for his work. It is not hyperbole to say that he is an Australian legend.
Rod is known first and foremost as a very funny man but his reach extends beyond comedy into political and social activism. A passionate environmental activist and advocate for social justice, he lobs Molotov cocktails of mirth at the most serious of subjects. When you see Rod Quantock in action, you can be sure he’ll be talking about something of substance; he just may be holding a rubber chicken.
For his trouble, Rod has received numerous awards over his 45 year career, but he’s perhaps most proud of his 2015 Order of Australia, his 2004 Sydney Myer Performing Arts Award (putting him in the company of such arts luminaries as Geoffrey Rush, Robyn Nevin, Nick Enright, Lucy Guerin and Paul Grabowsky) and his Honorary Associate Fellowship at the Institute of Sustainability at Melbourne University for his contribution to the environmental debate in this country. His career and contribution are unparalleled.
Rod’s performing career began with a low profile 1954 appearance in the West Coburg Baptist Church’s Nativity Play. He played the role of the Guiding Star. He’s been guiding audiences in the Quantock world-view ever since. The remarkable thing about Rod’s long career is that he has remained a contemporary stand-up comedian, evolving and staying at the forefront of the craft.
“A living Melbourne treasure” The Age, Melbourne
“Sophisticated satire, unpretentious, daffy. His easy rambling fills the stage. Clever, simple and acid... a comedian for thinkers.”
The Melbourne Times
“A gloriously shambling style, punctuated by sudden gags and proposals of Swiftian excess... He is the archetypal wise fool adrift in a dark & dangerous world.” The Australian
“For sheer cheek and inventiveness, the amazing Rod Quantock must take the honours. Bizarre, fresh, theatrically dangerous, unpredictable”
The Guardian, London
“wit, warmth & aplomb... wise, scary, funny.” The Age, Melbourne
“We walked away entertained, reflective and finally, amazed.
If you only see one comedy show this year, make it
Sunrise Boulevard.” Daily Telegraph, Sydney
“Quantock is hilarious, accessible & passionate.” Herald Sun
"He’s the thinking audience’s comic – holing it in absolute fascination. His ability to maintain several through-lines throughout the show holds everything together in near perfection. You must see him."
The Adelaide Advertiser
"…always funny, intelligent and socially responsible"
Herald Sun, Melbourne
“Rod Quantock is still our best political comedian. He may simply be our best comedian.” Herald Sun
“This show has huge belly-laughs, but it is often so close to the truth of the mad events in our world at present that we laugh with an ache. Quantock’s show is about learning and laughing. Go now” Herald Sun
“Quantock is the master of comedy as social criticism”
The Sunday Age, Melbourne
“Bus is the most chaotic, unplanned fun you can have. Take a friend. Take a camera. Take the risk.” The Age, Melbourne
“Rod Quantock is an extremely sophisticated comedian at the height of his craft.” The Adelaide Advertiser
|2015||Drivetime with Two Leggy Redheads - Rod Quantock and Fiona Scott Norman, Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2014||Invitation to a Revolution - Melbourne Fringe Festival|
|2014||Peak-A-Boo - Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Canberra Comedy Festival|
|2013||Rod Quantock: Forty Five and Counting - The Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne|
|2013||Rod Quantock's Fourth Annual Mystery Walking Comedy Tour - Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2012||Rod Quantock’s Annual Mystery Walking Tour Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2011||The Insane Asylum (You’re Standing In it) Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2011||The History of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, A Walking Tour Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2011||Court in the Act Melbourne|
|2010||The People We Should Eat First (And How To Cook Them) Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2010||In The Beginning: A Walking Tour Of The Birth Of Melbourne Comedy Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2009||Bugger The Polar Bears, This is Serious – Solo Show Trades Hall, Melbourne|
|2009||Rod Quantock Eats Himself – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2008||Last Man Standing – Solo Show Trades Hall, Melbourne|
|2008||2050 AD The Musical – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2007||The John Howard Farewell Party – Solo Show Canberra, Melbourne|
|2007||anconvenientlie – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2007||Hand In Bloody Hand: The John & Janette Story – Solo Show Adelaide Fringe Festival|
|2007||Court in the Act – Solo Show Melbourne|
|2006||The Annual Report – Solo Show Regional Arts Victoria National Tour, Tasmanian Regional Arts Tour|
|2006||Rod Quantock’s Australia! – Solo Show Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2005||Demockracy – Solo Show Melbourne|
