Chris Lilley (comedian)

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Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley (6902314009) (cropped).jpg
Lilley at Tropfest 2012
Birth name Christopher Daniel Lilley
Born (1974-11-10) 10 November 1974 (age 39)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Notable works and roles Big Bite
We Can Be Heroes
Summer Heights High
Angry Boys
Ja'mie: Private School Girl
Jonah from Tonga

Christopher Daniel Lilley (born 10 November 1974, Sydney, Australia) is an Australian comedian, television producer, actor, musician and writer. He is known for his creation and portrayal of several characters in the mockumentary television series We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year (2005), Summer Heights High (2007), Angry Boys (2011), Ja'mie: Private School Girl (2013) and Jonah from Tonga (2014).[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Lilley was raised in Turramurra, New South Wales and attended Pymble Public School. He later studied at Barker College, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Contemporary Music) with a Diploma of Education from Macquarie University in Sydney, when he graduated in 1997. He began his career in his twenties as a stand-up comedian while also working as a childcare worker at Turramurra North Public School and a shop assistant.[3] He currently resides in Melbourne, Victoria. Lilley is the youngest of four siblings and insisted on being a vegetarian from the age of five.[4]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 2003, Lilley made his debut in Big Bite, a Seven Network comedy programme, in which he portrayed extreme sports enthusiast Extreme Darren and the high-school drama teacher Mr G, a character that he continued in Summer Heights High.[5] Big Bite was nominated for Best Television Comedy Series at the 2003 Australian Film Institute Awards, marking the first time a comedy programme from a commercial television network had ever been nominated at the Australian Film Institute Awards. It did not win. The producers co-credited Lilley however the show lasted only one series before being spun off into a comedy/variety programme. Lilley was a recurring guest on the programme, but it was cancelled after only a few episodes. He is known for playing a variety of different characters in each of his shows.

Lilley has been acknowledged for "[his] awareness and expression of controversial issues and not exploiting them for laughs."[6][7]

Lilley appeared in the film satire, Ned based on the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly. He appeared as the "MSN Butterfly" in a series of television advertisements and Cinema for MSN. He has also appeared on the Hamish & Andy radio show.

We Can Be Heroes[edit]

After the cancellation of Big Bite, Lilley created We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year, a six-part series on ABC Television, in which he portrayed various characters nominated for the Australian of the Year Award.[8]

Lilley portrayed several characters in the series: Phil Olivetti, a self-obsessed police officer; Ricky Wong, a Chinese Australian university physics student from Melbourne; Pat Mullins, a 47-year-old housewife with a dream to roll on her side from Perth to Uluru; Daniel Sims, a teenage boy who donates an eardrum to his deaf twin brother, Nathan (both Daniel and Nathan later appeared in "Angry Boys"); and Ja'mie King, an arrogant girl attending a private high school in Sydney (Ja'mie later appeared in "Summer Heights High" and "Ja'mie: Private School Girl").

Lilley was nominated for Best Comedy Series and Best Lead Actor in Television at the 2006 Australian Film Institute Awards, and won the Best New Talent and Most Outstanding Comedy Program awards at the Logie Awards of 2006. He also received a Rose d'Or award in Switzerland for Best Male Comedy Performance. Following the series' success, it was sold to other countries under the new name, The Nominees.

Summer Heights High[edit]

Main article: Summer Heights High

Lilley achieved overwhelming success with his second mockumentary series, Summer Heights High, which aired on ABC TV in 2007.[9]

In the series, Lilley played the series' three main characters at a public school. In March 2008, Lilley released a single, Naughty Girl, based on the series and performed in character as the Summer Heights High drama teacher, Mr G.[10]

At the 2008 Logie Awards he was nominated for four awards including Most Outstanding Actor and Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Television,[11] and won the Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor[12] and the Logie Award for Most Outstanding Comedy Program.[13]

The series was sold to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Lilley embarked on a promotional tour of the United States in October 2008 to promote the U.S. broadcast of the series, which began to air on HBO on 9 November 2008.[14] The BBC began showing the programme on BBC Three in June 2008.[15]

When asked about whether there would be a second series, Lilley stated, "I never thought about it in the beginning because it was always a one-off thing. I'm not into just cashing in and rolling off into a second series that is not as good. I really enjoyed making the show, so the thought of writing and going back there again is really fun and exciting, but I haven't made a decision on what to do next."[15]

Angry Boys[edit]

Main article: Angry Boys

The much anticipated Angry Boys aired on ABC in Australia and BBC in the UK in 2011 and HBO in the US in 2012. The 12-part comedy series brought to life six vastly different characters and was met by worldwide acclaim and sold to over 100 countries. In Australia, Angry Boys remains the most popular program to date on ABC TV’s iView with over 1.4 million plays. In Angry Boys Lilley plays multiple new characters in his third mockumentary series. The show introduces: S.mouse!, a US rapper; Jen Okazaki, a manipulative Japanese mother; Blake Oakfield, a champion surfer; Ruth "Gran" Sims, a guard at a juvenile detention facility; and her grandchildren, South Australian twins Daniel and Nathan Sims (who also featured in We Can Be Heroes). Chris Lilley was awarded the inaugural AACTA Award in 2012 for Best Comedy Performance in Television for Angry Boys.

