Facts, Quotes and Questions with the Do Go On Crew 

Whether it’s that tedious journey home, those soul-sucking chores throughout the house, or your brisk evening walk just missing that little something; maybe a fact-based comedy pod could be the remedy you need. An opportunity to make your day a bit better, get comfy in a story, and, most of all, have a good laugh; that’s what Do Go On is.  

The Melbourne-based trio of comedians Dave Warneke, Jess Perkins and Matt Stewart have worked together on this podcast since late 2015. Through hundreds of episodes, each with unique topics, guest stars and live shows worldwide — with three more at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2024 — Do Go On has been a stellar showcase of Australian comedy, as entertaining as it is engaging and comforting.  

In the lead-up to their new live shows at MICF, Elliot Mulder had the opportunity to chat with them. As a prosperous example of Melbourne-based media, Mulder was curious how they prepared for the comedy and media industries, the lessons they learned over time, and their experiences with this pod since its creation. 

Q: How did your time in university best prepare you for the comedy and media industries? 

I studied Media and Drama at uni. The media part gave me some experience with recording and editing equipment/software that came in handy when it came to the podcast, as well as my eventual job working as a producer/editor on The Project

And whilst the drama side of things gave me lots of practice “walking through the space” and pretending to be an animal on the floor, it also gave me experience and confidence in collaborating with others on creative projects, something that I’ve loved doing in the world of comedy. 

I studied Media and Communications at uni and majored in Journalism. I think the biggest thing I took away from that experience, and the thing I use the most, is an ability to view a story from multiple angles and identify the key points. The format of our podcast is us telling each other about events or people from history, and I think I’ve found that I have become fairly good at knowing how to order and curate the information to make the story informative and entertaining. 

Q: I often hear that it’s about who you know and not what you know; how did you manage networking when you were beginning? 

Doing stand-up comedy is a great way to meet people who are often from different walks of life but have the same goal of making the audience laugh and drinking a few beers on a weeknight. Meeting up with the same group of people week after week at different pubs and clubs or travelling interstate to perform at a festival (often to very few people in the beginning) breeds a kind of late-night comradeship that is hard to find in other places. It might be a bit daunting at first, but most comedians are generally welcoming, and you can make fast friends. 

As well as doing stand-up, we all spent time on community radio (SYN) and community television (Channel 31). Again, it was a great way to meet new people, many of whom we’d collaborate with later. 

Q: What have been the big learning curves with this podcast so far? How has your approach transformed to face them? 

The biggest learning curve has been that, when we started, we had no real expectation and probably all thought the podcast could fizzle out in a couple of months. We never expected to still be going 8 years and 430 episodes later. 

It’s been very fun and, because the expectation was low, it’s been an exciting and sometimes surprising few years. Most of the growth and extra time commitment has been gradual, but at the same time, because we didn’t expect any of that, we didn’t really plan for it, which means we’ve had to get better at managing our time, getting calendars together and thinking a bit more long term. I think we’ve gotten better at making sure we’re all on the same page. 

Q: Over the years, you’ve done your fair share of live shows; what was the initial experience with shifting this podcast to live audiences? How has it since evolved? 

When we started out, we had no idea we’d do any live shows. We felt like we were taking a big punt when we booked a small venue at the Comedy Festival in 2017 and were kind of amazed that we filled it every week. It was the same when we first went to the UK in 2018 to do some shows. We had no idea if immigration would let us in, and after being briefly detained at Heathrow Airport when we told them we were there to do live podcasts – we had the best time doing the shows and meeting the audiences afterwards. It was honestly mind-blowing meeting people who heard the show on the other side of the planet. 

Now we’ve done a bunch in all sorts of venues, including bars, theatres, a cinema and even a beach in Thailand. 

We’ve talked about how when doing stand-up, we still can get a bit nervous before going on, but it’s different with the live podcasts. The more we’ve done them, the more relaxed we’ve felt. They feel like more of a team game where we feed off each other’s energy and always have each other’s backs. The biggest stress is often getting the recorder working in the different venues as not everywhere is set up to record a podcast. We’ve come pretty close, but we haven’t lost any shows (yet). 

Q For Matt: Stupid Old Studios has grown amazingly in its time! How has being involved in this corner of the industry changed your view of Aussie comedy? 

Everyone involved at SOS is so talented; the other founders (Andy Matthews, Evan Munro-Smith, Bec Petraitis and Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall) are all the best at what they do; I was very lucky to fall in with them. The same is true of the GM Emma Sharp and the staff that work there day-to-day. The comedy hub it’s grown into was always the plan — on any random day, there will be something great being made there, whether it’s being filmed in the studio, written by the comedians who rent desks/rehearsal spaces or recorded in the podcast studio. I love it…I don’t know if I have answered your question in any way…how has my view of Aussie comedy changed? Um…Good thanks, and you? 

Q For Jess: You recently wrapped up a hell of a run with Triple J! How has your time there and with Do Go On affected your perspective of the local radio and comedy industries? 

I think it showed me how strong Australian comedy is and how well comedy and radio skills complement each other. People who do stand-up get a lot of practice in thinking about events and scenarios from lots of different angles to try to find the humour, and that can be a really great skill in radio and podcasting. I absolutely loved working at Triple J; I never imagined I would get to be a part of that team for such a long time. I was so stoked to hear fellow comedians Luka Muller and Jordan Barr took over on Weekend Arvos, and I’ve been their biggest fan since they started earlier this year! 

Q For Dave: Do Go On was your brainchild! What were your inspirations for developing this delightful concept, and when did you see its potential? 

I’d made two podcasts before we started Do Go On. One was a little quiz show with rotating guests called Facty Fact, and the other was a live comedy debating show I hosted called Persuasion. They were really fun to make, but they didn’t quite take off and both sort of fizzled out. 

A couple of years later, I had the idea for Do Go On when I was writing trivia questions for a pub trivia company and in the research was coming across little facts and tidbits from history that I wanted to share somehow. I thought a podcast could be a way to do it, and someone suggested that I team up with Matt Stewart (who I only vaguely knew) as he was fact-checking questions on a TV game show. 

Matt and I recorded two pilot episodes of Do Go On and it felt pretty good but like something was missing. We wondered if adding in an extra host could be good, and the only person we both thought of was Jess Perkins. We rerecorded the episodes we’d done but with added Jess, and it instantly felt more fun and dynamic. 

When we put out the episodes, I think they got as many downloads in a single day as my previous two podcasts combined. So, I guess that’s when I thought this one had connected much more! 

Q: And lastly, what are the most important lessons your collaborative experiences in your respective industries have taught you? 

Collaboration in the creative industries can be amazing! Projects can become more than the sum of their parts with multiple member’s input, and it’s a great way to learn new skills from working with people with differing perspectives. 

It might take a few different combinations of people and ideas before you find the right one but hopefully, you’ll know when you’re onto a winner. There can be tricky moments to navigate but with open and honest communication, you can usually get through it. 

Also, we went bowling at the end of last year for our little Christmas party and it was so fun that we briefly considered putting the podcast and bowling full-time. But when we all woke up with extremely sore muscles the next day and all struggled to get out of our beds, we realised the error of our ways. I guess the lesson there is knowing your strengths. 

It was an absolute pleasure that Matt, Jess and Dave took some time to answer these questions! On April 7th, 14th and 21st, you’ll find Do Go On holding three live shows in the Basement Comedy Club at 3:30 pm as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available here! Otherwise, you can check out Do Go On and their other content here or on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.  

Elliot Mulder Entertainment Officer

Header image via supplied

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