What You Need To Know:
I’m a comedian, author, columnist, satirist,
professional troublemaker, multimedia artist and recreational sadist.
I’m also an anarchic improviser and insult comic,
(which is the same as being a sadist, except my slaves are the whole audience.)
I’ve headlined shows all over the world,
done a TEDx talk,
performed at events from gaming conventions
to anti-suicide fundraisers,
been published in horror anthologies,
hosted two years of the UK’s only videogame TV show,
been the world’s greatest cosplay host (terrible crowd surfer, though),
and done it all while being better dressed than the average vampire.
I first came to public attention in 2003, when I went down to Australian Idol and
faked a seizure on national television.
(Got plenty of attention, no royalties, met my wife by doing it.
Who needs Tinder when you have problems?)
In 2012, I created “The Dark Room“, an interactive YouTube game that went viral.
After 4,000,000 hits, I turned the game
into a live comedy show at Edinburgh Fringe 2012.
It has a cult following of people who call themselves Darrens.
Don’t ask questions.
The Dark Room was the cult hit of that year’s festival. I was offered projects by Hat Trick Productions and PIAS, and The Dark Room has since become the world’s only live-action videogame.
Now it and I tour places and events like the Soho Theatre, Insomnia Gaming Expo, Comic Relief, London Comic-Con, Download music festival, fringe festivals, your house and corporate events.
My kick-ass clothes are made by Gallery Serpentine
and yours should be, too.
“**** his material is edgy, intelligent and smoothly-delivered… this is astute, amoral stand-up for the morbidly inclined” – The Age
I’ve been a stand-up since I was 17. They started paying me that year. I got good at it when I was 23.
I got really good at it when I was 26.
I’m 32 now and people fly me places to make them laugh.
They should see the shabby airlines they pay for, that’ll do it.
I laugh every time I land and then I kiss the ground the way the Pope used to
(but with more tongue, let’s be fair.)
(In fact, I kiss the ground so hard and superbly that wherever I go
the land becomes fertile. Droughts have been broken just
by me turning up.)
From 2008 – 2011, I was the Australian tour support for Mark Watson, Wayne Brady, Rob Schneider, Steve-O from Jackass and, one time, grandma-bothering Australian music heartthrob Daryl Braithwaite, who enjoyed my act so much he didn’t let me go on before him.
Since 2006, I’ve created a new live show every year.
In reverse order, they are:
2017: Nineteen Ninety Seven (Edinburgh Fringe)
2016: Arena Spectacular (nominated Edinburgh Fringe
Amused Moose Award, Fringeworld)
2016: The Dark Room 4.0 (Udderbelly London, EdFringe, Nottingham Comedy Festival, Leicester Comedy Fest, Magners International Comedy Festival, Insomnia Festival, Southbound)
2015: Let’s Redecorate! (Edinburgh Fringe, Leicester Comedy Fest)
2015: The Dark Room 3.0 (Udderbelly London, EdFringe, Soho Theatre)
2014: A Nifty History of Evil (Edinburgh Fringe, Brighton Fringe
2014: The Dark Room 2.0 (Winner – Argus Angel, Brighton Fringe)
2013: The Dark Room (Edinburgh Fringe)
2012: The Dark Room (Edinburgh Fringe)
2011: Dragon Punch (Edinburgh Fringe, Winner – Best Show – Wild West Comedy Festival, Supanova Pop Culture Expo)
2010: A Nifty History of Evil (Edinburgh Fringe, Winner – Critic’s Choice – Wild West Comedy Festival)
2009: Don’t Swallow (Blue Room Theatre,
Nominated Biggest Box Office 2009)
2008: Love Of A Pitiful Instrument (Blue Room Theatre)
2006: Killing Hun in the Sun (Rechabites Hall, Nominated Equity Award – Best New Play)
In the last few years, I’ve toured the Netherlands, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Singapore, Germany, the Philippines and Hong Kong, performed corporate shows for the BBC, 7thingsmedia, EB Games Australia, the Australian Web Awards, Game and Rio Tinto – and worked in clubs around the planet, including The Comedy Store, Glee, Off The Kerb, Jongleurs, Manfords, Comedy For Depression @ Union Chapel, The Stand, Sydney Comedy Store, NCF, Top Secret Comedy Club, Soho Comedy Club, XS Malarkey, Trapdoor Comedy, Sit-Down Comedy Club, TakeOut Comedy Hong Kong, The Mic In Hand, Local Laughs, Spleen Bar, Brisbane Powerhouse, Happy Endings Sydney, The Laugh Resort, Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den, Purple Cactus, Baby Blue Banana Budapest, Komedia, The Comedy Lounge, The Rhino Room, His Majesty’s Theatre (Perth), Funhouse Comedy, NCF Comedy, Eminent Banter, The Comedy Club, Soho Comedy Club, Top Secret Comedy Club, The Comic’s Lounge, The Old Manly Boatshed, The Comedy Hour, Packsaddle Comedy, Enmore Theatre and Leicester Square Theatre.
“A manic and quick-witted revelation… if you only see one Perth-born set this year, make it John Robertson.” – The Scotsman, “a ridiculously entertaining hour” – Kate Copstick, “***** – if your tastes run to the dark, you must see this show – British Comedy Guide, **** “stylish, alternative, funny” – Chortle, “Brilliant, bemusing and bloodthirsty” – Metro, “A cult is born” – Bruce Dessau, “That he’s a skilled stand-up is plain to see”- The List, “A hotly- tipped comedian for a good reason… he strides onto the stage giving precisely zero fucks”- The Skinny, “**** a triumph” – Herald Sun
My dad was a journalist, so to make him proud (and also money), I’ve written op-ed pieces for Cleo, Vice, The Huffington Post, SBS Comedy and The List. Have a peek at a Vice article here.
For a giggle, here’s one from SBS Comedy.