On the Couch with Sam Bowden

MICF-2022-Sam-BowdenWho is Sam Bowden?
Sam Bowden is a Brisbane-born, Sydney-dwelling and Melbourne-visiting comedian, writer and actor with fantastic hair and a grandiose sense of entitlement. But it’s deeply internalised and very well filtered so he still comes across as affable and charming. He really answers this question in his solo show, DandyLion at Trades Hall, 7:50pm, 31st March – 24th April, as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets available online, both at the comedy festival website or on his socials, @sambowdencomic. He’s also a shameless self-promoter.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
You mean in the professional sense? Probably would’ve majored in some sort of History degree and spent my days wearing jackets with elbow patches and smoking a pipe indoors. Really bill myself as an “intellectual rogue” with hard hitting opinions about Egyptian Antiquity or some shit no one other than me really cares about. But in the life sense I guess I’d be exercising more to get rid of this COVID jiggle I’ve accumulated. I’m sporting a real good set of tits right now and they don’t suit me as well as other people.

Who inspires you and why?
I once saw this woman at Clovelly Beach walk up behind these three teenagers and push them all into the water and run away. They weren’t even her kids. The sheer audacity of that was fundamentally inspiring. She saw her moment, she seized it, and ran away with a huge smile on her face. WE STAN STRONG WOMEN. Also my Nan and James Baldwin, but I’ve never seen either of them push someone else’s children into the water, so we’re going to go with “random lady at Clovelly Beach circa 2021.”

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Well, the mass redistribution of wealth alongside the seizing of asset production would be a solid start. Green energy, universal basic income provided by high taxation rates for anyone with a net worth over 500 million buckeroonies would be the way to go. But also – and most importantly – government subsidies on ice cream. Free Golden Gaytimes for all, I say!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Probably Japan, I’d say. Beautiful culture, incredible history and lovely people. It genuinely feels like a different world over there and the food is mind-blowing. Eastern Europe is also surprisingly magical. I feel like we get fed this Soviet-era stereotype of a lot of eastern European countries but after spending time in Slovenia and the Czech Republic I just fell in love with the place. I wouldn’t go now, though. Not with everything that’s going on with Russia and whatnot. It’d be like visiting a friend while their neighbour’s house is on fire.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
So in my hometown of Brisbane, I take them to West End. Think of it as “Melbourne lite.” There’s incredible breweries, cafes and knick-knack shops, and the whole area is being plundered with aggressive corporate gentrification. But, as I’m living in Sydney, I try and take everyone snorkeling at Gordon’s Bay or Cabbage Tree Bay. Go say hi to an octopus. Pat a stingray. Watch a Port Jackson Shark shit out an egg. It’s a real treat.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading The Hotel On Palace Vendome by Tilar J. Mazzeo. It’s a history of the Ritz Hotel during the Nazi occupation and it’s fascinating. Turns out The Ritz was both the head offices and residences for the Nazi high command, whilst being the base for the French Resistance. It’s also a searing inditement of Coco Chanel. When I’m not reading that, I’m reading texts from your mum. And she wants it bad.

What are you currently listening to?
My brother and his partner singing Lovely Day by Bill Withers in a thick Yorkshire accent. And now it’s stuck in my head.

Happiness is?
Sitting on the beach, having just gone for a long swim, beer in one hand, joint in the other, while [REDACTED] performs [REDACTED] on your [REDACTED].

What does the future hold for you?
I mean, fame and fortune? Can I manifest that? Otherwise I imagine I’ll be doing what we’ll all be doing in the next fifteen years. Starting an OnlyFans to pay for legal weed whilst fighting off hordes of ice age zombies that climate change inaction has allowed to re-animate. I’ll be a bold chieftain of the Blue Mountains, Australia’s hottest beach front and the setting of the inevitable climate wars. But until then, I’ll probably just have some Ribena and tell my silly little jokes. I might even move to the US. I don’t know, man. Personal growth? I’ll read some Brene Brown and become a master of my emotions or something.

Sam will present his solo show DandyLion in the Archive Room – Trades Hall as part of the 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival: 31 March – 24 April. For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Sam Bowden (supplied)