An ex-Gunnedah man is bringing his comedic flare to our television screens.
All this week, locals can catch Matt Kelly on the ABC as he stars in the live action kids comedy, The Listies Work for Peanuts.
Mr Kelly and his comedic partner Rich Higgins are "odd couple house mates" who take on all manner of jobs, including burp-jar polishing, to keep their eight-year-old landlord at bay so they still have a roof over their heads.
Mr Kelly was born in Gunnedah and lived in Carroll until he was five when his family moved into town. He attended St Xavier's Primary School and St Mary's College and participated in the Gunnedah Eisteddfod and the Massed Choir.
He said the eisteddfod was " the very first time I performed on stage" and "it used to mean a lot to me when I was a kid".
As a teen, Mr Kelly was involved in the joint high school musicals including Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat.
After he finished school in 1997, he moved to Canberra for university and joined the theatre society where he found his calling.
"I stopped going to classes and started going to rehearsals and then I decided that was what I wanted to do," he said.
"I really liked making people laugh and there I met the amazing people who told me I should move to Melbourne."
Mr Kelly studied theatre in Melbourne and joined the university's theatre society and it was here, in 2002, that he met his future comedic partnerm, Rich Higgins. They named themselves The Listies.
"We started doing shows together in 2008 ... [and] we do everything together now.
"We have the same sense of humour and grew up watching the same stuff."
In 2009, the pair entered their show, More Fun than a Wii, in the Melbourne Comedy Festival and it was nominated for the Most Outstanding Festival Show, The Barry Award.
"We're still, to this day, the only kids' act to be nominated for the top award," Mr Kelly said.
At the festival they met their future manager, Vanessa Rouse, and they went on to do comedy in Edinburgh at the : "if you want to be a comedian, you've kind of got to find out if you're any good".
It took me until I was about 24 to realise that people could make people laugh as a job.Matt Kelly
In 2018, Mr Kelly and Mr Higgins won the best kids' show award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
That same year, they received a grant from Screen Australia to produce a five-part web series, The Listies Work for Peanuts.
"[We] showed it to the ABC and they liked it so much that they wanted to put it on air," Mr Kelly said.
"We wanted to make a show that was sort of in the style of The Goodies ... [We thought] what if our landlord was an 8-year-old girl and was really pushy and demanded her money so we had to do these silly odd jobs in order not to be kicked out of the house.
One episode even stars Australian author Andrew Griffiths, and ex-Playschool presenter and singer-songwriter Justine Clark.
The Listies perform all over Australia and their touring even brought them to Gunnedah in 2017 with their show, Ickypedia, based on their "best-smelling book".
"We spend five months of the year on the road, touring and doing comedy, which is a thing I never thought would happen when I was being told to shush in the back of my grade four classroom," Mr Kelly said.
The comedian said Australia was so large that it was hard to get back to the country as much as they would like, but the new TV series allows them to reach kids everywhere and "still make them laugh".
"When I was a kid, it took me until I was about 24 to realise that people could make people laugh as a job and I thought it was something that only people from the city got to do. I like sharing that story in case there's a little me sitting and reading the newspaper.
"There's a lot of anxiety in the world and kids are facing some pretty scary issues and I like to be part of a team that reminds kids that adults are also silly, and the world is also fun for them."
- The Listies Work for Peanuts is on at 4.35pm on the ABC until November 15.
- To catch it online, visit https://iview.abc.net.au/show/listies-work-for-peanuts