Token Celebrity

Over the years Paul has interviewed countless artists and celebrities. In order to shamelessly cash in on this fact, The Paul Ransom Show will mine the archives and post past glories on this page.

This time round we go back to October 2005 for a chat with ‘Australian’ comedian and radio personality Tony Martin.


A Tony Winning Collection

“I seem to have a memory for bizarre disputes and incidents,” declares New Zealand born comedian Tony Martin, whose memoir, ‘Lolly Scramble’ is a collection of hilariously tiny incidents.

Most Australians will know Tony Martin from shows such as ‘D-Generation’, ‘The Late Show’ and his syndicated radio partnership with Mick Molloy. However, most would be unaware of his disrupted homelife on NZ’s south island, or his lingering battle with a blood disorder known as haemochromatosis.

With ‘Lolly Scramble’, Martin manages to make even these heavy sounding items ring with humour.

“I just had all these stories that were far too long to use in stand up or on the radio,” he reveals. “When you do stuff on stage or radio you have to telescope it down and you have to lose a lot of the more interesting details.”

One of the details deliberately lost in ‘Lolly Scramble’ is the ‘rise to fame’ story. Martin purposefully avoids self acclamation and name dropping in favour of the kind of suburban minutae that most will recognise.

“I didn’t want it to be like a David Niven book,” he says. “And then Judith Lucy walked in, and then Mick Molloy fell off the bar.”

Martin describes his challenge as “taking seemingly meaningless incidents” and fashioning them into proper stories. Hence we have crazy German landlords and even weirder co-tenants, sultry babysitters, weird Christian kids, mad Geordies obsessed with kerning, and Santa going beserk in an otherwise harmless shopping mall.

“It’s the funniest stuff I could write without being sued,” Martin quips.

And of course, it’s all small stuff. “I’ve always found that stuff funny. I mean, that’s what Jerry Seinfeld’s entire career has been based on. Y’know, why is the chemist three feet above everyone else. Also, when you think about when you were a kid, that’s the stuff you remember.”

As to whether the exercise of writing a book might signify a career change, Martin is unsure. “I might keep going if this is well received, otherwise I’ll be back giving away Mariah Carey CDs this time next year.”