Interview with Jane Bussmann

As some of comedy's biggest names descend on Sydney for the World's Funniest Island festival this weekend, scored a few minutes with Jane Bussman. Have you ever thought "I can't believe I got away with that" and why?

Jane Bussmann: When this giant Ugandan colonel who's unit is all over Amnesty International for human rights violations took me off into the war zone for the day.

I was sending text messages to my sister saying "Hi Kate, Everything's fine, but if I'm found dead it was this guy. P.S. Don't tell Mum" and we ended up talking about how he liked to buy his underpants from Marks & Spencer vs. Next.

That and my entire career, from South Park to The Fast Show. And publishing The Worst Date Ever, a romantic comedy about war crime. That was taking the piss. What do you know about Australia?

Jane Bussmann: I learned everything from The Sullivans. It's all honour, decency and sharing one hamster pie between the whole family because there's a war on. What are you expecting from World's Funniest Island?

Jane Bussmann: Meeting a bunch of demented audience members after the show. That and a hangover. What are you going to say?

Jane Bussmann: Er, it's not your usual stand-up. It's a true story about interviewing horrible celebrities in Hollywood, which drove me so mad I ended up uncovering a war crime in Africa, so I'll be doing a traditional mix of Paris Hilton and Uganda comedy. Do you prefer writing or performing? Why?

Jane Bussmann: Performing because you meet more people. And you can do it drunk. Tell us the best and worst thing about working on South Park.

Jane Bussmann: Best was when Matt or Trey slip into character and suddenly Cartman is in the room -- being far filthier than he's allowed to be on television. That and seeing some of the stuff that doesn't get broadcast.

Worst was the easy-access plastic crate of chocolate in the middle of the writer's table. Fistfuls of the stuff. How close to your personality are the characters you did in the Cartoon Wars episodes?

Jane Bussmann: Well they work fast and furious so finding pages of a script in front of me was a total shock. I certainly wasn't the best man for the job but it was one for the memories. Lois from Family Guy is more mellow than me but I do have a thing for fat blokes. How much creative control did you have over their voices?

Jane Bussmann: I'm bloody amazed they managed to make me sound remotely like her, I think I must have had more vocoder on my voice than Cher. Favourite TV show you've worked on?

Jane Bussmann: South Park or Brass Eye. Just watching three geniuses unleashing utter mischief in the cowardly, snivelling world of telly and being so fucking funny no snivelling cowardly execs could stop them. Favourite TV show you haven't worked on?

Jane Bussmann: The Goodies. Anarchy at tea time. Who wouldn't want to sail into the sea on a tin of beans? Plus they're lovely, self-deprecating, nutty men. I'm hoping to have lots of shandies with them at World's Funniest Island this weekend. We've read that you accidentally emailed bullet points for an article about Ugandan guerrilla leader Joseph Kony to Sean Hayes aka Jack from Will & Grace. Is that true?

Jane Bussmann: I'm afraid so. I was sending the most important article in my career, unfortunately I also had major traveller's stomach and had been working as a celebrity journalist so a mix of bacteria and showbiz rotted my brain. He never got it though as it was two email addresses mixed up, Pity as I think Sean Hayes probably has a sensible take on Ugandan warlords. Do you have to adapt your material for different countries and cultures, and if so, how?

Jane Bussmann: Yes, if only because no one hates the wankers in your local Starbucks as much as you do. Finally, is it Jane Bussmann or Jane Bussman and why the discrepancy over the double N?

Jane Bussmann: It's two Ns as my dad's side of the family were German so it's the German spelling. But they lost the war so no one thinks to put two Ns on quite rightly. And as I am so rude about Germans generally, I've lost the right of complaint. My mum occasionally calls me Kate so I'm past caring. Most people call me Busso anyway.

Jane Bussmann is performing at the World's Funniest Island comedy festival this weekend. Catch her hilariously insightful show at 5:30pm Saturday or Sunday at the "Mold Loft" stage.

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