Australian comedian Judith Lucy quits stand-up comedy for good

Much-loved Australian comedian Judith Lucy has dropped a career bombshell: She’s quitting stand-up comedy for good.

Lucy has been a fixture of the Australian stand-up circuit for more than 30 years, but in a candid new piece published by the ABC, the 54-year-old says she feels it’s time to retire from live comedy.

“I’m done. I’m saying goodbye to something that has defined me more than anything else – stand-up comedy,” Lucy writes.

While she’s found writing stand-up shows a “cathartic” experience that’s helped her deal with everything from the death of her parents to relationship breakups, Lucy says that she re-examined her life during the pandemic “and realised I wasn’t very happy”.

She says she came to realise that the habits she’d relied on for many years – “drinking, smoking dope or watching hours of mindless TV” – were coping mechanisms to deal with the anxiety of her job.

Of her 35-year stand-up career, she writes: “No one has been holding a gun to my head. But it’s taken me nearly 35 years to realise that I can just … stop.”

She expanded further on her reasons for quitting stand-up in the latest episode of her podcast, Judith Lucy – Overwhelmed and Living, this week.

“I just can’t do it anymore … I’ve been stuck in a loop. I’m finally done with the constant anxiety, the self-medicating and the grind of touring. I also want to fly a lot less.

“I know, it’s not like I’m working in an Amazon factory, I should just get over myself. But I’ve lurched from one job, show, gig, to the next, and I just don’t want to live like that anymore,” she said.

“I don’t know how I’ll live, incidentally, because stand-up is how I make most of my money – but I’ll figure it out. Or I won’t, and you’ll see me doing stand-up on cruises at 82.”

Lucy’s fans shouldn’t be too despondent at this news, though: She promises she’ll continue writing and even performing in some capacity, but will “switch things up” so she’s not dealing with the downsides of regular stand-up touring.

Lucy has branched out from her stand-up comedy roots in recent years with a Sahu Newsof creative ventures, including writing several books, presenting TV shows, and launching her own podcast series.

Fans have flooded the comedian’s social media channels with messages of support about the career announcement.

“Thank you for everything you have given us as an audience. You are a big part of the reason I made decisions to look after myself and I am so glad you are doing this for yourself,” wrote one fan.

“Onya Jude. Do what’s right for you. Looking forward to what’s next for you, even if we only get the occasional postcard for a while. I hope it brings joy, contentment and a good laugh,” said another.

Next up for Lucy, another new venture: She will star in the Melbourne Theatre Company’s 2023 production of Samuel Beckett’s classic play Happy Days.

Originally published at

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