From an episode of SmartArtsPresented by Richard Watts


SmartArts: Tom Ballard is Still Figuring it Out

Richard Watts first had Tom Ballard on SmartArts in 2009, before Tom’s first ever standup show. Since then, Tom has got up on countless stages (and won awards for it!) but he says he’s still never sure which jokes are going to land: “The number of times I think ‘that’s 100% going to work on stage’ and get absolutely nothing, and then a throwaway line that you riff onstage gets a round of applause. Perhaps that’s what’s so appealing about standup, the fact that it doesn’t get old because you never quite figure it out. You can never quite nail it and you can always be better.”

In this wide-ranging chat, Tom shares insights into his writing process, the glimmers of inspiration he finds in everyday life, and what it’s like to write jokes about everything from ‘cozzy livs’ to the Voice referendum. Richard also asks Tom about how video content, like standup specials and social media clips, are shaping comedy today.

Tom joined Richard ahead of his live taping on Monday December 4th at the Corner Hotel alongside Dilruk Jayasingha.

Tom Ballard and Richard Watts November 2023
Listen to SmartArts: Tom Ballard is Still Figuring it Out22:4030 November 2023