Like I'm A Six-Year-Old

Comedian Tom Ballard sits down with politicians, activists, thinkers and comedians to try to talk, laugh, cry and argue about politics. You will learn things and get fired up and hear some swearing. Enjoy.
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Like I'm A Six-Year-Old








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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 30, 2015

James Fry is a writer whose debut novel, That Fry Boy, tells the story of his journey from a normal happy childhood to a violent white supremacist (and back again).

James kindly shared his story with me and we discuss what lessons it might hold for the current conversation about the radicalisation of young men by Muslim extremists.

Boundless Plains To Share at MICF 2016 

The World Keeps Happening at Perth Fringeworld 

My mailing list


That Fry Boy

James on Q&A 

Waleed Aly's editorial, ISIS Is Weak 


Cause of the Week: Medicine Sans Frontier (


Dec 22, 2015

My chat with the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby continues.

Things get heated as Lyle and I discuss the ACL's objections to the Safe Schools program and how we educate young people about sexual and gender diversity.

My Radio National documentary, How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Gay Bomb

The World Keeps Happening tour 2016

My chat with Lyle (Part One)


The Safe Schools Coalition

Lyle talks with Walt Heyer


Cause of the Week: Alliance for Gambling Reform (



Dec 17, 2015

Here's a quick taste of the in-depth radio investigation I put together for ABC Radio National.

In the mid-1990s, the US Air Force considered investing $7.5 million in the development of a 'Gay Bomb'—a chemical weapon designed to alter the enemy's sexual orientation.

When out-and-proud comedian Tom Ballard saw this story being referenced on one of his favourite TV shows, he thought it was hilarious. When he found out that it actually happened, he was gobsmacked.

So Tom decides to do some digging… and finds out a lot more than he bargained for.

After finally receiving security clearance from the very highest echelons of the American military, he can now officially bring you this unbelievable story: a story of political intrigue, secrets, betrayal, death and sex; a story that proves once and for all that truth is always stranger than fiction.

Listen and download the piece in full here


Dec 15, 2015

Merry Christmas everyone! To remind us all of the reason for the season, who better to talk to than the Managing Director of the Australian Christian LobbyLyle Shelton.

The ACL is a significant political force in Australian politics and Lyle and his team are active and determined about advocating on public policy issues from a faith perspective, from life issues to same-sex marriage to Australia's treatment of refugees. 

In the first part of this polite but passionate conversation, Lyle and I discussed the role faith should play in politics, evidence, reason, marriage, parenting and gender. 

The iTunes Top Podcasts of 2015

The World Keeps Happening tour 2016


Buzzfeed profile on Lyle

Kevin Andrews' Maybe I Do

A "reality check" for the Regenerus study on gay parenting

It's An Urban Myth That Same-Sex Couples And Married Heterosexuals Have Equal Rights by Tracey Spicer 

Cause of the Week: ChilOut Sydney fundraiser at Giant Dwarf Theatre


Dec 8, 2015

Activist Ali Hogg is the Victorian convenor of national marriage equality campaign Equal Love. She's proudly radically progressive and she's been leading the call for same-sex marriage in Australia for over a decade.

In this chat Ali talked me through her progressive upbringing, her personal experiences with homophobia, the Socialist Alternative, the next steps in the equal marriage debate, the ethics of protest and that time she charged into a restaurant on Lygon Street to confront former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

My 2016 show The World Keeps Happening touring to Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane & Melbourne 

ChilOut Sydney fundraiser at Giant Dwarf Theatre


The Socialist Alternative

Students stage a protest during Q&A

Article: Abbott not gay about dinner ambush

triple j says It Gets Better

Cause of the Week: Equal Love (


Dec 1, 2015

David Marr is a self-described "bourgeois do-gooder". He's written for Fairfax Media, The MonthlyThe Saturday Paper and Guardian Australia, appeared on Q&AThe Drum and Insiders and is the author of multiple in-depth profiles for the Quarterly Essay

In this second part of our chat, I ask David to outline the complex and bleak politics surrounding our policies towards refugees. Why are we so terrified of the boats? Why do our politicians stoke those fears? Is there any possibility of a solution? 

