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Aussie Joel Creasey Is a Comedian on the Rise

Australian comedian Joel Creasey talks to NBC OUT about his career, his comedic inspirations and how spending time in "the jungle" helped his public profile.
29th Annual ARIA Awards 2015 - Show
Joel Creasey during the 29th Annual ARIA Awards 2015 at The Star on November 26, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.Graham Denholm / Getty Images

Australian comedian Joel Creasey has made quite a name for himself in his home country, and now the funny man has landed in the United States.

Creasey, whose U.S. tour will take him to Los Angeles and New York, said he was inspired by "the great ladies of comedy," citing the late Joan Rivers as his "number one" inspiration.

"I used to sit in my room all night watching Joan Rivers clips ... until I had to go to school the next day," he told NBC OUT.

At just 15, Creasey's interest in performing was sparked, and he spent the next three years doing gigs in Australia -- with his parents in tow.

“The legal drinking age in Australia is 18, so for the first 3 years my parents had to take me to the gigs," he explained.

But having mom and dad in the audience did not change his act. "Entertaining people comes first," he said, and added, "I learnt it all from them, really." His parents still show up for his performances, and they have a lot to be proud of.

Creasey said an appearance on the first season of Australia's "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here," a reality series that sends a group of celebrities into the wild to endure harsh conditions and challenges, was a major turning point for his career.

"It’s five nights a week, an hour-and-a-half a night watching you and 13 others living in the jungle. people really get to know you and feel like they know you," he said. "People have to invest a lot of time. They have to vote to save you."

When the show ended, he said he had a new reality: Everyone knew his name and photographers were waiting to take his photo.

"There’s a lot of added pressure," he said. "If I don’t do a good show people will find out, so I gotta pick up my game."

While he doesn't "make a point" of bringing up his sexuality publicly, Creasey also said he does not shy away from it either.

"I talk about my boyfriends and stuff on television. I think by making it the norm, it kind of helps everyone."

And his career is certainly flourishing.

"There are a few gay comics in Australia, but I am one of the only ones that works regularly on commercial television."

Creasey said there has only been one time during his career that he has ever "really experienced homophobia." After hosting an anti-discrimination event in the small city of Colac, Australia, he was chased by a pack of "about 30 youths" shouting homophobic slurs.

"The story of me being chased to my car got so much media exposure, the town got labeled the homophobic city in Australia," he said. "So a year later I went back with a film crew and made a documentary about whether or not the town is homophobic. I ended up getting a paid TV gig out of it, so I would like to give a shoutout to those 30 kids.”

If you catch the young comic on stage, this is the type of storytelling you can expect. He described his act as "going to dinner at your sassy friend's house, and he’s telling you a lot of dinner party stories."

"I’ll do the work, they can just kick back, relax and have a drink," he added. "They can listen to the stories about the different celebrities I have met and the situations I have gotten myself in and how crazy Marsha Brady was in the jungle. That’s it -- come and have a laugh!”

So what's next for the rising star? Aside from his comedy gigs in the U.S., he is in the midst of shooting a pilot for a new show. However, he said his overall plan is "to do as much as possible."

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