Scared Weird Little Guys

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Scared Weird Little Guys
OriginMelbourne, Australia
GenresComedy, Parody
Years active1990–2011
WebsiteOfficial site
MembersJohn Chaplin-Fleming, Rusty Berther

Scared Weird Little Guys (also referred to as SWLG or The Scaredies) were an Australian comedy music duo formed in July 1990, comprising John Fleming (vocals, guitar, mandolin) and Rusty Berther (vocals, guitar, banjo). The Scaredies performed their last ever live show in Brisbane in May 2011, until a one-off benefit gig in Melbourne in October 2016. They reunited for a 3-day stindt at the Brisbane Powerhouse on the 8th-10th of March 2019.


In 1987 Fleming joined "Four Chairs No Waiting", an a cappella group comprising David Holmes, Ramsey Collins and Rusty Berther. The group performed aboard a Fairstar cruise, as well as touring RSL clubs around Sydney. They performed during most of Expo 88 in Brisbane. In 1989 Berther and Fleming joined "The Phones", one of Australia's top a cappella groups, which boasted members such as Paul Keelan, Michael Dalton and Reg Ellery. Performing at comedy and cabaret venues around Australia, the group also held a regular TV spot on Channel 7's Bert Newton Show. Following the group's break-up in 1990, Fleming and Berther teamed up and moved away from a cappella to concentrate on musical comedy routines.

The duo had much success touring Australia, as well as more than 20 tours of festivals and college campuses in North America, and three tours of the UK in 1997, 1998 and 2001.

The name "Scared Weird Little Guys" comes from a line in the Al Pacino movie Cruising.[1]

The Scaredies announced on 1 August 2010 that the act would be coming to an end after 21 years. They embarked on a national farewell tour named 'Enough Already', which ran until mid-2011. The duo released a final CD entitled Enough Already which included recordings from their Mount Gambier, Horsham and Warrnambool shows.

The Scaredies did in excess of 4,600 live gigs, performing their final show in Brisbane on 22 May 2011.

Rusty Berther continues to perform with another group, "Rusty and Another Guy", whose style is similar to the Scaredies. They mostly perform for private events and corporate functions. More information can be found here:

And at the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Rusty made a rare public appearance as the headline act for the show 1 Night Stand: A Musical Comedy Showcase.

Albums & Releases[edit]

  • Scared (1994)
  • Macadamia (EP)
  • Bloody Jeff (EP)
  • Death Lounge (EP) (1998)
  • Live At 42 Walnut Crescent (2000)
  • Bits And Pieces (2004)
  • The First 15 Years (DVD) (2005)
  • Scared Weird Little Songs (2009)
  • Mindless Stupidity for the Thinking Person (2010)
  • Enough Already (2010)

Notable Performances[edit]

The Scared Weird Little Guys performed regularly at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Adelaide Fringe Festival as well as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Spiegeltent. They featured at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, warming up the 90,000 strong crowd for 45 minutes.

In the late 90s the Scared Weird Little Guys performed a show called 'Score', incorporating music, comedy and symphony orchestras.[2][3]

They also made noteworthy appearances as The Scared Weird Little Guys Superband. This usually consisted of John and Rusty with the addition of a full rock band including horn section. The Superband was a fixture at the Melbourne Comedy Festival for many years and featured guest appearances from international and local comedians singing cover songs. Guest singers have included Ross Noble, Rich Hall, Maria Bamford, Rove McManus, Jo Stanley, Jimeoin, Lano and Woodley, Bob Downe, Alan Brough and Adam Hills.


The duo won several awards throughout their career, as well as being nominated for various high-profile awards.


  • Victorian Campus Activities Association "Best Comedy Act" 1994
  • Canadian Organisation for Campus Activities "Best Variety Act" 1994-5
  • US National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) "Best Comedy Act" 1995
  • Mo Award "Comedy Group Of The Year" 2000
  • ARIA Award "Best Comedy Release: Bits and Pieces" 2004But


  • Mo Award "Comedy Group Of The Year" 1994-1999, 2001–2004
  • ARIA Award "Best Comedy Release: Scared" 1995
  • Mo Award "Best Comedy Act" 1997
  • US National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) "Entertainers Of The Year" 1995

Media appearances[edit]

The duo have performed regular spots in both television and radio since 1990.

Television appearances[edit]

The duo performed on almost every live Australian television show. Some notable examples include:


  1. ^ Romeo, Demetrius (16 May 2004). "Scared Weird Little Guys". Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ [1][permanent dead link]

External links[edit]