Part One of my conversation with David

A Very Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas

My 2016 stand-up show The World Keeps Happening at the Brisbane Comedy Festival

Dark Victory by David Marr and Marian Wilkinson 

Cause of the Week: Doctors Without Borders (



Nov 24, 2015

Respected journalist and MORTAL ENEMY OF GERARD HENDERSON (not really), David Marr is a self-described "bourgeois do-gooder". He's written for Fairfax Media, The MonthlyThe Saturday Paper and Guardian Australia, appeared on Q&AThe Drum and Insiders and is the author of multiple in-depth profiles for the Quarterly Essay

In this first part of our conversation, David tells me about who Bill Shorten is, Labor and the unions, why Australia is so late to progress, drugs, conservatism and right-wing commentators. Hot dang! 

A Very Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas

David's writing for Guardian Australia

David's writing for The Saturday Paper

David's Faction Man: Bill Shorten's Path To Power


Cause of the Week: Maternity Worldwide (



Nov 17, 2015

Peter Reith was a member of John Howard's cabinet from 1996 to 2001. He served as Minister for Small Business, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and the Minister for Defence. He's perhaps best known for formulating the GST policy and his roles in the 1998 waterfront dispute and the "children overboard" scandal. 

Peter's just released The Reith Papers, an annotated collection of his diary entries during his time in government. Here we got to discuss (and occasionally lock horns over) the notion of humanising politicians, the recent Paris attacks, military action in the Middle East, Australia's approach to processing refugees and the role of unions in today's society.

Me in conversation with Darren Hanlon for MyTunes at Giant Dwarf Theatre

A Very Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas


The Reith Papers available from Melbourne University Press

Peter on The Verdict  

Peter on ABC News Breakfast with Virginia Trioli

Cause of the Week: Enterprise Victoria (, the French Red Cross (


Nov 11, 2015

Comedian, writer and activist Aamer Rahman jokes about race and detention centres and terrorism and hip-hop and comic books and cultural appropriation. Formerly of the comedy duo Fear Of A Brown Planet (with previous guest Nazeem Hussain), he now tours his stand-up internationally being very funny and very on-point.

Here Aamer articulates how the Adam Goodes controversy sums up the issues of Australia's race problem, how he views the impact of his work, cultural appropriation, Iggy Azalea, ethnic faces on TV, Bill Maher, Cornel West and political correctness in comedy.

My gigs at the Comics’ Lounge this week

MyTunes with me and Darren Hanlon at Giant Dwarf Theatre

The A to Z of LGBT: my piece for SBS Sexuality


Article: What Adam Goodes’ Invisible Spear Shows Us by Aamer Rahman

Aamer’s Reverse Racism routine

Buzzfeed article on Aamer and the Bollywood Industry Party

Aamer & Cornel West in Q&A

Cause of the Week: Refugees, Survivors & Ex-Detainees (


Nov 2, 2015

Here's a live panel on where the jolly hell Australian politics is heading at the moment, recorded at This Is Not Art 2015 in Newcastle, as part of Critical Animals. The panel featured myself, Labor Senator Sam Dastyari and academic Professor James Arvanitakis and was moderated by Alice Workman from triple j's Hack program. 

We discussed political leadership, immigration, marriage equality and titles.

Critical Animals is a creative research symposium held annually as a part of tINA; find out more at

My episode of Q&A in Toowoomba 

First Tuesday Comedy Club

MyTunes with Darren Hanlon

The National Young Writers' Festival

triple j's Hack

Senator Sam Dastyari

Professor James Arvanitakis


Oct 18, 2015

At just 33, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young already has eight years of experience serving as a Greens Senator for South Australia in the federal parliament. Once a protégé of Bob Brown’s, Sarah now holds the portfolios of Immigration & Citizenship, LGBTI rights and Youth, Early Childhood Education & Childcare for the Greens.

In this chat, recorded just before Sarah took to the stage at a Rally for Refugees in Melbourne, we discuss the future of her party, her path from student politician to youthful senate candidate, the 2009 CTRS decision, party donations and the horrible shit she’s seen in her visits to offshore detention centres.

The Sydney Just For Laughs Stand Up Series

Danny Bhoy at the State Theatre In Sydney


Article: Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young partied at Mardis Gras with taxpayer money

Sarah on The Chaser's The Hamster Decides

Cause of the Week: Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (, No Business In Abuse (


Oct 9, 2015

It's been almost a year since a magistrate gave whistleblower Freya Newman a two-year good behaviour bond for “unauthorized access to information” under the NSW Crimes Act. Her leaking of private information about Frances Abbott, the prime minister’s daughter, receiving a $60,000 undeclared scholarship at the Whitehouse Institute, a private design school, ignited a furious public debate about privacy, privilege and the public’s right to know. 

At the National Young Writer’s Festival in Newcastle, I got to sit down with Freya and asked her to reflect on exactly how it all happened, what it’s like to be in the centre of a media shitstorm, the failings of the media’s handling of the issue, gaps in the law and whether or not she holds any regrets about the whole episode.

RJ Mitte event at the Athenaeum Theatre  

My shows at the Republic Bar in Hobart, Fresh Comedy in Launceston

Rally for Refugees this Sunday October 11th


Article on Freya: The Whistleblower  

Cause of the Week: Students Support The Aboriginal Communities (on FB), Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation (, Kyol Blakeney for Cleo Bachelor of the Year


Sep 27, 2015

After another bit of a delay and SOME JOLLY CRAZY HAPPENINGS in Australian politics, we’re back. Hello. 

Erik Jensen is the definition of “precocious”. He’s in his mid-twenties and he’s already won a Walkley Award and he’s responsible for the launch and editing the highly-respected Saturday Paper – a weekly, centrist newspaper dedicated to long-form narrative journalism.

Plus he’s written a critically-acclaimed biography of artist Adam Cullen, he likes cool music and is very funny. What an arsehole.

In this chat Erik tells me about his beginnings in and passion for journalism, the over-arching philosophy behind TSP, the media and bias, the Abbott government’s “paucity of ideas”, leaks and opinion polls and just where things might go with Malcolm Turnbull as our new Prime Minister.

My upcoming stand-up gigs

My blog on Just For Laughs & Edinburgh Festival Fringe



TSP Editorial: Kicking The Abbott

TSP Editorial: Close Nauru

TSP Editorial: Dutton For Punishment

Cause of the Week: The Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre (


Sep 5, 2015

Again, apologies for the delay, everyone. It's been a while, but I'm back with a doozy of an episode.  

Philip “Dr. Death” Nitschke has been the face of the controversial right-to-die debate in Australia for almost 20 years. He is the founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International and author of The Peaceful Pill Handbook – a book describing ways to commit suicide that has been banned in Australia.

I’ve always been fascinated by Philip’s arguments and his tenacity in presenting them. When I heard he was performing a one-man comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival about his life and various suicide techniques, I had to find out more and jumped at the chance to sit down with him.

Here Philip explains how he came to be performing this show, how he got involved in the euthanasia debate to begin with, his personal approach to death, his response to all the objections, censorship, the failings of modern medicine, “rational suicide”, what it’s like to help someone die and where he sees the debate going next.

My show Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred at the Soho Theatre


Dicing With Dr. Death reviewed in the Telegraph, on TV Bomb 

Trailer for The Last Cab To Darwin 

Article: The Death Treatment for The New Yorker 

Article: Don't Get Sucked In By Philip Nitschke by Chris Ilsey

Article: Philip Nitschke's Edinburgh Fringe show visited by police

Article: Euthanasia will fight devastates son

The Peaceful Pill Handbook on wikipedia

Causes of the Week: Exit International (, Voluntary Euthanasia Party (, Big Life Foundation (


Aug 24, 2015

Hello! I'm back! Sorry about the wait for a new episode. I'm in Scotland, so let's talk to a Scot. 

