Shaun Micallef

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Shaun Micallef
Shaun Micallef in ABC Studio 31.jpg
Shaun Micallef in July 2012
Birth nameShaun Patrick Micallef
Born (1962-07-18) 18 July 1962 (age 56)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
MediumTelevision, radio, books, internet
EducationUniversity of Adelaide
Years active1987–present
GenresSketch comedy, surrealism, dadaism, absurdism, political satire
Leandra (m. 1989)
Notable works and rolesThe Micallef P(r)ogram(me)
Welcher & Welcher
Micallef Tonight
Thank God You're Here (2006–2007)
Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation
Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell

Shaun Patrick Micallef (born 18 July 1962) is an Australian actor, comedian and writer. After ten years of working in insurance law as a solicitor in Adelaide, Micallef moved to Melbourne to pursue a full-time comedy career in 1993. He first gained recognition as a cast member of the sketch comedy show Full Frontal, which led to a number of television roles including his own sketch show, The Micallef P(r)ogram(me), the sitcom Welcher & Welcher and the variety show Micallef Tonight. He also fronted the satirical news comedy series Newstopia on SBS, hosted the game show Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation on Network Ten for four seasons, and Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell on the ABC. He also co-created and starred in Mr & Mrs Murder on Network Ten.

In addition to his television work Micallef has appeared on stage, most notably in the Australian production of Boeing Boeing and on radio as the co-host of Melbourne station Vega 91.5 FM's morning program. He is also a published author with three books: Smithereens (2004, re-released 2011), Preincarnate (2010) and The President's Desk (2014).

Early life and education[edit]

Micallef was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and is of Maltese and Irish descent.[1] His father worked for a company that sold parts for Volvos and his mother was employed at the Adelaide Bank.[7]

As a child, Micallef lived in Clovelly Park and attended St Bernadette's School in St Marys then St Joseph's Catholic School in Mitchell Park (now Sacred Heart College Middle School) before moving on to Sacred Heart Senior College where he was the College Captain.[8]

Micallef studied law at the University of Adelaide, where he was frequently involved in comedy revues, often involving Francis Greenslade and Gary McCaffrie, with whom he continues to work.[9]


Shaun Micallef was influenced by The Goons,[1] Peter Sellers, Marx Brothers,[10] S. J. Perelman, James Thurber, Spike Milligan,[3] Barry Humphries, Frank Muir,[4] Monty Python,[11] and Woody Allen.

Early theatre[edit]

In 1972, having three younger sisters taking ballet classes, ten-year-old Micallef was often asked to help out when a dance routine required a boy. The following year he auditioned for the Bunyip Children's Theatre and over the next four years participated in plays that they performed in the Scott Theatre during school holidays. In 1976 he doubled for Humphrey B. Bear for personal appearances.[12]

Legal career[edit]

Micallef was a practising solicitor for ten years in the field of insurance law before making the decision to move to Melbourne and pursue a full-time career in comedy in 1993.[7]

He relates the story that, while working as a solicitor, he talked so much about making a career change and becoming a comedian that his wife Leandra gave him an ultimatum: she marked a date on a calendar and told him to quit his job and become a comedian by that date or never talk about it again.[13]

Television and film[edit]

Following early TV appearances on Theatre Sports (1987) and The Big Gig (1989), in early 1993 Micallef was offered a job writing for the Jimeoin show which was soon followed by an offer to also write for the sketch comedy show Full Frontal where six months later he took on the role as co-producer with Gary McCaffrie. In 1994, Micallef became a full-time cast member of Full Frontal, where he became well known for characters such as Milo Kerrigan, Nobby Doldrums and a send-up of Italian male model Fabio. Micallef recalls that the show was a good introduction to television comedy because, with an ensemble cast, its success did not hinge on his performance and he had more freedom to make and learn from mistakes. However, he was frustrated with the lack of control he had over his work in the series as well as the repetition of characters and gags.[7]

Micallef's role on Full Frontal led to a 1996 special Shaun Micallef's World Around Him and three seasons of the two-time Logie Award-winning ABC series The Micallef Program (1998–2001), which he co-wrote and produced with long-time writing partner Gary McCaffrie.[14] Since the series' end he has created and starred in two short-lived television series, the sitcom Welcher & Welcher (2003) and the variety show Micallef Tonight (2003),[15] and devised a series of telemovies, BlackJack (2003–present).[16]

Micallef has also had acting roles in the television series SeaChange (2000), Through My Eyes (2004) and Offspring (2010) as well as supporting roles in the films Bad Eggs (2003), The Honourable Wally Norman (2003), The Extra (2005), Aquamarine (2006) and The King (2007). In 2006, he was a recurring guest on the Network Ten Improvisational theatre show Thank God You're Here.

In 2007, along with partners McCaffrie and Michael Ward, Micallef developed the satirical comedy program Newstopia, which he hosted. The show began airing on 10 October 2007 on SBS and in August 2008 it was announced that a third series had been commissioned.[17] In 2009, Micallef joined the Ten Network and hosted Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, which aired for four seasons.

In 2012, Micallef began hosting ABC1's Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell.[18]

He co-created Mr & Mrs Murder, a crime comedy television series for Channel Ten which aired in 2013, and starred in the lead role of Charlie Buchanan alongside Kat Stewart. Also that year, Micallef signed on to voice the artificially intelligent robot REEF in the Australian feature length science fiction film Arrowhead (2014).

