WHEN James Valentine hosts his afternoon talk program on ABC Radio he has layers of protections in place.
First, there’s his producer who will screen callers to the program and get a sense of what they’re going to say before they are put through to Valentine to talk on the radio.
Then there’s the seven-second delay.
And there’s the ultimate ejector seat, the dump button, that Valentine can activate to shut down any caller who oversteps the mark.
But in the touring version of the radio show performed on stage in theatres, Valentine discards the safety net, and hilarity ensues.
“Someone sticks their hand up, I point at them, and they start talking. That’s the true beauty of it,” Valentine said.
What could possibly go wrong?
Valentine said that with the exception of a couple of mildy awkward (but still amusing) moments, his Afternoons Tonight shows haven’t yet prompted any family court subpoenas.
“There’s a reasonable guarantee that the people in the audience know the show. They’ve had to pay to get in, so one hopes they’re vaguely civil,” Valentine said.
The stage shows features versions of the most popular, and hilarious, segments from Valentine’s radio show, including ‘This is What I Live With’, ‘Ex’, ‘The New Normal’ and ‘Petty Crime Stoppers’.
Valentine said wherever he took his show, audiences always delivered.
Take the woman who, in the ‘This is What I Live With’ segment, rose to complain about her husband wiping down the groceries when they get home from the supermarket.
“She didn’t mean he washed the lettuce. She meant he would wipe down the box of Weet-Bix and the can of tomatoes,” Valentine said.
And then there was the man who complained that he kept arriving home to discover that his wife had moved the furniture around.
“Sorry, I forgot to mention that I’m blind,” he added as a post script, as his wife, who sat beside him, nodded.
“I just cracked up,” Valentine said.
- James Valentine will bring his ‘Afternoons Tonight’ show to The Art House, Wyong, on Saturday, May 5. Tickets from $40.