In 1984–85, Gillies hosted The Gillies Report on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. This was followed in 1986 by Gillies Republic and in 1992 by Gillies and Company. He was known for his ability to dress up and parody a wide range of political figures, both on television and in live solo theatrical performances (i.e. The Big Con, You're Dreaming). In July 2008 he resurrected his caricatures of Australia's former prime ministers in a live production of No Country for Old PMs: An Evening with Max Gillies at the Noosa Long Weekend festival.
Gillies stated in an interview with The Courier-Mail that he and co-writer Guy Rundle were watching (now former) Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, for a possible new caricature in a new production being developed. "I'm watching him closely" he said.
Gillies became a Member of the Order of Australia in 1990.
Gillies, through his television programmes or theatre performances, has caricatured the following:
- Australian Prime Ministers: Robert Menzies, William McMahon, Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Robert Hawke, John Howard.
- Other Australian politicians: Alexander Downer, Amanda Vanstone, Iain Sinclair, Philip Ruddock, Sir John Kerr, Don Chipp, Andrew Peacock, Fred Nile, Russ Hinze, Bob Santamaria, Gareth Evans.
- Australian Premiers: Neville Wran, Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
- Australian businessmen: Kerry Packer, Rupert Murdoch, Alan Bond, John Singleton, John Elliott.
- Australian writers: Phillip Adams, Bob Ellis, Geoffrey Blainey, Clive James, Gerard Henderson.
- Foreign leaders: Ronald Reagan, Pik Botha, Margaret Thatcher, François Mitterrand, Yasuhiro Nakasone, Mikhail Gorbachev, David Lange, Queen Elizabeth II, George W. Bush, Pope John Paul II.
- Other persons: Tony Barber, Sir David Attenborough, Jonathon Shier, D.D. McNicoll, Arthur Daley (a main character from Minder)
- "Max Gillies was delighted to discover videos of himself on YouTube", The Courier-Mail, 31 May 2008
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