Kieran Hurley is a playwright and poet based in Glasgow. His work touches on the human stories involved in political events and he was a vocal supporter of the "YES" campaign in last year's referendum on Scottish independence.

Together Kieran and I talked about the UK government banning rave music in the 90s, the London riots, May's general election and what it means for British politics, Jeremy Corbyn, austerity, "Torycore", nationalism and why he's occasionally happy to be considered a "traitor".

My show Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (6 shows left!); at the Soho Theatre in September 

The Something Wonky podcast


Kieran on making Beats

Kieran's 25 Reasons for Voting "YES"

Tory-core explained

Lost Voice Guy's stand up

Lost Voice Guy's Disabilty For Dunces at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Cause of the Week: The Black Triangle Campaign (


Aug 4, 2015

I think Damien Power is one of the most exciting comedians in Australia right now. He opened for Tenacious D on their Australian tour a few years back (I saw the show and he crushed it) and his 2015 stand up show I Can’t Believe I Cared was nominated for the Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Damien’s comedy is not only hilarious, it’s extremely well-informed and socially conscious. In this chat we covered cats (shout-outs to Jerry the Persian), what the film Jurassic World tells us about capitalism and the growth economy, anarchy, conspiracy theories and the impending World War III that’s coming to obliterate us all. Enjoy!

My show Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe & the Soho Theatre in London

My Chortle piece on comedy and gay rights


Damien’s podcast, Power to the People

Slavoj Zizek's The Pervert's Guide To Ideology and The Pervert's Guide To Cinema 

Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States

A Short History of Stupid by Helen Razer & Bernard Keane

Cause of the Week: GetUp!’s campaign to shut down Manus Island and Nauru (


Jul 28, 2015

Van Badham exudes passion for political action. She’s a playwright, novelist, columnist for The Guardian, proud union member and vocal activist who’s appeared on Q&A, The Drum and Radio National.

Van outlined the case against the federal government’s approach to arts funding and spoke to me about the importance of the arts to a society’s understanding of itself, our lazy attitude to democracy, politicians’ failure to listen to the people, asylum seekers, education, taxes, why the marriage equality debate gives her hope and tackling trolls.

Wil Anderson & I talking about roasting Jimmy Carr on FOFOP

My show Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred at Phoenix FringeEdinburgh Festival Fringe and the Soho Theatre



Van’s pieces for Guardian Australia

Article: Extremist groups wilt under public scrutiny by Van Badham

Jean-Paul Sartre’s Dirty Hands (Le Mains sans)

Richard Marles on Q&A, July 6th

Causes of the Week: Yes2Renewables (, Sisters & Brothers NT Launch Pozible campaign



Jul 21, 2015

Rod Quantock recently received a Medal of the Order of Australia for his 45+ years of being an outspoken comedian/environmentalist activist/shit-stirrer. He is a living legend of Australian comedy who has relentlessly used his work to explain, dissect and call out political issues that really piss him off.

In this wide-ranging chat, Rod told me about his thoughts on music, his political radicalisation, the origins of his groundbreaking shows Tram and Bus, the community campaigns he’s been involved with, being physically beaten at a protest at the 2000 World Economic Forum, his plans to close down the Murdoch press, how he keeps faith in the political system (or doesn’t) and how the realities of climate change colour his view of the future.

My show Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred at Phoenix Fringe, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Soho Theatre

Catch CO2: A TedX Talk by Rod Quantock 

What Happened Miss Simone? trailer

The Last Tim Tam pozible campaign

Save The Planet political party

Cause of the Week: Quit Coal (


Jul 14, 2015

Tim Wilson is a former policy director at the Institute of Public Affairs, Australia's Human Rights Commissioner, public commentator and tea-drinker. He describes himself as a economic and social liberal and a cultural and institutional conservative. He's passionate about his principles and isn't afraid to wade into whatever controversy those principles might him lead to.

