CONCERT FOR HOLLY (Sydney Opera House 19/07/2003)

What a magnificent and delightful evening for a wonderful cause. In memory of Holly Robinson, the daughter of TV legend Ted Robinson after she passed away from cancer. Some of the biggest comedians in the country, who knew Holly from her father’s many shows (The Big Gig, Good News Week etc) came together for a benefit and to celebrate her life. What a remarkable and loved life she must have led.

Andrew Denton opened with a letter to Holly, thanking her for organizing the evening and commenting on her funeral. He mentioned that the Doug Anthony Allstars sang ‘Throw your Arms Around Me‘ at her funeral and that the guys nearly lost it. Something we almost did when they came on stage later and sang for us.

“Paul was singing in his usual angel’s voice and Tim’s harmonies suddenly dropped off as he choked up. And you could see Paul thinking ‘What the fuck is Tim doing?’

He then launched into the opening act РThe Wiggles. Man a lot of middle aged people got excited by  guys in skivvies. In true Ted Robinson style, with explosions, fireworks and flashpots.

The rest of these I will put in point form as it was a long and eventful night full of special guests.

  • McDermott ducks out , does his usual schtick (which I love), then out comes Mikey and Julie, 2 of my favourite people.
  • Norm Erksine and Matt Newtown did a great rendition of ‘Fly me to the moon‘.
  • Roy & HG were certainly a highlight for me. Launching a tirade against cancer research favouring the ‘sexy cancer’s’ they used the platform for their new slogan for bowel cancer ‘Never Linger, Use Your Finger’.
  • Whitlams frontman Tim Freedman (looking a tad Bono in the coloured sunnies), did the classic ‘You’ve got a friend in me‘.
  • Wil Anderson always reminds me of an overly excited puppy. A fantastic crack at Phil Ruddock.
  • Candida returns. She exhausts me just watching her. I wish my ball handling skills were as good as hers.
  • Fleety was fleety, just pure gold. He did my absolute favourite routine – Spartacus. You know when you go to a music gig and you get excited hearing the first few chords of a song? I’m like that with comedy, especially for Spartacus.
  • Indira Naidoo is a goddess
  • Mikey came back out and introduced DAAS. People lost their freaking minds. A lot of us discovered DAAS through Good News Week. And like many, I was too young to see them perform live. Finally a bucket list item was ticked. The Good, The Bad and The Guitarist back together.
  • Honestly, their rendition of ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me‘ was perfect possibly better than the Dead and Alive version we all know. We were crying, people in the audience were crying. Then we got the bonus of ‘I Fuck Dogs‘ and everyone went nuts. I’m really torn between which of these 2 I want played at my funeral.

I will say the Doug Anthony Allstars have the power to heal. I had dislocated my knee and was using a walking stick for weeks. We were sitting in the middle of the row and we got so excited when DAAS not only sang ‘Throw‘ but ‘Dogs‘ as well that I rushed out at interval to call my friend in Adelaide that was unable to attend to squeal down the phone. It was only when I got outside I realised my leg was hurting and I had left my stick inside. Made for a very awkward hobble back to the seats.

  • Julie came back and told us more about Holly. I feel like she would have been a remarkable person to have known and loved. I think we are all worse off not having met her.
  • Marcia Hines doing ‘I’ve Got the Music in Me’. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, freaking icon. And then she did ‘Fire and Rain‘ and we were all bawling again. My god that voice.
  • Corrine Grant did an adorable song.
  • Paul Capsis could sing the ingredients on a cereal packet and I would watch it.
  • Shirley Purvis came back. I was never a big fan (as she reminded me of all my nanna’s put together)
  • Sandy and Flacco (Doing My Dear Virginia). I love how they still keep cracking each other up. And I am digging Flacco’s new look.
  • Rove did a pre-record doing the obvious cross-promotion of Gareth Gates performing. I have no idea who he is.
  • Libbi Gorr was a sight for sore eyes after that song. I mean he was good, but noone cares.
  • Hughesy, always so angry, always so funny.
  • McDermott is back, this time with GUD. Is it just me or does he only seem to work in threesomes? Though I am a big fan of GUD, Cam Bruce is a find. They performed ‘Jeans’ which seems to be their standard song for TV. Mostly because their other ones aren’t suitable.
  • Wendy Harmer – what a force. She did a lot for women in comedy. She was the first female host of a live comedy show in Australia, something that was practically unheard of, even now really.
  • Joh Griggs, I adore her
  • The Finale – Everyone singing Crunchy Granola Suite. McDermott taking the lead and Fleety joining in with the ‘Good God’.
  • Again everyone had tears. There was a lot of love in a room for a young girl that most of us never had the privileged of knowing and I think we are worse off for not having her around anymore.


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