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, The Australian.
"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 are recording a new album, working on top secret TV projects, 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:
2016 Nominated Best Children's Show Sydney Critics Award
2016 Won The HarperCollins Best Designed Children’s Fiction Book
2015 Nominated Best Ensemble Green Room Awards
2013 Won Best Production for Children, Sydney Theatre Awards
2010 Nominated Best Show, "The Barry" Melbourne Comedy Festival
2010 Nominated Best Emerging Comedians Adelaide Fringe
2009 Won Golden Gibbo Award, Melbourne International Comedy Festival
2008 Won Melbourne Fringe Best Emerging Producers
Reviews of Live Shows
Funny as any comedy show you could hope to see ... The pair work with energy and skill to keep everything under control, whilst maintaining an illusion of free-wheeling madness that kids of all ages will absolutely adore.
It was the best time we've had together for ages because, unlike every other family activity now offered including on the Fringe, it wasn't remotely educational. It didn't try to turn me into a quasi-teacher explaining things to my kids every two seconds in soft mummyish whisperings. We didn't discover how gravity works or beef up on the effects of global warning, not even in an amusing way. I didn't come out with anything new except a face that ached from laughing so much. We had a great afternoon. We learnt absolutely nothing. We just had fun.