The down-to-earth comedian and improviser Heath Franklin spoke with Sydney Observer about his ‘Bogan Jesus – The Resurrection’ tour and what it is like imitating Chopper. Mr Franklin is well-known for his comedic impersonation of Chopper, based strongly from the 2000 movie Chopper starring Eric Bana rather than the real criminal Mark ‘Chopper’ Read.
Mr Franklin said his new show is about Chopper proposing his own religion. “Like almost everything in fact that Chopper does, he sees someone else doing it and reckons he can do a better job,” Mr Franklin said.
“It seemed like it would be a really fun idea to give Chopper divine authority mostly because it’s the last thing that he needs.”
In the tour Chopper presents his own ten commandments, with one of them zeroing in on Christmas.
“Yeah, commandment number two is Christmas needs to settle down.” Chopper has previously vetted his fury on the early Christmas decorations, sales and carols appearing as early as September.
“It’s funny I started doing my show in January this year…so people were pretty familiar with the fatigue and exhaustion of all the Christmasness. Then I thought there would be a certain point in the year where people would just forget
how much they get sick of Christmas, but it didn’t happen even in April, May and June. People are still clenching to get ready for the idea that the whole bombardment of carols, tinsels, and lights and stuff will happen again.”
Mr Franklin has played the role of Chopper for over 10 years after making his debut on the Ronnie Johns Half Hour TV show in 2005. The comedian said his own personality has influenced the character of Chopper.
“The real challenge is expressing my opinion in a way that would be realistic for Chopper to do it. So, you kind of have to translate ideas into Chopper logic and language.”
So, what is it about the crass, politically incorrect, bogan character with a “colourful language palette” that audiences adore?
“I think there’s a real place for comedy and concepts and things like that that you couldn’t necessarily put on TV. It’s a little bit risqué, a little bit naught and a little bit silly too.”
The Bogan Jesus-The Resurrection Tour will be heading to Kingsford, Newcastle, Wollongong
and Gosford this November.
Sydney Observer is giving away three double passes to the Kingsford show at The Juniors on 2 Friday November. To enter email your name, address, and mobile number with the subject line ‘Chopper Bogan Jesus Tour’, to firstname.lastname@example.org Please note we operate on a first in, first served basis.