He’s been called the Kerser of Comedy. Melbourne comedian, Lewis Spears, has been blowing up our Facebook and YouTube for years… and he’s done it all independently. From his pranks on the mainstream media to the popular Lew Review and his sold out ‘Try And Stop Me’ tour, Lewis Spears has done everything right by doing everything wrong.
I remember tuning in to Triple J’s Hack program in 2015 when they had a segment on step-sibling romance. A man and step sister got on and talked about their forbidden love (gross). It was all quite disturbing. But the media love that shit and the host of Hack, Tom Tilley, would’ve been cheering… Until he found out it was Lewis trolling Triple J.
It was Tom Tilley’s worst nightmare. Lewis really played it well, I mean, I was convinced I was listening to a brother talk about his secret relationship with his step sister. Tilley later wrote “we did a segment on step-sibling romance and the complications that can come with it, and the main story was about a guy who went by the name of Alex because he wanted us to protect his identity, and we’ve since discovered that Alex’s story was made up and we were lied to”. I pissed myself when I heard that. Like, seriously, who the fuck does that?? (And gets away with it).
Anyway, somehow this has not hurt Lewis in any way because now he’s got his own radio show with comedian Luke Kidgell. I caught up with Lewis and asked him some questions about his new radio show on Triple M digital.
- When did you first hear you were doing a radio show?
Back in 2013 I met a radio producer while doing an interview on Fox FM about trolling the media. He told me I had a lot of potential to make it in the mainstream if I toned myself down and became a bit more PC. I politely let him know I was never going to tone myself down and started to pursue stand up comedy instead. Shortly after that I began a solo podcast called Spearhead Sundays which is one of the most popular solo shows in Australia right now which is pretty cool. As my online fanbase grew and I began to sell out national tours with my stand-up, I thought it was time to give radio another crack. Myself and Luke Kidgell had been working together for a few years at this point and have a genuine friendship which I think is incredibly important for radio. That’s why Hamish and Andy have been killing the game for the last ten years, they actually like each other. There’s nothing worse than hearing famous people pretend to be mates on air because the money’s good.
So, we made a short demo tape of us just talking about dumb shit and sent it through to the producer I knew. He liked the tape and was very nice but again told me that my online content wasn’t PC enough so I thought that was definitely the end of radio for me. The week after that, his boss: The Head of National Content and Development for Aus Stereo (The company that owns Triple M and FOX/HIT) sent an email out of the blue, saying that he heard our demo tape and liked it. He invited us to have a meeting that week, we did a few more demo tapes off Air to learn the craft of radio and how the studio works and the next month we were given our own show live on air.
- How much planning goes into your show?
Luke and I generally plan the show one day in advance, that way we come into the office knowing what we want to talk about and all we have to do beforehand is chill out and get in a good headspace. After each show we sit down and plan the next one and record any sketches we want in there. I’d say 4 hours of works goes into each 2 hour show, but we’re getting more efficient with our workflow so hopefully we won’t be working as hard over the next few weeks. Staying consistent with how much I perform live and making sure I release videos regularly while I have a radio show is really important too. I don’t ever want to be the guy who stopped making videos because someone else started paying me. As an independent comic my fans are my baseline so I need to make sure they’re getting what they expect from me. That’s regular content online and great standup on stage.
- What has been the overall response from your fans
Incredibly positive. Initially I was a little apprehensive about taking my first steps into the mainstream media, and I think the fans were apprehensive about it too. But now that they’ve heard the show and seen that we’ve been able to push the boundaries and make the kind of radio we want to make, everyone is completely behind it. I’ve been doing comedy and shitstirring the media for five years now and feel like I’ve built up an enormous amount of trust with the people who like what I do. I’ll always be making moves, maximizing opportunities and doing surprising shit, but at this point the fans know whatever format I’m making comedy on, even if it’s on more traditional media platforms, they’ll always get something authentic and real. And no matter what I’m doing, if I ever get asked to tone it down, they can fuck off.
- Have you broken any rules yet? Have you been in trouble at the station anything yet?
Honestly I’ve been shocked by the amount of creative freedom we’ve been given. At every production meeting or feedback session I’m expecting to hear the words “You can’t say that!” or “Maybe tone that idea down” but the station has been behind every idea we’ve had since day one and the only times we’ve been pulled up on something is technical radio tips like if you’re revisiting an idea from a previous show, make sure to recap it for new listeners who may not have heard it. I think because both Luke and I have come so far and attracted large online fan bases by making whatever we think is funny without any outside input, the higher ups have the attitude of “fuck it! Let them do what they want, let’s see what happens”
- Will this be a permanent show? How can we listen to the show? (for the dummies)
Right now the show will definitely be staying on air for in it’s current timeslot (12-2PM On Triple M Modern Digital) for all of October, but hopefully if the show goes well, we’ll be moving into a better time slot on a station that people have actually heard of.
- What are the social media links for the show?
Article by Andy Miller