25 May 2020

Comedian Hannah Gadsby on her new Netflix special

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:40 pm on 25 May 2020

Nanette gave Australian stand-up comedian Hannah Gadsby stardom and star power.

In her new show, Douglas, she takes aim at the patriarchy, anti-vaxxers and all those who would define others.

Douglas airs on Netflix on May 26 and is “a kind of release,” Gadsby told Jesse Mulligan.

“Nanette was a lot and I didn’t think it would be a wise career move or a wide human move to keep doing that level of trauma-laden shows.

Hannah Gadsby

Hannah Gadsby Photo: supplied

So, Douglas in a way is kind of a release, it’s what can happen after catharsis of pushing through trauma, it’s a lot more fun on the surface of it.”

Nanette provoked anger among a particular demographic, something which doesn’t particularly bother Gadsby.

“The kind of people that were angry at Nanette were the kind of people who even if I had done a wall-to wall funny show and it became successful would have been angry about something.

“They’re just the kind of people who don’t like women to drive the cultural shifts.

“There are people who are angry they weren’t consulted when I was elevated and Louis CK was dethroned - they were really furious that they weren’t in control of that shift.”

Gadsby has been diagnosed with autism, which she says has given her an better understanding of who she is and why.

“Just understanding the way I process the world is different to the norm meant that I was able to understand myself.

“There’s been so much of my life that has been incredibly difficult I’d be reluctant to say it was a blessing or a superpower.

“But anyone in the margins can have a little bit of a comedy edge because the key to comedy is being able to show people a different way of looking at something. And autism certainly provides that.”

Being different, Gadsby says, was never a choice.

“I never had the luxury to be different I just was, all my life I’ve been different, it’s more of how I’ve had to be in life. I think the remarkable thing was it’s found an audience.”

She says her degree in art history has given her a belief in the power of three, so a third installment to follow Nanette and Douglas is on the cards.

“I do believe things should be in threes, I believe in a triptych. My art history days taught me the power of three. Who knows what that will look like? But I feel like I should name it after my other dog at the very least.”