The Wisdom: Australian Comedian Peter Berner

Categories Lifestyle

The veteran Aussie comedian fulminates on “Chopsticks”, mesh singlets and the neighbour’s bloody dog. Interview by Michael Adams.

I’m happiest… when the neighbour’s dog stops barking. I can’t understand people who go out and let the dog bark for hours and hours and hours. Why have
a dog? What’s the point? I’d like to get every arsehole neighbour on the planet together and put them on one street.

My darkest moods are caused by… I don’t know what caused it but it’s about 42 years old now.

What keeps me awake at night is… what I have to do to ‘trend’ on social media because I’m never going to trend and that bothers me. Drug muling seems to be trending. I’m not going to do that. Do people trend for being adequate? I have to get #adequacy trending.

My spirit animal is… vodka.

What makes me laugh loudest is… Morecombe and Wise. I grew up on that stuff and it kills me. I love it.

The most underrated experience must be… having every device that you own fully charged.

The best time of day is… before anyone else wakes up, which in my household is about 5.30am.

Good health is… something there is an app for now, which is fantastic. I haven’t downloaded the app, so my health is atrocious.

My heroes have always been… cartoon characters. Bugs Bunny, Mighty Mouse, G-Force. They’re noble. And they live in a world where the neighbour’s dog doesn’t bark.

When I was young I wished… someone would write lyrics to “Chopsticks”. It bothered me for a long time. I’ve given it a crack a couple of times – it’s harder than it sounds.

As a teenager I spent way too much time… checking my watch to see when teenagering would be finished. I wasn’t a good teenager. I was born to be a curmudgeonly old man.

I knew I was finally a man when… I first stopped a ceiling fan with my face.

Australian politics needs… a perfume released in its honour. Something procedural and dull that smells like a train timetable.

I wish more Aussies would… pronounce the “L” in Australia. It’s there for a reason. Use it or some government will take it away from us in the future.

My best quality has to be… guessing people’s weight correctly. It’s innate. I don’t try to understand it.

If I could change anything about myself it’d be… most of it. I’m a product recall like a Samsung Galaxy 7. I explode unexpectedly. That’s my problem.

The book that I wish everyone would read is… the one I’ve just written. I would be very rich. It’s called The Book Of They.

If I had to be played by an actor in a biopic I’d want it to be… me. I could do with the work. I don’t think anyone can catch the essence of me. But it’d be a wooden performance. A table or chair could play me.

If a song played whenever I walked in the room it’d be… “Chopsticks”.

True style is… all about breathable fabrics.

You’ll never catch me wearing… anything sheer. I need solid, opaque clothing. No mesh singlets. No Right Said Fred-wear. But if I looked like him I would.

Family is… not just people you used to live with. They are profoundly important and they give you context. They can also give you an alibi if you need one.

Love means… I don’t know. I was told as a child in a commercial that “Love means having a dry bottom.” I think there has to be more than that. Love means commitment. And probably a dry bottom. That did stick with me.

Life is too short to… learn everything you need to know.

My epitaph will be… grammatically incorrect. Whatever it is there’ll be a comma that didn’t need to be there. That actually sums it up: “Peter Berner was a comma that didn’t need to be here.”

Peter Berner’s The B-Team screens Saturday nights on Sky. The Book Of They is in bookstores now. The Wisdom originally appears in Men’s Style Spring 2017 issue.