“No one wants me on their show except Hughesy.”
When comedian and radio presenter Em Rusciano spoke to fellow comedian Wil Anderson for his podcast in May last year, she joked that there was only one host on mainstream television who wants to include her: Dave Hughes.
“Look at panel shows,” she said, “and this is no disrespect to any actress or presenter, but there’s always a really well-established male comic, and then a pretty sidekick – who’s not a stand up.”
Rusciano suggested that perhaps some hosts are worried about having another funny, strong personality beside them.
Dave Hughes, however, is different.
If you’ve been watching the stand up comedian, radio host and television presenter’s career over the last two decades, you will have noticed a trend.
Unlike a number of men in Australia’s comedy scene, Hughes is almost always working alongside women.
For over 15 years, he’s worked with comedian Kate Langbroek on radio – both of whom now co-host Hughesy & Kate on the Hit Network.
In 2017, it was reported that Hughes took a pay cut to ensure he and Langbroek had pay parity, after learning she was being paid 40 per cent less than him for doing their show.
Speaking to Mamamia last week, Hughes described Langbroek as “brilliant”.
“You want to work with talented people – you need to work with talented women for their perspective,” he said. “Working with Kate… means we can take things into areas where we couldn’t go if it was two blokes.”
This is a philosophy he unequivocally brings with him to his comedy panel show, Hughesy We’ve Got a Problem.
His panel is almost always 50 per cent women.