Ja'mie: Private School Girl[edit]

On his Facebook page, Lilley confirmed that he is working on a new show. However, he said that he would not give any further details as to what the show would be about, stating that the fans would enjoy it more if the show was a surprise to them. He also added that the show will be aired in 2013 in Australia. ABC also confirmed that Lilley's new series will be released in 2013,[16] and that it is a six-part half-hour comedy series. The series is being produced by Melbourne-based production company Princess Pictures and Chris Lilley and is a co-production between the ABC in Australia and HBO in the US. It has been pre-sold to BBC Three in the UK.[17] On 8 September 2013, Lilley revealed that the returning character to the series is Ja'mie King, from We Can Be Heroes and Summer Heights High, and also revealed the title of the show.[18][19] Lilley won the 2014 Silver Logie for Most Popular Actor for his performance in Ja'mie: Private School Girl.[20]

Jonah from Tonga[edit]

Main article: Jonah from Tonga

On November 26, 2013, Lilley confirmed that he would be reviving Jonah Takalua (Summer Heights High) for a new show in 2014, titled Jonah From Tonga.[21][22][23] The show was originally posted online on the ABC iView service, available for viewing by Australian residents, and on BBC iPlayer in the United Kingdom, from 2–4 May 2014, before airing on ABC1 from 7 May 2014 and BBC Three from 8 May 2014.[24][25] The series was called "racist"[26] and "creepy"[27] and resulted in protests from academics[28] and Tongan youth[29] concerned at the inaccurate and demeaning portrayals of Tongan culture.

Awards[edit]

Awards
Logie Awards
Preceded by
No previous award in this category
Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent
2006
for We Can Be Heroes
Succeeded by
Tammy Clarkson
for The Circuit
Preceded by
The Chaser
for The Chaser Decides
Most Outstanding Comedy Program
2006
for We Can Be Heroes (with Laura Waters)
Succeeded by
Working Dog Productions for Thank God You're Here
Preceded by
Aaron Jeffery
for McLeod's Daughters
Most Popular Actor
2008
for Summer Heights High
Succeeded by
Todd Lasance
for Home and Away
Preceded by
Working Dog Productions
for Thank God You're Here
Most Outstanding Comedy Program
2008
for Summer Heights High (with Laura Waters)
Succeeded by
Working Dog Productions
for The Hollowmen
Preceded by
Steve Peacocke
for Home and Away
Most Popular Actor
2014
for Ja'mie: Private School Girl
Succeeded by
N/A
Rose d'Or
Preceded by
David Walliams with Matt Lucas
for Little Britain
Best Male Comedy Performance
2006
for We Can Be Heroes
Succeeded by
Tiger Aspect Productions for The Vicar of Dibley

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chris Lilley Biography". TV.com. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Wilmoth, Peter (4 May 2008). "Gilding the Lilley". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Callaghan, Greg (30 April 2011). "Chris Lilley is the man in the comic mask". The Australian accessdate=14 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Deacon, Michael (7 June 2011). "Angry Boys: Chris Lilley interview". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Idato, Michael (11 September 2013). "Jonah Takalua to join Ja'mie King in new Chris Lilley series: sources". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Downie, Stephen; Casey, Marcus (23 September 2007). "Chris Lilley just misunderstood - fans". Herald Sun. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Fans queue to meet comedian Chris Lilley. NineMSN News. Accessed 4 July 2008.
  8. ^ Romeo, Demetrius (26 July 2005). "Chris Lilley". Stand and Deliver!. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Chris Lilley ready for next ABC project". News.com.au. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Naughty Girl (Mr. G(Chris Lilley)). Chaos.com. Accessed 4 July 2008.
  11. ^ "Lilley and Hills threaten Rove and Ritche for Gold Logie". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australian Associated Press. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Lilley wins Silver Logie". ABC News. 4 May 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  13. ^ Bastow, Clem (8 May 2008). "Logie-Mad Chris Lilley Desperately Seeks Further Awards-Bait". Defamer Australia. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Dunn, Emily; McKenny, Leesha (17 October 2008). "Happy being cult". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Wilkes, Neil (11 June 2008). "Chris Lilley ('Summer Heights High')". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  16. ^ Brookes, Dylan (29 November 2012). "ABC TV in 2013… Amazing!". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  17. ^ Cubito, Adam (20 February 2013). "New Chris Lilley series in production for ABC1". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "Summer Heights High's Ja'mie King goes back to school for BBC Three". British Broadcasting Corporation. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  19. ^ Lewis, Maria (8 September 2013). "Chris Lilley reprises role of Ja'mie King in new series on ABC". News.com.au. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Nominees". 56th TV Week Logie Awards 2014. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Lilley, Chris (27 November 2013). "ChrisLilley: YES it's true. Jonah is back ...". Twitter. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  22. ^ BBC Media Centre (26 November 2013). "Chris Lilley's Jonah Takalua coming to BBC Three in 2014". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  23. ^ Raeburn, Steven (27 November 2013). "Chris Lilley confirms the return of Jonah as BBC leaks details first". The Drum. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  24. ^ Kalina, Paul (17 April 2014). "Chris Lilley's Jonah breaks rules with an online first for ABC". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "BBC Three to premiere entire series of Chris Lilley's Jonah From Tonga on BBC iPlayer". BBC. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  26. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/23/jonah-from-tonga-the-modern-minstrel-show
  27. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2628943/Were-not-criminals-Tongan-community-launch-protest-against-comedian-Chris-Lilleys-TV-character-Jonah-branding-racist.html
  28. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-09/an-chris-lilley27s-jonah-from-tonga-criticised/5441632
  29. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2628943/Were-not-criminals-Tongan-community-launch-protest-against-comedian-Chris-Lilleys-TV-character-Jonah-branding-racist.html

External links[edit]