Making people laugh has been Monica Dullard’s goal since her teens, having grown up watching comedians such as Phyllis Diller, Dave Allen and Lily Tomlin.
Dealing with Centrelink is not usually a laughing matter, but librarian and stand up comic Monica Dullard says riffing about a trip to the social security office with her elderly mother invariably gets huge laughs.
‘Medicare is now combined with Centrelink and we just went in there to see if mum could get some cash back for a doctor's visit and I wrote a whole routine about how we were there for four days trying to use self serve, and people just love it.
‘I had people saying, "Oh, my God, I was in Centrelink the other day and my husband still hasn't come home”.
Making people laugh has been Monica’s goal since she was a teenager, having grown up watching comedians such as Phyllis Diller, Dave Allen and Lily Tomlin.
Whilst she writes her routines to appeal to a variety of audiences, Monica does have a soft spot for older people and has performed at the Victorian Seniors Festival for the past three years.
‘I wrote the show ‘Ageing With Attitude’ after my mum went into aged care and heaps of people came to see it. It obviously hit a nerve, and I started performing it at the Seniors Festival.’
One of her most loved characters is Maura, the clairvoyant cruise ship librarian. ‘I set up a tent in the library so people could come in and get their palms read and they went mad for it. Then the State Library lent me their station wagon and I drove all around Victoria performing as Maura at local libraries.’
‘Working in a library and as a comedian is a good pairing because I run my library storytime sessions a bit like a stand-up show — you’ve got to have some jokes for the parents and the grandparents - and we're putting on events and programs all the time. So, libraries are a cracker place to be. Get in there!’
Watch Monica's 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined performance.