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Wil Anderson links up with alma mater to celebrate UC’s 30th

Acclaimed comedian, TV personality, podcaster and UC alumnus, Wil Anderson, will return to Canberra next month to celebrate UC’s 30th birthday by hosting a live panel event.

UC’s Future Bright Facebook Live event will run 6 November from 7.30pm both online and in front of a sold-out, limited, socially-distanced, live audience at The Street Theatre.

Having graduated from UC top of his newspaper journalism class in 1995, Anderson told Canberra Weekly that since being invited back for the event, he has reflected fondly on his time here.

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“I certainly enjoyed living there, you reflect on these things very much when you get asked to come back and do something like this,” he said.

Upon graduating, Anderson worked briefly for the Australian Financial Review prior to pursuing his career in comedy.

Despite the change in career, he said as the years have passed, he’s realised just how formative his time in Canberra was.

“When you’re at university you think that what you’re learning is it,” he said.

“When I decided not to be a newspaper journalist I thought ‘that time that I spent there, those three years, is that a waste?’ … As I’ve got older, I’ve had the capacity to reflect on that.

“In the first week of university O-week I went to see Helen and Mikey go and do the Triple J Breakfast show in the UC Bar.

“It was the first time I’d ever listened to Triple J and I got to see this live show, we were all drinking at 6am and I just thought ‘this is amazing’ and wouldn’t have known two days in to university that I was seeing a job I’d do myself for five years.

“I did more years doing Triple J Breakfast than I did working as a newspaper journalist.”

Returning to Canberra semi-regularly over the past 25 years to perform stand-up comedy, Anderson said he’s been delighted to see the town’s culture flourish.

“I really always enjoy getting back there,” he said.

“As I’ve travelled around the world a bit, particularly in the US, I really started to make a compilation of the best and most interesting cities I ever went to that tended to have a combination of two things; they would have a university class and a political class.

“You need the university class to bring in the cool stuff, the great places for the bands to play and the great cafes … The bands and all those things were there when I was there, but I don’t think the café and restaurant scene was.

“Each time I’ve visited over the last five to seven years, I’m constantly amazed by the amount of great places there is to eat or get a cup of coffee and how much it’s come alive in that sense.

Given Anderson hasn’t performed for a live audience since March, and even recently begun filming a new season of Gruen in an empty studio, he said he looks forward to the limited live audience he’ll have for Future Bright.

“There’s not too many more people in the room for this event then there is for your average ABC Gruen meeting, so it’s not going to be necessarily ‘come on guys you’re back at Carnegie Hall’ but as somebody who, comedy in particular, needs an audience … I’ll take it where I can get it,” he smiled.

“I’ll be looking forward to the fact that there are a few people in the room that I can hopefully make laugh every now and then.”

Wil Anderson will host UC’s Future Bright Facebook Live event 6 November from 7.30pm; click here for more.

For more entertainment:

Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts