Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Entertainment
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Pivot's 'Please Like Me' lets star Josh Thomas be himself, complete with comic stumbles

FILE - This July 10, 2014 file photo shows 27-year-old Australian comedian Josh Thomas, creator, writer and star of

Enlarge Image

FILE - This July 10, 2014 file photo shows 27-year-old Australian comedian Josh Thomas, creator, writer and star of "Please Like Me," speaking at the Pivot panel during the Summer TCAs in Beverly Hills, Calif. His half-hour comedy-drama, "Please Like Me," begins a 10-episode sophomore season on the Pivot network on Friday at 10:30 p.m. EDT. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - "I float around," says Josh Thomas, "and I've just been very lucky."

The 27-year-old Australian comedian is trying to account for his success in what he'd argue is the absence of ambition or strategy.

Still, look at him: a star Down Under and the leading man, writer and executive producer of his own half-hour comedy-drama, "Please Like Me," which begins a 10-episode sophomore season on the Pivot network on Friday at 10:30 p.m. EDT.

A study in budding adulthood and its pitfalls, the series might be described as "Seinfeld" blended with a guy-centric "Girls." Last season it followed Josh, a young Melbournite, as he loved and lost a girlfriend, then, acknowledging he's gay, loved and lost a boyfriend. He came out to his divorced parents while coping with his father's overbearing new wife and with his bipolar mother's wild mood swings. But through it all, Josh kept his head above water. He's a bloke who floats around.

Thomas has ample material from his own life to fuel his series, just as, a decade ago, it powered his entry into stand-up when he began showing up at Melbourne clubs for open-mic sessions.

"My first routine was about my mum deciding to buy me condoms: She asked me what size I wanted." A chuckle. "NOW I realize she's bipolar.

"I was 17!" he responds to the suggestion he was brave to give stand-up a try. "I wasn't making a lot of great choices. You should have seen what I was wearing then. And I had a GIRLfriend! I didn't have a lot of stuff sorted out."

Interviewed recently on a visit to New York, Thomas is clad in a sweater featuring a large ladybug. He's gangly and fidgety, yet charming and armed with an infectious cackly laugh.

He says his stand-up dates and TV appearances in Australia won him a surprisingly varied audience: "60-year-olds, young couples, gays, a few lesbians. And a lot of teenage girl fans who didn't have enough self-esteem to have a crush on Justin Bieber — they wanted someone more accessible.

"I really loved stand-up," he says. "But I thought I'd be OK at writing a sitcom, 'cause narrative is what my stand-up was anyway."

Thomas says he's not so different from the character he crafted for the show: "It's just me saying what I would say if the stuff I write was really happening. And I try to say it the way I would say it in real life."

It's all a work in progress. Like him.

"When we were pitching the show," he recalls, "Josh was straight. I came out after that. So I had a meeting with the network and said, 'There's been some script changes.'"

Originally aired on Australian television, "Please Like Me" was acquired by Pivot, which initially considered refilming it with Thomas as an Aussie living in the U.S. "But then they decided to keep it the way it is."

As production began on Season 2, "I tried to keep it truthful, honest-seeming," says Thomas. "But it's not a life guide."

Indeed, a viewer would be hard-pressed to find any obvious guidelines. At one moment, TV-Josh is self-centred and lackadaisical. The next, compassionate and responsible. Then, in the blink of an eye, he's back in slacker mode.

"Josh is inconsistent," Thomas agrees, "but it annoys me when a TV character always acts the same way. You don't know if Josh is going to walk away from a problem or sit down and solve it. But he's just me, and on any given day, I don't know what I'd do either."

Nor does he know what he might like to do next, he says as he speaks of Hollywood agents advising him on how to take his career to the next level. What would really make him happy? A third "Please Like Me" season (which was recently ordered), he replies, and a fourth after that.

"I don't know why I need the NEXT thing," says Thomas, who seems consistent in his mission to dodge any master plan. "I seem to have ENOUGH things: I have a dog, a very demanding boyfriend and my own TV show. Plus, I'm just 27. I'm meant to be out at the clubs!"

__

EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore@ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier. Past stories are available at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/frazier-moore

___

Online:

http://www.pivot.tv

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media