It was Jalen’s friends who encouraged him to enter the competition which saw him win the $2000 grand prize as well as enjoy a trip to Melbourne to meet his comedy idols. A Darumbal man hailing from Townsville, the multi-talented Jalen is living in Brisbane while he studies singing and guitar at the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts.
When did you first realise that you were a bit of comedian?
I guess I’ve always had the funny side of my personality and everything, like making jokes with people and making everyone laugh. I never really considered putting it into a story or a skit and performing in front of people.
So how did you get involved in Deadly Funny?
I guess I just wanted to try something new, and everyone was like, 'oh Jalen, you said that you would get up and do Deadly Funny this year and just give it a go' so I was like 'OK why not?' So I just ended up getting up and doing it and I made it to the National Final and ended up winning.
Your performance was titled ‘Big, Brown and Lovely’ and you even put your body on the line for the show – what message were you trying to share with the audience?
Well my performance was all over the place with what I was talking about, but I spoke about things that everyone can relate to I guess. So one of my stories was how all us people from North Queensland don’t like frogs, so I told everyone the story about what happened when I was younger with a frog. Also singing in the shower, how we all think we are massive superstars, so I kind of did that and sang a song.
For my final story I stripped: it was ‘traditional Aboriginal modeling’. I said imagine if we had traditional models, they would model lap-laps and spears and boomerangs and everything.
So I told the DJ to hit the track ‘Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough’, and I just started stripping off.
Obviously your mum is very proud, how did she react when you told her?
Mum is stoked, she can’t believe it, she is over the moon! Mum is just reposting everything and sharing it all over and over again. I know everyone gets the point that I won but Mum I think wants to rub it in that I’m her son.
Did you get to meet any of your comedy idols?
I guess the Australian comedians that I enjoy are Kevin [Kropinyeri] and Uncle Sean [Choolburra] and they were there for the final: Kevin was the MC and Sean did a skit. Sean got me up when he was performing and he got an old fella out of the crowd and dressed him up and we sang ‘It’s Tricky’. He got me up side of stage and said 'stay in your lap-lap and I’ll call you back up to do this'. It was awesome, I enjoyed it.
The 10th Annual Deadly Funny Final was held on April 16, 2016, at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne.