Randy. Picture: Supplied

If you've only seen talking felt funnyman Randy as one half of the comedy duo Sammy J & Randy, then you've only seen him on his best behaviour.

On the other hand, Randy is Sober is the purple people-pleaser both solo and salacious as he admits to a long and glorious battle with the bottle.

"I was a notorious booze-hound for many years," the cotton-bunted comedian confesses on the phone. "I was drinking pretty much every day for about 20 years and I loved it! I was a great booze hound! It wasn't a struggle at all. But then one day I just stopped drinking and really went the whole nine yards on the self-improvement thing. I changed my diet. I changed my exercise. I had a lot of spare time on my hands without being hungover or s... faced."

Yet the bawdy baldy wants to point out that Randy is Sober, which plays at the Perth Fringe Festival's Spiegeltent over the Australia Day long weekend, isn't just drinking stories or the horrors of alcoholism. The former souse, who is still "swinging single," says the show is much faster and looser than his usual gigs with Sammy J. No one is safe and nothing is sacred.

"It's classic Randy," he chirps. "It's all about the delights of being booze-free and all the things I do to fill in the sober times. Things like rock climbing, macrame, jujitsu, skateboarding and Pilates, where I can get my legs right up behind my head!

"It still has a point and a narrative and twist at the end, but mostly I'll play with the crowd, muck around and do some local material."

The smiley-faced wit has been on the road "ever since Sammy J stitched me up" in 2008. The duo became regulars on shows such as Good News Week, Q&A and The 7PM Project and won Australia's top live comedy gong, the Barry Award, for Sammy J and Randy in Ricketts Lane at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2010.

Clearly Australia's hardest-working humorist with ping-pong ball eyes, Randy says his solo shows will never replace his work with his "skinny compadre Sammy J".

"We've been churning out a lot of material and getting a lot of stuff done. We've just released Sammy J and Randy's Difficult First Album and we're hitting the road with it soon."

For now, the funny purple people-pleaser is looking forward to being in "very silly spirits" for his first Perth solo show.

"I've never done a show at Perth Fringe World either, but people here say amazing things about it. So I'm very excited to get over there and get amongst it, Perth style. But if it's s... I'm going to be pretty devastated and tell everyone."

The West Australian

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