Judith Lucy is swearing off dating and committing to her new role on The Weekly with Charlie Pickering.
But while singledom forms part of her current touring show routine, she’s serious about her solitude.
“I am incredibly serious. Let’s just say I’m not going to focus on that area for a while,” she tells TV Tonight.
“I’m really just going to concentrate on trying to live a good life, do my work well, and if someone comes along, they come along. ‘Not holding my breath at this stage of the game’, is an understatement.
“I have had a couple of hilarious offers since I’ve been doing the show from a 73 year old in Brisbane, and a man called Cameron in South Australia who said he would sleep with me even though he has been celibate for 15 years. But I don’t know if the celibacy is his idea or the rest of the world’s.”
Performing in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and joining the cast of The Weekly should keep her mind on work.
Lucy was invited to join the team, replacing Kitty Flanagan, at Pickering’s behest. Along with Tom Gleeson, Lucy and Pickering are represented by Token Artists and manager Kevin Whyte.
“I’m a lady over 50 I’m not going to say no to anything!”
“I was flattered and frankly grateful for the work,” she continues.
“I’m a big fan of Kitty Flanagan, so while they are big shoes to fill, I thought, ‘Yeah. I’m a lady over 50 I’m not going to say no to anything!’
“But we both have curly hair and roughly the same age, so it’s quite possible nobody’s even noticed.”
As the show’s resident ‘Wellness expert’ she plans to bring humour to a booming area.
“I’m hoping to bring to shine a light on an area that I think has become even more outrageous in the last few years, in terms of exploiting pretty much everything for cash.
“This week I will be looking at wellness products for the vagina. There’s pet wellness, corporate wellness, so many different types of fitness now. As with everything some of this stuff is great and some of it is terrible.”
Lucy has previously fronted her own doco series Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey and Judith Lucy is All Woman but has a lengthy CV of credits including The Late Show, The Mick Molloy Show, Screen Time, Agony, The Book Club, The Movie Show, Spicks & Specks, Rove, The Project, The Panel and more.
I’m interested to know how thing have changed for female comedians since #metoo? Lucy believes change has been taking place independent of the movement, but has added to change.
“When I think when I first started doing comedy there were just so many more men,” she reflects.
“Globally there are so many more female comedians doing things. So that’s been partially responsible for a shift in attitudes.
“Comedy audiences are so much more sophisticated than they used to be”
“When it comes to comedy audiences are so much more sophisticated than they used to be. I don’t even know the last time I was at a gig and I was heckled. Certainly I haven’t heard ‘Show us your tits’ for a mighty long time. I miss it desperately, obviously, and I miss people yelling out ‘You’re ugly!’
“So the world is changing and #metoo is certainly a part of that.
“Hopefully we never have to read another article that says ‘Are women funny?’”
Indeed. But if Comedy touring is frequently a solitary existence, there are also inherent risks. Last year the industry mourned the loss of rising star Eurydice Dixon, murdered after she was heading home from a stand-up gig. This year the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has a “Light The Way Home” programme offering free Ubers for performers.
“It’s a fantastic initiative. I’m 51 and I still don’t feel safe walking around at night. The fact that we need it is depressing, but it’s great that the Comedy Festival has that initiative happening.
“It’s a pretty solitary job a lot of the time.”
“It’s a pretty solitary job a lot of the time. When I’m doing a national tour, unless it’s with the wonderful Denise Scott, I never really see anyone other than my stage manager.”
Whether as Wellness expert on The Weekly or in mining her lovelife (or lack of it) for comedy, Lucy knows comedy can shine a light onto important topics while making us smile.
“The Live show is hopefully about a bit more than me and bad dating experiences. I like to think that I’m trying to say a bit about gender stereotypes and being a woman dealing with your sexuality as you get older,” she explains.
“I couldn’t quite get over when I became menopausal just how little I had talked about it, or heard other people talking about it. Certainly my mother never spoke about it, which is insane.
“But I do look forward to the day when we don’t have to talk about homophobia, misogyny, racism, transphobia. But I feel like we’re seeing quite the opposite at the moment.”
The Weekly with Charlie Pickering airs 8:30pm Wednesdays on ABC.
Judith Lucy Vs Men March 28, 2019 to April 14, Arts Centre Melbourne (Wollongong, Perth, Brisbane, Newcastle to follow).