Adam Hills

Adam Hills

Infobox Comedian
name = Adam Hills

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birth_date = July 10, 1970 (age 38)
birth_place = Sydney, Australia
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medium = Stand-up, television, radio
nationality = Australian
active = 1989–present
genre =
subject =
influences = Chris Addison, Greg Fleet, Rich Hall, Daniel Kitson, Ross Noble, David O'Doherty [cite web |author=Slattery, Annette | url= | title=An Interview with Adam Hills |work=The Groggy Squirrel |date=2006-04-02 | accessdate=2008-08-19]
influenced = Sammy J [cite web |author=Baily, John | url= | title=The 50 year plan |work=Sydney Morning Herald |date=2008-09-23 | accessdate=2008-10-04]
spouse =
domesticpartner =
notable_work = Host, "Spicks and Specks" (2005-present)

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Adam Hills (born July 10, 1970) is a Perrier and Gold Logie-nominated Australian comedian and television presenter. [cite web |author=AAP | url=,21985,23496621-2902,00.html | title=ABC's Denton, Lilley and Hills nominated for Gold Logie |work=Herald Sun |date=2007-04-07 | accessdate=2008-08-19] He has appeared on Australian and British television and is best known for his role hosting the Australian ABC music trivia show "Spicks and Specks".

He began performing as a stand-up comedian in 1989 at the age of 19, and since 1997 has produced ten solo shows which have toured internationally. He has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Montreal Just For Laughs festival, earning three consecutive Perrier Award nominations for his Edinburgh shows in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

In 2002, he scored a minor hit with his single "Working Class Anthem", in which he sang the lyrics of the Australian National Anthem to the tune of "Working Class Man", a famous song by iconic Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes.

Personal life

Originally from the Sydney suburb of Loftus, Hills developed an interest in comedy after discovering an inflight comedy channel on a plane at the age of eight. Hills was born without a right foot and wears a prosthesis, which has become a frequent source of comedy in his act. [cite web |author=Di Fonzo, Benito | url= | title=Adam Hills: Joymonger |work=Sydney Morning Herald |date=2007-05-17 | accessdate=2008-08-19] He studied a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) at Macquarie University, graduating in 1991.


tand-up career

Hills entered the comedy scene in 1989 when he made his first appearance at the Sydney Comedy Store at the age of 19. He spent several years from 1991 splitting his time between stand-up gigs and breakfast radio, but by the mid-1990s Hills says the hours had become exhausting and he decided to focus on live comedy. In 1997 he premiered "Stand Up and Deliver", the first of 10 solo shows, all of which have toured internationally. He has travelled widely, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Montreal Just For Laughs festival. [cite web |author=Elliott, Tim | url= | title=Mr Nice Guy |work=Sydney Morning Herald |date=2008-06-28 | accessdate=2008-08-19] He has been nominated for three consecutive Perrier Comedy Awards for his 2001, 2002 and 2003 solo shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. [cite web |author=Staff writer | url= | title=Adam Hills |work=Chortle |date= | accessdate=2008-08-19]

The title of his 2001 show, "Go You Big Red Fire Engine", was coined during a 1999 performance in Melbourne. Hills asked an audience member to yell his name to the audience and for the audience to yell it back, but instead the man yelled "Go you big red fire engine!"cite web |author=Burgess, Marissa | url= | title=Hill Be Back |work=Manchester Evening News |date=2004-10-14 | accessdate=2008-08-19] The phrase quickly became an audience chant, and Hills promised he would make it the name of his next show because, he says, "it was such an uplifting and genuinely silly moment." [cite web |author=Whittaker, Andrea | url= | title=Adam Hills |work=Reach Out! |date= | accessdate=2008-08-19] "Go You Big Red Fire Engine" later became the name of a second stand-up show and a comedy album; it also appeared in a Detroit newspaper, on a Swedish website and was yelled by Senator Natasha Stott Despoja in the Australian Parliament.