Together we discussed the criticisms he's faced since taking on his role at the AHRC, asylum seeker policy, what it's really like at the IPA, his opposition to plain packaging cigarettes, the balance of marriage equality and religious freedoms, anti-discrimination legislation and his thoughts on the recent Q&A controversy. 

My show Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred at Phoenix Fringe, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Soho Theatre

Tim on The Fifth Estate podcast with Sally Warhaft


The Australian Human Rights Commission

The Forgotten Children Report

The Resilient Individuals Report

Article: Tony Abbott's human rights man Tim Wilson racks up $77000 in expenses

Culture War Two: conservatives get high on their own supply by Jason Wilson

Tim Wilson: Freedom Fighter by Tim Elliott 

Religious freedom and same-sex marriage need not be incompatible by Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson on Q&A episode Radicalisation, Religion & Recognition

Cause of the Week: The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (


Jul 7, 2015

Vegan lawyer Shatha Hamade is a former prosecutor for the RSPCA and is now the Head of Investigations for Animals Australia. She's passionate about advocating for animal rights and challenging social conditioning when it comes to the way we treat our fellow earthlings.

In this chat (recorded in the AA offices, where DOGS JUST RUN AROUND FREELY IT IS SO COOL) we discuss her "wake-up" moment, the kind of godawful abuses she's witnessed, the law's approach to animals accoridng to their "use", inherited thinking, the links between animal cruelty and a myriad of other social problems, the live export and live baiting investigations and the non-humans right movement. 

A warning: animal cruelty is described in explicit detail here, some listeners may find it disturbing. 

The Wanda Sykes Gala at Just For Laughs 2015

Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred at London's Soho Theatre in September

My opinion piece: Eric Abetz is confused about marriage equality

Article: Pets at work policies proving beneficial for both humans and dogs



Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer  

Article: How Lyn White rewrote the rules on animal welfare

The "zombie steak"

The Yulin dog-eating festival

The Conquest: A Cane Toad Documentary

Video: Restore your faith in humanity - humans saving animals

TED Talk: Chimps have feelings and thoughts. They should also have rights by Steven Wise

The Non-Human Rights Project

Cause of the Week: Animals Australia (


Jun 30, 2015

Dan Ilic is a political satirist who employs what he calls “evidence-based shit-stirring”. He loves taking the piss in all sorts of media; his sensibilities can be found in The Ronnie Johns Half-Hour, Can of Worms, The Mansion, Hungry Beast, his ads for GetUp!, his labour of love satire collective A Rational Fear and more recently his work for Al Jazeera’s AJ+

In this chat (recorded in a very SPECIAL LOCATION featuring a SPECIAL CAMEO), Dan and I reflect on the furore surrounding Q&A and discuss his amazing family story, how his “inner rage” fuels him to do what he does, the saga surrounding his piece (that was originally titled) Beaconsfield: A Musical In A Flat Minor, why he recently got fired and where he sees Australian political satire going in the future.

My show at the 2015 Phoenix Fringe in London

Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015

Article: ABC cowers in the face of Q&A fallout by Jonathan Holmes

Article: Malcolm Turnbull doesn't understand the concept of an independent broadcaster by Jonathan Holmes

Article: Democracy means even a jerk get a say by Annabel Crabb

The Saturday Paper Editorial: Furore over ABC's Q&A mishandled

Article: Arrogant ABC's left bias lets down taxpayers by Janet Albrechtsen ($)


A Rational Fear on Facebook

Sketch: Where the bloody hell are you?

