MAKING people laugh is in Andrew Milos’ blood and he’s made it his mission to get the Newcastle comedy scene pumping once again.
And its gathering momentum.
Since launching in January at The Press Bookhouse Milos’ monthly Big Dog Podcasts have showcased comedic talent like Aaron Gocs, Cameron James, Jen Carnovale, Canadian Evan Desmarais, Steve Philp and Novocastrian legend Super Hubert.
Milos has even called in his cousin, Newcastle Knights cult favourite Nathan Ross and Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna to appear as special guests for what is part comedy show and part podcast.
The last three shows have sold out the Happy Wombat, which has booked the Big Dog Podcast for a six-month residency.
“It’s bit of a passion project,” Milos said. “I’ve always liked podcasts and practiced comedy to various levels of success in the past two years, mainly low.
“I’ve made a lot of good friends through comedy and enjoy catching up with them, but it’s always difficult to get to Sydney during a work week and life gets in the way of a passion.
“So I thought if I want to catch up with them I’ll bring them to Newcastle. We catch up via a different kind of medium and people get to hear them perform their best stuff that they’ve been crushing it in Sydney.
“All the comedians I’m bringing are doing it professionally or semi-pro, there’s no open mic nights.”
Milos’ interest in comedy was sparked following the death of his uncle and professional comic Richard “The Dickster” Kaminski.
Kaminski died aged 39 in December 2013 from complications of multiple organ disease following a battle with alcoholism.
The former army infantry instructor and bricklayer broke into comedy in 1997 and found success touring with Mark “Chopper” Read and Mark “Jacko” Jackson and appeared on Fat Pizza and The Footy Show.
The Dickster also became a comedy headliner and MC in his own right. Kaminski has since become Milos’ inspiration to become a comedian.
As a kid I just thought my uncle was funny, but you never think he made an impact at that level.
“For his funeral there was Dave Hughes and Adam Hills, some high-class comedians who paid him respect,” Milos says.
“We didn’t really think about it. As a kid I just thought my uncle was funny, but you never think he made an impact at that level.
“I’m not trying to live up to his name or anything, but it is interesting jumping into his world and hearing different sides of his stories and how he was respected.”
To honour Kaminski’s memory a percentage of the Big Dog Podcast’s ticket sales are donated to beyondblue.
The Big Dog Podcast returns to the Happy Wombat next Friday, featuring Al Del Bene (US), Rebecca De Unamuno, Jared Jekyll and Paige Hally.