Laughing Dead

Laughing Dead


In comedy, there are at least a thousand ways to die on stage.  LAUGHING DEAD is a podcast where comedians talk candidly about their worst ever gigs.  Hosted by comedian Sami Shah, who has survived his share of cranky hecklers and depressing corporate shows, the show celebrates all the things that make comics weep. Sami’s guests include some of Australia’s best working comedians and internationally-renowned acts, reliving the shows that made them question their life choices. It’s a podcast for people who love comedy and comedians… and hearing stories that make you laugh while you cringe!


Plaything for a sheikh  

In the final episode of our first season, Sami is joined by the creators of ABC's next podcast hit, TOKYO HOTEL, Ben Russell and Xavier Michelides. Improv gigs in Chi-town, prackfalls, and being hunted on a private island by rich Sheikhs, this episode has it all! And John Conway phones it in. Get in touch by emailing us -

Blindfolded on a ladder  

Comedy can be honest. It can be searingly truthful, and intensely personal. Which is a powerful way of delivering laughter, but can also mean it hurts that much more when turned against the performer.  Laura Davis is a comedian who wields her honesty like a scalpel, but sometimes those edges can cut both ways. And Becky Lou is a burlesque superstar who combines precise comedic timing, storytelling, and dance to achieve her art. Some days though, it's a lot harder than it needs to be!  Music featured in this episode Suburb Home by The Royal Parks Elevator Music by Oliver Clark Get in touch by emailing us -

She mouthed sorry and walked out  

In the history of terrible ideas, comedians taking their dates to a gig has to be the worst one. And if you don't know why, let Luke McGregor and Becky Lucas share their tales of tragedy and woe. No language warning this episode but adult themes like drug use and dating are discussed. Get in touch by emailing us -

No laughing on site  

Language warning. It's pretty rude episode. Mining Tours are the gold standard of hell-gigs for comedians. They make corporate gigs look like a delight. Which is why, Xavier Susai and Mike G, have the emotional scars that they do. Both are veterans of the mining tours, and their stories are gloriously depressing! We checked, Fitzroy Crossing does have electricity and a burger is said to be $26. Music featured in this episode is from Triple J Unearthed Recall, The Money War Ngerraberrakernama (Wake up), Emily Wurramarra Into the dark, Leeli Email us anytime -

Don't bring a gun to a comedy night  

Legendary comedians in their own right Bev Killick and Alex Sayle rejoice in their failings at comedy clubs. "But the lesson I learned from that night (at the Comedy Store) is that if you point a gun at an audience it makes them nervous" - Alexei Sayle Email us anytime -

Comedy is too serious to be funny  

Why do comedians do what they do? And why do we find them so fascinating? This episode, instead of speaking to more comics, we change direction a little by delving into the psychology of comedians and their role in society. Find us at the ABC Podcasts Facebook page. And Sami's on Twitter @SamiShah

Episode 4 - Claire Hooper  

Claire Hooper may be the face of baking on national television, but she’s still not above a gig going bad every now and then. Features a guest appearance by Xavier Michelides, who owns up to having thrown Claire under the proverbial bus. We’re looking for your stories from when you’ve seen a comedian die on stage. It happens more often than you might think. Send us a message via the ABC Podcasts Facebook page. Find Sami Shah on Twitter @SamiShah Thanks to James Valentine of the podcast Headroom for his words on Australian television in the 2000s.

Immigrant Comedians  

Is it harder to win over an audience when you’re not local? Is dying on stage worse when you’re a foreigner? Two of Australia’s best immigrant comedians, Dilruk Jayasinha and Ivan Aristeguieta, regale us with their tales.

Corporate Gigs  

No two words summon more dread in a comedian than "corporate gig." Luckily, Ben Lomas has figured out the lifehack for surviving one. Janelle Koenig, meanwhile, still isn’t over that one time on a boat with a sliding door.

A dark and doomed and desperate occupation  

Corporate gigs, hecklers, mining tours, audience indifference, silence, it takes a toll. How can comedians protect their sanity from the stresses of the comedy life? Sami speaks to Associate Professor and psychiatrist Dr Steve Ellen to find out. Steve is also director of the Psychosocial Oncology Program at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

Maz Jobrani  

Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani’s done comedy all over the world and he’s got the emotional scars to prove it. Features a guest appearance by the comedian’s comedian, Andy Kindler.

Laughing Dead starts very soon  

Comedian Sami Shah introduces you to his new podcast about comedians dying on stage, and regales you with a story of his own worst comedy-death.

Video player is in betaClose