Lano & Woodley: Australia’s beloved comedy duo

Colin Lane and Frank Woodley were Lano & Woodley, an Australian comedy duo active from 1986 to 2006.

Lano & Woodley were known for their stand-up and slap-stick. They also created, wrote, and acted in their own TV show The Adventures of Lano & Woodley, which aired in 1997 and 1999 on the ABC.

Although I came to the Lano & Woodley party rather late, I’ve found some of their TV show online, and it is so great. It is the sort of show that you’d quote at the water cooler, and re-enact whilst tipsy at the staff party. The duo only created 13 episodes, but their show is still remembered fondly by Australians more than 10 years later.

During their 20-year career, they performed numerous shows at festivals around the world, and in 1994 won the Edinburgh Comedy Festival Perrier Award (Main Award). Their shows were generally sketch-based, but with a plot holding things together, and often included songs, creative props, and lots of falling over (mostly by Frank).

Their 2004 show The Island was released on DVD and is WELL worth a watch. It is one of the best shows I’ve seen (I’m sure it was even better live). The whole thing is also up on YouTube:

In 2006, Lano & Woodley decided to call it quits, to focus on their solo careers. They had a big bash to say goodbye, and their final performance was at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. I love the sleeping bag dance (starts at 4:20):

After that performance, Colin and Frank both went off and developed solo shows. In my opinion, Frank has been a lot more successful in this than Col.

Frank has been doing stuff like this:

Colin meanwhile has been doing things like:

In 2008, Frank performed Possessed at the MICF, a solo show in which he played the ghost of an Irish lass and the man who gets possessed by her. Or something. It sounded like a great show. This year, I saw his show Bewilderbeest, which was a mish-mash of comedy songs, skits, and slap-stick. It was pretty funny, but it definitely felt like a mish-mash; I would have preferred a narrative or SOMETHING holding everything together.

That being said, Bewilderbeest was MUCH better than Colin Lane’s show I’m Not Sure About the Music which was supposed to be about him exploring popular music but ended up being a crappy cabaret show with no direction. Fail.

Although perhaps their heyday is over, I am curious to see what the future holds for Colin Lane and Frank Woodley. As a duo, they leave behind a legacy that will not soon be forgotten. As solo performers, we will just have to wait and see…

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About whoseroses

Rose is an arts administrator from Victoria, BC. She has worked at some of Canada's biggest and best festivals, including the Victoria Fringe Festival, Just for Laughs in Montreal, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and the Victoria Film Festival. She co-founded the Winnipeg Spoken Word Festival, and helps produce the Victoria Spoken Word Festival. Rose is a graduate of Camosun College's Applied Communication Program, and is passionate about theatre, spoken word, comedy, and her community. She runs on festivals.
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One Response to Lano & Woodley: Australia’s beloved comedy duo

  1. Matt Sutton says:

    Frank is definitely the funnier of the two. 🙂

    You know, I was actually there at their final ever show together for the Goodbye tour. It was bitter sweet. They had this rack that they used to hang up their coats and Frank’s hat on at the end of the show. Very touching.

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