When a misinterpreted mistake led to an arrest, Wil Anderson had no idea it would form his newest comedy performance.
The veteran comedian was arrested – and later cleared of any wrongdoing – in Wagga Wagga when all he was trying to do was get home.
The 30-hour experience forms the basis for his show Wilegal, which arrives at Bendigo’s Ulumbarra Theatre on Friday, November 9.
“A lot of friends have asked when I knew it was funny,” he said.
“One of things I do in the show is to give you a sense of how I was feeling at the time. If I reflect on it, I look back and just think I was arrested for something I didn't do and got cleared of everything, now get to tour the show around the country, make some money from it and be happy.
“At the time that was not how I was feeling. That's what I try to express in the show.”
It wasn’t until he received the call the day after his misadventure that he began to laugh about it.
“Up until the point where the police rang me to say I'd been cleared, I didn’t find any of it funny,” he said.
“On the timeline, about halfway through my drive back to Sydney on the Sunday, was the first time I saw some humour in it.”
Anderson has enjoyed retelling his brush with the law so much that it prompted a regional tour.
“This is a show that I have already toured around capital cities but I really love doing it, so it’s one of those things where I looked for other opportunities to do it.
“So I said to my management that I'd love to keep doing it and take it on the road. They asked if I’d like to go to Bendigo and said ‘I would love to go to Bendigo’.
“I can’t have been there for a show in last five years. It's been a good while. Most of my time is spent overseas when I’m not touring in Australia so I haven’t had the capacity to do much in the way of regional touring.”
For more than 20 years, Anderson has been a popular staple in the Australian comedy scene as well as his projects on radio and television.
He has won the Melbourne Comedy Festival people’s choice award a record six times.
But that doesn’t mean he wants to examine why he keeps audiences laughing.
“It’s not helpful to ever think about that. If you try to examine it, you end up being wrong,” he said.
“A lot of the time we live in a world where things like popularity are (measured) and that’s why entertainment becomes bland.
”I just start with the work and (ask) ‘what do I want to tell or make?’ and hope people see it.
“It’s all for audience but best way to serve them is for me to decide (what to serve). Chefs don’t go and ask what (customers) want, it’s ‘this is what they've prepared’.
“If you try to be everything for everybody, you'll be nothing for anybody.”
Tickets are still available for Wil Anderson’s show Wilegal at Ulumbarra Theatre on Friday, November 9, at 7.30pm.
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