|2005||A Brief History Of The End Of The World – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2004||Howard On Ice: The Musical – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2004||Changing Regimes – Solo Show Adelaide Fringe|
|2003||The Axis Of Stupidity – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Darwin Festival|
|2003||Sun, Sex & Sydition – Solo Show Big Laugh Comedy Festival – Parramatta|
|2002||Scum Nation – Solo Show Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|2002||Boredom Protection Policy – Solo Show Melbourne|
|2002||Bus – Solo Show Big Laugh Comedy Festival – Parramatta, Melbourne|
|2001||Lest We Forget: An Inquiry Into Police, Politics & Protest – Solo Show Melbourne|
|2001||The Rodtacular – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival (Celebrating Rod’s 30 Years in Comedy)|
|2000||Utopia – Solo Show Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|1999||Eureka – A Blueprint For The Revolution – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|1999||A Major Event: The Final Report of the Comedian General into the State of Victoria – Solo Show Melbourne|
|1998||Crown Of Thorns – Solo Show Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Harold Park Hotel – Sydney, Return Melbourne Season|
|1998||Double Dissolution – Solo Show Melbourne|
|1997||Sunrise Boulevard – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide, Return Melbourne Season, Harold Park Hotel – Sydney 1998|
|1997||Happy Birthday Jesus – Ensemble Show Melbourne|
|1996||Bus: A Moving Experience – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|1988||Rod Quantock Inflates – Solo Show Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|1988||Bus – Solo Show Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Bus was specially chosen by the Australian Bicentennial Authority to represent Australia at the Edinburgh Festival)|
|1981||Bus, Son Of Tram – Solo Show Melbourne. Return Melbourne Seasons 1982, 1984. Sydney 1983. Melbourne International Comedy Festival 1986|
|1980||Tram – Solo Show Melbourne|
** Various shows between 1973 & 1980, both solo and group devised with Mary Kennealley, Stephen Blackburn & Geoff Brooks, at Melbourne’s pioneer comedy venues The Comedy Café & Banana Lounge, Fiobles Theatre Restaurant, The Flying Trapeze Café, The Last Laugh and The Pram Factory.
**Rod has also toured his stand-up show, Bugger The Polar Bears, This is Serious to dozens of regional venues and sustainable living festivals across the country.
|2006||ABC TV||Enough Rope with Andrew Denton (Interview)|
|2006||SBS||Insight (Guest Appearance)|
|2006||Comedy Channel||Stand Up! Australia (StandUp Appearance)|
|2005||ABC TV||Talking Heads (Interview)|
|2004||ABC TV||Stand Up! (Stand Up Appearance)|
|2003||Ten Network||GNW Debate (Adjudicator)|
|2002||Ten Network||GNW Debate (Adjudicator)|
|2001||ABC TV||The Glass House (Development Consultant)|
|2001||Ten Network||GNW Debate (Debater)|
|2001||ABC TV||The Peoplescape Concert Celebrating the Centenary of Australian Federation (Solo Sketch Appearances x 2)|
|1999 – 2000||ABC TV||Backberner (Head Writer)|
|2000||ABC TV||One Size Fits All (Producer & Writer)|
|1999||ABC TV||Standing Up (Interviewer)|
|1998 – 2001||ABC TV||Comedy Unit - Script consultant & Associate Producer|
|1997 - 2000||ABC TV/Ten Network||Good News Week (Regular Panellist)|
|1997||Nine Network||Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala (Stand Up Appearance)|
|1996||Seven Network||Denton (Writer)|
|1990||Seven Network||Lift Off (Writer)|
|1989 - 1990||ABC TV||The Big Gig (Writer & Stand Up Appearances x 2)|
|1989||Seven Network||Fast Forward (Associate Producer/Script Editor)|
|1986||ABC TV||Book Program (Host)|
|1983 – 1984||ABC TV||Australia You’re Standing In It (Cast Member & Writer)|
|1981||Ten Network||Ratbags (Cast Member & Writer)|
|1976||ABC TV||The Razzle Dazzle Revue (Writer & Performer)|
Various clients such as AMP, the Australian Bicentennial Authority, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the Department of Premier & Cabinet (Victoria), IBM, Kraft Foods, NAB, Privacy Victoria & Red Tulip Chocolates to name just a few.
|2015||Order of Australia Medal (OAM)|
|2004||Winner of the Sydney Myer Performing Arts Award (Individual Award).|
|2003||Nominated for the Barry Award for the best show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival|
|1997||Winner of the Green Room Award for Best Fringe Performance for Sunrise Boulevard. This is the first time a comedian has won this prestigious award|
|1999||Nominated for the Campus Activities Victoria Best Comedy Act Award|
- Rod has been a founding member on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival board, a consultant to the Melbourne Moomba Festival and a member of the Arts Committee of the Bicentennial BHP Awards For Excellence
- Rod opened and operated The Comedy Café & Banana Lounge along with comedy cohorts Mary Kenneally, Geoff Brooks & Stephen Blackburn
- Rod wrote a column for The Sunday Age between 1989 and 1994. Lothian Books published a compilation of these columns in 1999 called Double Dissolution
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Updated: August 2016