Other work[edit]

In September 2005, Micallef began hosting the breakfast show "Shaun, Beverley and Denise" on Melbourne radio station Vega 91.5 FM with comedian Denise Scott and television presenter Beverley O'Connor. In July 2006, comedian Dave O'Neil took over as host and the show was renamed "Dave and Denise with Shaun Micallef". Micallef left the network on 23 November 2007.[19]

Micallef released a book, Smithereens, which was published in 2004 and contains a collection of prose, poetry and plays. He describes it as a collection of "all sorts of bits and pieces I have written".[3][15] His second book, a novella titled Preincarnate, was released in 2010.

In October 2014, Micallef released his third book, The President's Desk: An Alt-History of the United States; a semi-fictitious history, told from the perspective of the Resolute desk.[20]

Mainstream popularity[edit]

With Micallef's 2009 move to the Ten Network's Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, a sudden and unprecedented rise in his popularity within the Australian mainstream has been observed.[21] His contract with the program marks his first long-term position in a commercial network and has raised his profile in commercial television. The extent of this has been demonstrated with celebrity appearances on Rove McManus's Rove,[22] Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?[23] and on 9am with David & Kim.[24] In 2010, he was voted most popular presenter at the annual Logie Awards.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Micallef currently lives in Williamstown, Victoria, with his wife Leandra, whom he married in 1988, and their three sons.[1][25]

List of works[edit]




Radio shows[edit]


  • The Uncollected Plays of Shaun Micallef (2018)
  • Tales from a Tall Forest (2017)
  • The President's Desk (2014)
  • Preincarnate (2010)
  • Smithereens (2004)


  • His Generation (2009)


  • 2012: Named Comedian of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards, which celebrates the country's finest actors, comedians, sportsmen, musicians and creative visionaries.[27]
  • 2008: Won Aria Award Best Comedy ReleaseThe Expurgated Micallef Tonight: The Very Best of Shaun Micallef's Short-Lived but Brilliant Tonight Show[28]
  • 2010: Won Most Popular Presenter and nominated for the Gold Logie at the Logie Awards for his role on Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation.


  1. ^ a b c d Beck, Chris (10 November 2005). "The Interview". The Age. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  2. ^ MacNaughton, Tanya (16 February 2005). "Shaun Micallef". Xpress Online. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Brookfield, Joanne (18 October 2004). "Comedy Bites". The Big Issue No. 214. Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  4. ^ a b Dodds, Joy (30 September 2004). "Full Frontal Shaun". City Weekly. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  5. ^ Micallef, Shaun (2004). "Smowah's Exlusive Fan Q & A with Shaun Micallef". Shaun Micallef's Online World Around Him. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  6. ^ Davidson, Erin (18 June 2007). "Nuts About Sammy J". The Groggy Squirrel. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2008.
  7. ^ a b c Wilkie, Meredith (4 February 2001). "Anything for a laugh". The Sun-Herald. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  8. ^ Goldsmith, David (16 September 2009). "Illustrious company for Sacred Heart old scholars". Guardian Messenger. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  9. ^ Rafalowicz, Alex (February 2005). "Interview: Shaun Micallef". Empire Times (Flinders University). Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  10. ^ MacNaughton, Tanya (16 February 2005). "Shaun Micallef". Xpress Online. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  11. ^ Micallef, Shaun (2004). "Smowah's Exlusive Fan Q & A with Shaun Micallef". Shaun Micallef's Online World Around Him. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  12. ^ "Spicks and Specks, Episode Twenty Three". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 February 2014. He recently admitted on a raido that he played the popular children's character Humphrey B. Bear for a period of three weeks during the 1970s.
  13. ^ Lallo, Michael (4 October 2007). "His current affair". The Age. Retrieved 9 February 2014. Fed up with his all-talk, no-action attitude, his wife Leandra issued an ultimatum. "She put an X on the calendar and said, 'You have to have done something about it by this date or you have to shut up.'"
  14. ^ Martin, Simon (October 2004). "Shaun Micallef". The Mercury. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  15. ^ a b Witham, Katrina (9 September 2004). "Micallef on the Record". The Courier Mail. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  16. ^ Courtis, Brian (11 September 2005). "Grumpy old man". The Age. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  17. ^ Body, Michael (7 August 2008). "Fremantle gives old favourites a new lease of life". The Australian. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  18. ^ Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell – Australian Broadcasting Corporation – Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  19. ^ McPhee, Ross (28 September 2005). "By Shaun's Early Light". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 20 May 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  20. ^ "The President's Desk - Shaun Micallef". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  21. ^ Hassall, Greg (22 July 2009). "Talking 'bout regeneration". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 September 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ McCulloch, Janelle (August 2003). "Interview: Shaun Micallef". My City. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  27. ^ Joanne Hawkins. "Men of the Year 2012 Winners". Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  28. ^ Cameron Adams & Jane Metlikovec (20 October 2008). "Dandenong teenager Gabriella Cilmi: she'll be sweet". The Age. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Andrew Denton
Host of the Logie Awards
Succeeded by
Wendy Harmer
Preceded by
Rove McManus
Logie Award
Most Popular TV Presenter

for Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation
Succeeded by
Karl Stefanovic