Who are wee?
Matthew Kelly and Richard Higgins are The Listies, a Kidult comedy duo who produce LOLS on screen, stage and the page.
Rich and Matt met way back in the dinosaur times (in the early aughties), performing in kids theatre shows by the likes of Andy Griffiths and Roald Dahl in shows like: Just Disgusting, The Day My Bum went Psycho and The Twits. Rich played Mr Twit and Matt played Mrs Twit. (There they are in the photo to the right.) They were directed by a kids theatre genius called Lynne Ellis.
Millions of years passed, ices ages came and went. And then one day they thought they should make a comedy show together and put it in the Melbourne Fringe. Rich wrote a title on his hand and registered them for 5 shows.
Influenced by classic comedy duos like Los Trio Ringbarkus, Lano and Woodley, Morecombe and Wise, Terrance and Phillip, Spongebob and Patrick, Tim and Eric, French and Saunders, they made an absurdist, double act show for adults all about lists. It was called The List Operators.
It won them Melbourne Comedy Festival's coveted Golden Gibbo award for best independent show. They toured it for a year and then in 2009 they made a show for KIDULTS (kids and their adults) called The List Operators for Kids: More Fun than a Wii!. Even though it was a very, very long title it was the first kids show ever to be nominated for the Melbourne Comedy Festival ‘Barry’ (best show) award. Rich and Matt toured Wii for two years. And shortened their name ,in order to be able to fit it on a rubber stamp, becoming The Listies in 2010.
Nice things people have said about the Listies:
“When I saw The Listies, it affected my thinking because I really related to the comedy craft they were exercising...it got me a little bit excited to realise that when you are performing for kids, it’s just as delicate and just as sophisticated.” - Frank Woodley.
“Without a doubt the funniest kids show I've ever seen...I really really laughed. I'd have been happy to go on my own and still would've laughed. If you're (in Edinburgh) with a kid, or even not, I'd go and see the Listies." - Frank Skinner.
"If the Wiggles are the Eagles then the Listies are the Sex Pistols." — Dave O'Neil ,The Age.
"Australian duo the Listies have conquered children’s comedy through deep respect for their audience, with a focus on the subversion of the adult desire for control — with hilarious results." — Sue Giles, The Australian.
"Absolutely delicious!" — A Tiger.
"If your kids have never been to the theatre before, do them a favour and make this their first experience. It's something they will never forget.” — The Scotsman.
"The Listies are a comedy duo who have made a very successful career out of appealing to, well not only the little kid in all of us, but the grubby, grubby little kid in all of us.” — Virginia Trioli, ABC News Breakfast.
"Too silly." — Oscar, 5.
Since then Matt and Rich have had enormous fun performing to lovely people all over the world. They've played high-flying, glamorous locations like London, Sydney Opera House, Kuala Lumpur, South Korea, Edinburgh and even Woolongong.
And they made a bunch more shows: The Listies Do Compooters, Earworms, 6D (Twice as Good as 3D), The Listies Make U LOL, The Listies Ruin Xmas, Hamlet Prince of Skidmark (co-created with and directed by Declan Greene) recorded two comedy albums, Drive U Crazy! and Go Bananas and have written two books with Penguin, Ickypedia: A Dictionary of Disgusting New Words, and it's sequel Ickyfoodia: The Ultimate Guide to Disgusting Food in 2017.
Right now they are based in Melbourne Australia but regularly tour all over the shop. They have just finished a TV project called The Listies Work for Peanuts! which will be on ABC ME before the end of 2019. Also they’re recording a new album and writing a new book. They are thinking of having a fart extractor installed in their secret batcave as Matt has been eating too many lentils...
Awards and things:
HarperCollins Best Designed Children’s Fiction Book
Nominated Best Ensemble Green Room Awards
Best Production for Children, Sydney Theatre Awards
Nominated Best Show, "The Barry" Melbourne Comedy Festival
Nominated Best Emerging Comedians Adelaide Fringe
Golden Gibbo Award, Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Melbourne Fringe Best Emerging Producers Award
Reviews of Live Shows
Nobody else does comedy for kids this brilliantly, but what's more astounding is that adults have just as much fun. The Listies occupy a dimension all of their own. Sydney Morning Herald
This manic Australian double act know all the right buttons to push to make children shriek with laughter. Guardian
Rambunctious genius….Super fun – a brilliant mix of clowning and gross-out humour, general mischief with manic theatrical surprises the kids will go nuts for. The Age
In an era of empty promises, it's nice to find a show title that actually means what it says. The Listies – Australian comedy duo Matt and Rich – really do make you LOL, and LOL and LOL and then LOL some more, until your stomach muscles are sore. ★★★★★ The List
One of the funniest introductions to Shakespeare imaginable. ★★★★ Sunday Telegraph
If you want your kids to have fun at the theatre and fall for all its magic, get them to a Listies show as soon as possible. ★★★★ Daily Review