On the Couch with Sweeney Preston

Sweeney-Preston-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Sweeney Preston?
Someone who spends far too much time working on his Bert and Ernie impression and far too little time vacuuming his bedroom. Less important but perhaps worth mentioning anyway: a 23 year old comedian, anthropology + Spanish major and cinema worker. It’s a unique skillset. He also claims to be performing at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival in a stand-up show called Very Mature. I wouldn’t take his word for it though, best to check it out for yourselves. March 25-28th at the Mantra Hotel on Russell St.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Wear an apron when I’m cooking with Tumeric. The number of good shirts I’ve lost to a localised, yellowy hue is shameful.

Who inspires you and why?
Mr G from Summer Heights High. Every Time I need to smash out a new piece of writing, I hear his voice in my head telling me to “strap myself to the beast”. It’s the nudge we all need from time to time.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Bring back Prank Patrol on the ABC. Scott Tweedie has been criminally underused as an Australian presenting talent since the program was discontinued. I will not rest until he and the Ninjas are hosting the Grammys.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Before this whole pandemic business, I would’ve said Hoi An, Vietnam. It’s famous for food, beaches and most notably, world class tailors. I got a pair of purple pants and a green suit jacket made there. I’d normally never wear them together, but to save time at the fitting, I donned them both. This was much to the amusement of the other tourists in the fitting area who might have surmised I was dressed as the Riddler in the new Batman film.

Post-pandemic, I’ve begun to really appreciate the incredible backyard we have here in Australia. Over the summer I went to Adelaide for the first time with some mates and genuinely bloody loved it. Imagine my surprise when I, after trashing the ‘most boring city in Australia’ for 23 years, had to swallow my pride as I swallowed glasses of wine on a tour through the Barossa.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The Sun Theatre in Yarraville. Maybe I’m biased since I work there, but we may never truly know. It’s an Art Deco cinema that was refurbished in the 90s after originally opening in 1938. It has a pop-up-park in the street outside the entrance and is always front and centre in supporting the local community. All my coworkers are fab too, it’s the most wholesome work environment. There’s a lot of love.

What are you currently reading?
Current Affairs Magazine issue 28 – a beautifully designed political magazine from the USA featuring healthy doses of sarcasm and frivolity throughout. I purchased a print subscription during lockdown and will likely continue it till the day I die.

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond – an expertly written exploration of how wealth distribution in today’s world can be almost entirely explained by geography, rather than intelligence, race or genetics.

There were no jokes in this answer and I am deeply sorry about that!

What are you currently listening to?
Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn on Audible. I’m a big Star Wars nerd and Marc Thompson’s reading of the book and its characters is a vocal marvel. I’m convinced he practices his Emperor Palpatine impression in front of the mirror before bed most nights. I also love listening to house/disco DJ sets on YouTube. Anything by DJ Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim or Claptone is great to hang up the washing or cook a meal to.

Happiness is?
My fortnightly Centrelink allowance.

What does the future hold for you?
Learning new stuff, meeting new people and smiling lots. Realistically, more Centrelink.

Sweeney stars with Ethan Cavanagh in Very Mature – presented as part of the 2021 Melbourne International Comedy Festival at the Mantra on Russell – Mantra One from 25 – 28 March. For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Sweeney Preston (supplied)