Ed Kavalee was a relative unknown when the improv comedy show Thank God You’re Here launched in 2006. Here, he discusses who he loved and loathed hitting the stage with and the advice Dave Hughes gave him about being on radio.
Thank God You’re Here featured a dazzling array of Australia’s biggest stars. But many of us considered you to be the real star of the show. Do you agree?
Not really. I was totally star-struck on the first day. I met Glenn Robbins and [production company] Working Dog at the same time. Up to that point, my only showbiz experience was being an usher for Puppetry of the Penis.
How hard was it to keep up with the guests’ improvising, and to guide them through the scenes?
The ensemble were all improvisers and we had a series of questions that Tom [Gleisner], Rob [Sitch] and Santo [Cilauro] had prepared so we had back-ups, back-ups of back-ups, and – if all else failed – our own brains. There was one time it all went out the window when Micalleff turned and asked the studio audience a question. I was lost.
Did you have a favourite scene partner on TGYH?
I loved doing the ‘all in’ scenes at the end. Watching the guests all have to work together and still work with the ensemble was always a high-wire act. My favourite all-time moment was one I wasn’t in. Series two, episode one: all in, a Knights of the Round Table scene. Tony Martin was asked what his knight was. He said ‘Sir Guy of Sebastian’.