His artificial right foot is commonly used as a source of humour in his shows and the comedian has been known to remove it and pass it around. However, Hills had been performing live comedy for over a decade before he made reference to his prosthesis on stage, and it was only after "Go You Big Red Fire Engine" was nominated for a Perrier Award in 2001 that he began incorporating it into his act. Hills says he felt he could too easily have become a novelty act and that he "didn't want to be known as the one-legged comedian... I wanted to prove myself as a comic before talking about this." [cite web |author=Scott-Norman, Fiona | url= | title=Unspeakably Funny |work=The Age |date=2006-04-05 | accessdate=2008-08-19]

Hills regularly has a sign language interpreter at his festival shows, a move sparked by a performance he did in Adelaide at a disability art conference. [cite web |author=Hills, Adam | url= | title=Sign Here If You're Normal |work=Ouch! |date=2003-08-06 | accessdate=2008-08-19] An interpreter had been provided at the show, and Hills found that it not only allowed the deaf audience members to enjoy his material but was also an entertaining and fascinating experience for the hearing audience members. "Now I have hearing people who will only book [for signer shows] ," he says. [cite web |author=Di Fonzo, Benito | url= | title=Adam Hills: Joymonger |work=Sydney Morning Herald |date=2007-05-17 | accessdate=2008-08-19]

Television career

Hills is best known for his role on the Australian music trivia show "Spicks and Specks", which he has hosted since its premiere in 2005. In late 2007, he joined the show on a national live tour dubbed the "Spicks and Speck-tacular", with appearances in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle and Perth. [cite web |author=Braithwaite, Alyssa | url=,23599,22289550-1702,00.html | title=Spicks and Specks to hit the road | |date=2007-08-22 | accessdate=2008-08-19] He has also made appearances on Australian shows "Rove Live", "The Glass House" and "The Fat", as well as the British "Never Mind the Buzzcocks" and "Mock the Week". [cite web |author= | url= | title=Adam Hills |work=IMDb |date= | accessdate=2008-08-19] He conducted backstage interviews at Australia's 2005 and 2006 Logie Awards and was one of three presenters at the 2007 awards. [cite web |author=Enker, Debbie | url= | title=Hills Hoist |work=Sydney Morning Herald |date=2006-05-24 | accessdate=2008-08-19] [cite web |author=Sydney Confidential | url=,22049,21600462-5006002,00.html | title=Fifi reluctant star on on box |work=The Daily Telegraph |date=2007-05-23 | accessdate=2008-08-19]

In June 2008, the ABC announced that Hills would co-host its coverage of the 2008 Summer Paralympics. [cite web |author=Metlikovec, Jane | url=,21985,23888693-661,00.html | title=Comedian Adam Hills to host Paralympics |work=Herald Sun |date=2008-06-19 | accessdate=2008-08-19] [cite web | url= | title=Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games: The ABC TV Sports's Team in Beijing |work=ABC TV online |accessdate=2008-09-07]

Other work

In 2002, Hills released a single titled "Working Class Anthem", in which he sang the lyrics of the Australian National Anthem, "Advance Australia Fair", to the tune of "Working Class Man", a famous song by iconic Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes, titling it "Working Class Anthem". Around 40 comedians contributed to the song, which made the independent top 10 in Australia. All proceeds went to the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council ( [ AFAC] ), an organisation supported by Barnes and Jon Bon Jovi that supports firefighters. Hills has performed the song several times on television, including a performance honouring Barnes' guest appearance on "Spicks and Specks". [cite web |author=Staff writer | url= | title=Disco Inferno |work=Chortle |date=2003-01-22 | accessdate=2008-08-19]

Between 2003 and 2005, Hills wrote as a columnist for the BBC's disability website "Ouch!". [cite web |author= | url= | title=Adam Hills |work=Ouch! |date=2005-11-21 | accessdate=2008-08-19]

Solo shows

* Stand Up and Deliver (1997)
* Life Is Good (1998)
* My Own Little World (1999)
* Goody Two Shoes (2000)
* Go You Big Red Fire Engine (2001) — "Perrier nominee"
* Happy Feet (2002) — "Perrier nominee"
* Cut Loose (2003) — "Perrier nominee"
* Go You Big Red Fire Engine 2: Judgement Day (2004)
* Characterful (2006)
* Joymonger (2007)


External links

*imdb name|id=0998928|name=Adam Hills
* [ Official website]
* [ Columns written for the BBC Ouch! disability website]
* [ MOSH Profile]
* [ TGS Profile]
* [ Interview]
* [ Sydney Morning Herald article]

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