THE last time Austen Tayshus was seriously assaulted during one of his shows was at Wardell, south of Ballina.
But that won’t stop the king of politically incorrect comedy return to the Northern Rivers next week to perform a series of shows. Unfortunately for the village of Wardell, Austen won’t be dropping in this time round.
“I’ve been attacked on stage several times,” Austen explained.
“The last time and the most physical attack was in Wardell, a couple of years ago. It was an audience made up of Aboriginals and white Australians. I was making some remarks on the history of race relations in this country and there were a few racists in the crowd.
“One woman threw a drink in my face then her husband, who was blind drunk, attacked me. Luckily I had read several martial arts books. It was Wild West stuff. I was on the ground and I started to speak like John Wayne.
“I won’t be going back to Wardell.”
But fortunately for Byron Bay and Billinudgel, Austen is making a return as part of his 30th Australian anniversary tour – The Merchant of Menace.
“I enjoy performing in that area of Australia; most people up there are ex-losers from Sydney,” he says. “It’s quite a mixture of different types, rich, feral, hippies, German backpackers and lots of Israelis. It’s the place where I get the best response in the whole country.”
Austen’s current show explores the tropes of the Australian identity and the clash between the different cultures. He thinks the vast majority of Australians are accepting of different nationalities, though not all comprehend his ironic repartee.
“My humour is fairly politically incorrect, which can be dangerous,” he says.
Catch Austen Tayshus at the Pandanus Lounge in the Byron Services Club on Monday, January 4, and at the Billinudgel Hotel on Tuesday, January 5.