This comedian leaves nothing on the ‘back berner’

Nothing on the "back berner": Peter Berner is one of Australia’s most popular stand-up comics but he also paints, writes books and produced TV shows. He'll perform at the Oatley Hotel on September 26.
Nothing on the "back berner": Peter Berner is one of Australia’s most popular stand-up comics but he also paints, writes books and produced TV shows. He'll perform at the Oatley Hotel on September 26.

When it comes to making the most of his many talents, one comedian leaves nothing on the “back berner”.

Peter Berner is one of Australia’s most popular and respected stand-up comics and media entertainers but he is also an accomplished artist and published author.

Berner’s television hosting roles have included the ABC’s Backberner and The Einstein Factor plus the Comedy Channel’s You Have Been Watching and Sky News’ The B Team with Peter Berner.

He has also hosted radio programs on Triple M and 2UE.

When he’s not on radio or television Berner has also found the time to author two books — The Book of He (2015) and The Book of They (2017).

He is also a painter of some renown with his entry Self-portrait with Hindsight selected as an Archibald Prize finalist this year.

“I make art. I sell art. It gives me great peace and joy,” Berner said.

“And there are people who also like my art and want to pay me money for it, and I am grateful for that because it gives me the chance to keep making the art.

“I think in pictures. Every week, I provide a cartoon to Alternative Media Group, and I sell my artworks at Orson & Blake. 

“But whether anyone buys my work or not, I would keep doing it just for me.”

After beginning his stand-up career back in 1988, Berner has spent the past three decades honing his craft to become one of the country’s most popular and respected comics.

He is known for his intelligent humour and ability to straddle comedy styles as disparate as satire, observational comedy and reactive comedy with ease.

Berner’s stage presence is that of an intelligent and articulate comedian but he has no problem putting loudmouths back in their place.  

“I am forever perplexed by the idea of a heckler,” Berner said. “No other art form tolerates them the way stand-up does. 

“No one pounds on the keyboards while Billy Joel is playing with a stupid look on their face and saying ‘Mate, I was helping you out’. 

“But if they continue to interrupt I'm left with no alternative than to make them feel lower than a footprint - which I will do.”

  • Catch Peter Berner at the Oatley Hotel on September 26 at 8.30pm.