Ben “Frenchy” French sounded tired on the phone for his interview, but it was warranted because he’d just returned from Scotland’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival – the world’s largest arts festival.
Despite the bleary eyes and jet lag the former teacher was “still on a high” from his third time at the event which doubles as a trade show for performers.
“I’m still in party mode, really my life is always a Friday,” he said.
The comedian notched up 26 shows in a row, some of them sell outs while one had just eight people in the audience.
There’s plenty of time for sleeping and rollerblading, don’t you worry.Ben 'Frenchy' French
"That’s an awkward amount of people for the type of jokes I do because they’re pretty rude. But generally they got around the Australian humour, they’ve definitely heard it in action before,” Frenchy said.
Although his Unleashed show was tried and tested at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and in New Zealand, the funny man did had to tweak some of the jokes and ditch others altogether while in the UK.
This was mainly due to the unique references to Aussie culture while some jokes simply weren’t getting enough laughs.
This year has been about honing his craft as a stand-up comedian while branching out into other areas like attending film school, as Frenchy admitted his viral fame may have peaked.
“I think the new kids on the scene are more exciting for people … I just can’t keep making crappy little Facebook videos forever; I’m trying to do the best stand-up, drop an album later and write a TV show,” he said.
“Though there’s plenty of time for sleeping and rollerblading, don’t you worry.”
Regardless of needing to branch out, Frenchy is proud of his rise to fame through the Internet and gaining enough followers so he could give up on teaching and pursue comedy full time.
He now has 1.4 million Facebook followers and nearly 300,000 YouTube subscribers.
“People aren’t watching as much TV anymore and nowadays I think executives and networks they try to tell [people] who they should and what they should watch,” Frenchy said.
“That’s why I’m more proud of the way how I do my career comedy because it’s literally the audience decides everything. I put a video out there and they either like it or not or they’re either going to come to my show or not.
“It’s just me against the world.”
Frenchy brings his ‘Unleashed’ show to the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Saturday September 23, 8pm.