Adam Hills is an Australian comedian, radio and TV presenter. Hills has appeared on Australian and British television and is best known in Australia for his as the host to the music trivia show, Spicks and Specks. Hills is also known as the host to Adam Hills Tonight and is known in Britain for his work on the TV show, The Last Leg. Hills has been nominated for an Edinburgh Comedy Award and Gold Logie Award.
Hills began performing as a stand-up comedian in 1989, at the young age of just 19, and since 1997, has produced ten ten solo shows, which have toured internationally. Hills has performed at some of the most prestigious events and venues in the UK, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as well as the Montreal Just For Laughs festival. Performing at these events has earned Hills three consecutive Award nominations for his Edinburgh shows in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
In 2002, Hills scored a minor hit in Australia 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 song by Australian rocker, Jimmy Barnes. Hills’ first appearance in comedy scene was in 1989 at the Sydney Comedy Store. He did breakfast radio on SAFM in Adelaide alongside stand-up gigs, and by mid-90s 90s, he had decided to focus on live comedy. In 1997, Hills premiered Stand Up and Deliver, the first of 10 solo shows, all of which have toured internationally. Hills has travelled widely, performing at the
The title of Hills’ 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 audience member yelled Go You Big Red Fire Engine! The phrase quickly became an audience chant, and Hills promised that he would make it the name of his next show. As promised, Hills named his second show, Go You Big Red Fire Engine. This appeared in a Detroit Newspaper, on a Swedish website and was shouted by Senator Natasha Stott Despoja in the Australian Parliament.
Hills’ 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, that he began incorporating it into his act. Hills said that 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 – he wanted to prove himself as a comic before talking about this’.
Hills regularly performs alongside Leanne Beer, an Auslan sign interpreter at his festival shows, a move sparked by a performance that he did in Adelaide at a disability art conference. An entrepreneur had been provided at the show, and Hills discovered that it not only allowed the deaf audience members to enjoy his material, but was also an entertaining experience for the hearing audience members.
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