When Aussie comedian Josh Thomas made it in Hollywood, he found one major part that 'sucks'.

Content warning: This post deals with the topic of suicide. 

Josh Thomas is very, very funny.

He's built a name for himself in comedy and television not only in Australia, but in the US too.

His one big takeaway from working in Hollywood? "Hanging out with uber successful people sucks."

"I hate complaining about LA, because everyone complains about LA. I thought it was going to be really cool when I moved there, but it's just so empty," Thomas explains on Mamamia's But Are You Happy podcast.

Listen: Josh Thomas On Why Hollywood Is A Recipe for Misery. Post continues after audio. 

"Everyone is thinking about their five-year plan, every party there's someone trying to secure a project or thinking about their next step. I just don't want to live like that."

Thomas says even the design of the city "sucked", because the rich people who live in Hollywood Hills literally look down on you. But that's not to say the wealthy are intrinsically happy people.

"Every super rich person I've met, they can't trust that anybody likes them for them. One time I went to brunch at one famous person's house. They were really funny and nice. But I looked around the table and it was just myself and three girls who were this person's producers. This celebrity barely knew any of us, they clearly didn't really have friends."

Watch the trailer for Josh Thomas' Please Like Me. Post continues below.

Video via ABC.

Lately, Thomas has been touring the world with his new comedy show, which is about his experience of autism and ADHD. 

"Eye contact to autistic people feels very, very intense. If I'm talking to somebody that I feel really safe with and I'm really comfortable with, then eye contact can be great. But genuinely it's just very daunting. I also don't think most people are in their head as much as I am in social situations. It's a generalisation and I feel like people will be mad at me anytime I say anything about autistic people," says Thomas.

It's almost like Thomas has this built-in level of intimacy with people he meets. They know where he's coming from; they get his personality and his humour. 

He notes on But Are You Happy: "I think I'm really lucky that I'm famous. I didn't like it when I was younger, but going into social interactions and people kind of knowing who I am, that really helps me socially. I don't want to sound like I think everybody I talk to knows who I am. But enough people do that I can skip the weird part of having to explain myself."

Thomas describes himself as incredibly honest and straightforward.

But in a culture where feedback can quickly morph into overwhelming backlash, Thomas admits there have been times in his career where he was nervous to speak on those 'hot button' topics that he's passionate about, such as sexuality, mental health, and neurodiversity.

"Everyone is scared of being cancelled. But then everyone's been cancelled so many times by now that you kind of realise that it's going to be okay," he explains.


At the age of 17, Thomas started doing standup. He learned early on that it feels safer to just talk about yourself with comedy.

"You can't get mad at me for telling a story about my life. I did a whole show about my mum attempting suicide, and that's a personal story. That's the safer story to tell, as long as she's happy about it. Where I get nervous is when I start to talk about the world or what other people are doing."

Please Like Me is an Australian comedy-drama television series. It follows a character, aptly named Josh, who is navigating his first decade of adulthood. He comes to the realisation he is gay, tries to care for his mother who is bi-polar and sometimes suicidal, and he grapples with other big life events. 


When Thomas was a teenager himself, his mother attempted suicide. He says that when making his own show years later, he wanted to represent that experience and the complexities behind it.

"I see it as someone having like a disorder — they're not thinking straight, she couldn't help herself," he notes.

"It's not just a given that I'm going to have this brain for the rest of my life. When my mum was also 36, she wasn't bipolar, she was fine. She was a really happy person. So when things go wrong, I'm now like to myself, 'You have to be really careful not to fall down that spiral. I don't think anybody can get bipolar, but some people can."

Thomas' mum is "great now", and they've spoken about it deeply together.

"I've had conversations with my mum about it. I've written about it in the show. It still doesn't make any sense. And that's how I survived it, by knowing it's an illness."

Thomas overall is a pretty happy person. He describes himself as "not ambitious", saying if he can continue to make some TV shows and do a comedy tour or two, he'll be sweet.

"People thinking that things need to be great all the time is crazy. Things are fine. And that's good."

You can listen to the full conversation on But Are You Happy now

Feature Image: Instagram @joshthomas87.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you’re based in Australia, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636. 

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