July 2 – 7, 2018

Imperial, South Yarra


This 5-day course will be filmed for the television show, ‘Is This Thing On?’, a co-production between the School of Hard Knock Knocks and Mezzanine Films. A TV crew will be on set the entire time of the course, capturing both video and audio. You will be required to sign a release form.

Booking via Eventbrite does not guarantee a spot on the show. A phone call or face-to-face interview will be required ahead of confirmation. If you are unsuccessful you will be reimbursed 100%, or have the option of transferring your fee to the July 22 – 26 course, also in Melbourne.


Full Fee Only – $700 + GST

Day 1:  Monday – The Basics & Joke Structure (with Brad Oakes)

Each of our ten students arrive at the school and we get a glimpse of who’s on this journey and how far they’ll need to travel. Each student speaks to the camera about their expectations and their reasons for attending. Glynn Nicholas, the resident comedy coach, introduces himself and begins training the group on the basics and joke structure, including ‘Normal-Normal-Twist’ and ‘Nonsense-in-all-Seriousness’. Guest comedian, Brad Oakes, arrives and shares his personal story and then invites the class to join him at that nights’ open mic night that he’s MCing.


Day 2:  Tuesday – Preparation & Generating Content (with Chris Franklin)

The students are now more comfortable with one another, and the course content begins to dig deeper into understanding the audience and generating unique material. Students are pulled out of the class to record candid confessions of how each member feels they have fitted into the class and how they’re getting along with other students. Glynn Nicholas introduces another visitor, Chris Franklin, who talks about his 20 year career as a comedian, before inviting the students to the Triple J station to learn how a comedy career can extend into media.


Day 3: Wednesday – Delivery (with Mayumi Nobetsu)

Students are now well and truly comfortable with one another, and their comedy writing is becoming more refined. Now Glynn Nicholas shares his theatre skills, honed over 20 plus years, to improve the students’ delivery. Volume, tone, speed and pauses, and also confidence building skills, are taught and students begin to practice their entire five-minute sets. Glynn then introduces the guest comedian, Mayumi Nobetsu, who shares her experience and reminds the class that imaging the audience naked helps reduce nerves. She then takes the class on an excursion to paint their very own live nude.


Day 4: Thursday – The Heckler and The Closer (with Elliot Goblet)

Glynn Nicholas uses this episode to remind the students how brutal stand up can be. He trains the students in the ways of controlling an audience and in particular, dealing with a heckler. To help, he invites Jack Levi, aka Elliot Goblet, to share his experiences as one of Australia’s most famous comedians, and take the class on an excursion – to the National Gallery of Victoria to heckle the paintings!


Day 5: Friday – Building Confidence (with Sally Kimpton)

It’s the final day before the live performance, and the energy is palpable. Glynn runs through the finer details of stand-up, including body language, ‘one person one thought’, and the reality of practice, practice, practice.  Glynn reminds the class that for many stand-up comedy is one of the most frightening experiences, even worse than bungee jumping or skydiving. To make the point, the special guest, Sally Kimpton who talks to the class about overcoming the fear of speaking in public before informing everyone that they are booked on the 3 pm ‘Skydive Melbourne’ flight!


Day 6: Saturday – Building Confidence

It’s graduation day. After five days of learning the ins and outs of stand-up comedy, there is a looming question – have our students got what it takes to perform in front of a live audience? In the break-out room, they’re reflective, excited and nervous. Around the coffee urn there’s nervous chatter and inane banter, these are people running on nervous energy and heightened adrenalin. Glynn’s final lesson involves demonstrating how to return to the first joke – the Call Back.

Finally it is show time. The students gather nervously back stage and the MC for the night, guest comedian, Steve Hughes, introduces himself to the class, wishes them all luck and offers one last piece of advice, before each student takes to the stage, and asks, “Is this thing on?”

For more information, email morry@schoolofhardknockknocks.com or call 1300 06 8882.

Meet Your Teachers


Glynn Nicholas is a comedy genius, in performing, writing, and producing. Made famous by his regular appearances on the ABC’s ‘The Big Gig’, and shortly after in his own time slot with ‘The Glynn Nicholas Show’, this is a man who can see the funny in even the most poignant and stressful situations. That’s why he believes the role of comedy is one of the most important jobs in the world.

Listen to Glynn’s interview on the School of Hard Knock Knocks podcast episode here.


Not many comedians can claim the sheer speed of success that Jack Levi, aka Elliot Goblet, has enjoyed. Spotted by talent scouts only 10 months into his career, Jack’s round glasses wearing character quickly became a regular face on Australian TV, namely Hey Hey It’s Saturday, The Big Gig, and the Midday Show. His character’s catatonic, monotonal one-liners also quickly became recited across Australian workplaces and schools, making his look and sound embedded in Australian comedy history.

Want to learn more about this iconic comedic figure? Listen to his podcast interview.


Brad_Oakes_headshotBrad Oakes is an actor, writer and stand-up comedian, who has worked on Australia’s most iconic comedy TV shows, including Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Comedy Company, Jimeoin, and Full Frontal. He has been performing stand-up comedy since 1989, and has performed on Rove Live, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, and in his own shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He has also directed other great comedians, including Corinne Grant, Lehmo, Geraldine Hickey and Harley Breen.

WATCH stand-up set.


Chris Franklin is most famous for writing and performing the song “Bloke” (a bogan parody of Meredith Brooks’ feminist anthem “Bitch”), which was certified platinum, reached #1 on the ARIA Charts and was the twelfth biggest selling single in Australia in 2000. His TV credits include The Footy Show, Headliners, Recovery, Stand Up Australia & Good News Week (among others) and he is a well known comedian on the international comedy circuit.

WATCH stand-up set.

Mayumi Nobetsu

maymi_nobetsu_headshotMayumi Nobetsu finds herself as a ‘Super Minority’ Japanese Female comedian in China Town, Melbourne. Since her Australian debut in 2011, she has performed with notable comedians in Australia, including Brad Oakes, Jack Levi, Chris Franklin, as well as, the three Daves: Hughes, O’Neil, and Thornton.

Mayumi has also appeared in short films, TV and videos, including “Fix-Her-Up” and “Stand-Up @ Bella Union” as one of 30 new comedians of Australia. She also enjoys fun filled radio and voice over works.

In ‘Is This thing On?’, Mayumi will be sharing from her personal experiences, and helping the comedy students find their comic ‘voice’.

Listen to Mayumi’s story here.


Sally Kimpton has been has been a national and international street performer for 7 years, during which she has performed sold out solo acts such as ‘Extreme Blonde’ at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and ‘Sally Kimpton My Star’ at the Sydney Comedy Festival. She has participated in theatre and corporate shows in the UK, Japan, New Zealand, Holland, and Taiwan, apart from her home country.

Sally is a recognised artist because of her numerous TV appearances in hit TV programs. She was the presenter of ‘All Saints’ on Ch 7 and has appeared in a flurry of popular shows including Love is in the Air, Wombat, Today Tonight, Surprise Surprise, New Inventors, Standup Australia, Last Comic Standing, and many others.

WATCH her stand-up set.

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