Sketch: David Hicks on MTV’s Cribs

Sketch: Censordyne

Sketch: Fuel Watch

Sketch: Climate Cleverer

Sketch: The National Muslim Hotline

Sketch: Jihadi Joe

Sketch: Corby’s Political Fix-O-Kit

Bad Ground: Inside The Beaconsfield Rescue by Tony Wright 

Media reaction to Beaconsfield: The Musical

AJ+ on youtube

Cause of the Week: Sanfilippo Children's Foundation (


Jun 23, 2015

Waleed Aly (aka Nazeem Hussain) is a politics lecturer, columnist, author, radio broadcaster and co-host on Channel Ten's The Project.

Waleed has an extraordinary reputation for making considered and insightful contributions to public debate. We discussed how he's finding the world of commercial television, how the act of writing informs his ideas, the political philosophy of conservatism (what it is and what it isn't), marriage equality, Middle Eastern politics and why ISIS' appeal to young Muslim people in the West might be working. 

At one point I hit the mic with my hand and at another point a chair collapses. 

Barack Obama on WTF

Q&A: Between A Frock And A Hard Place

Waleed Aly's writing for Fairfax

Daily Mail Article on Waleed's on-air joke

Waleed's editorial: How Chan and Sukumaran of the Bali 9 Were Let Down

Waleed's editorial: Australia's Renewable Energy Target Failure

Bill Maher's monologue on political correctness

What's Right? The Future of Conservatism in Australia by Waleed Aly

Q&A episode featuring Zaky Mallah

Cause of the Week: Possible Dreams International ( 


Jun 16, 2015

This week - something a bit different. 

I am a very big fan of former Bluejuice frontman, comedian and broadcaster Jake Stone and feel very lucky indeed to count him as a friend. I think he's extremely funny and creative but also has a darkness and a brutal honesty to him that I find fascinating. 

This chat - recorded back in January of this year - covers Jake's career with Bluejuice, the band's philosophy, the state of today's music industry, the major break-up in his life that inspired him so much and stilll haunts him, mental health issues and the experiecne of writing a good pop song. 

Jake even kindly gave me a special little musical treat, just for this podcast: his cover of How Will I Know?. Enjoy! 

My upcoming dates on the MICF Roadshow

ABC's Q&A Special: Between A Frock And A Hard Place (hosted by me) 


Embankments on soundcloud

Cause of the Week: Music NSW (


Jun 9, 2015

Newsreader, journalist, writer and philanthropist Tracey Spicer doesn't tolerate make-up, God, prudishness or sexism in the workplace. She rips through bullshit with a smile and had stories to burn from her time studying, working in the trenches at Channel Ten and Sky News and her colourful personal life.

Tracey told me about how liberating it is to shake off the image of the "perfect" newsreader, how Joh Bjelke-Petersen inspired her to become a journalist, the issue of bias in journalism, her work as an ambassador for World Vision and the time she almost killed her mum.

My upcoming dates on the MICF Roadshow

Q&A's forthcoming special panel on Between A Frock And A Hard Place 


Tracey on the ABC's Confession Booth podcast  

Daily Mail Article: Tracey Spicer's VERY spicy confessions

Article: What If We Admitted To Children That Sex Is Primarily About Pleasure? by Alice Dreger 

Article: I'm Sorry I Didn't Kill You, Mum

The Lady Stripped Bare: A TED Talk by Tracey Spicer 

Cause of the Week: Dying With Dignity (


Jun 2, 2015

Nic Holas is a moustached writer and advocate living with HIV. He's written for JunkeeHello Mr.Star ObserverCosmopolitan and others, he's appeared on the ABC's Q&A and he's co-founded a social media umbrella for positive people. 

He's fearless, frank and funny and I love him for it. In this chat Nic shared his story about becoming positive and we discussed the ins and outs of what HIV is, the spectre of the 80s epidemic, shame, sex education, the problem with condoms, same-sex marriage and wolf-daddies. 

My upcoming dates on the MICF Roadshow 

Windsor's Way by Tony Windsor 

Photo Opp with Julia Gillard at Giant Dwarf Theatre


Hello Mr magazine

Holding The Man by Tim Conigrave 

Article: How Do We Solve A Problem Like Condoms

Cause of the Week: The Institute of Many (


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