Entertainment Celebrity Lawrence Mooney rips into ‘the rush to outrage’
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Lawrence Mooney rips into ‘the rush to outrage’

Lawrence Mooney messes around on the set of Seven's new show Behave Yourself. Photo: Seven
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Comedian Lawrence Mooney is a regular panellist on Seven’s new show Behave Yourself, but he hasn’t always been on his best behaviour.

The funnyman has never shied away from voicing his opinion, most notably in a heated rant last year against a young reviewer who deemed his stand-up show less than impressive.

“I haven’t always been as match fit when it comes to criticism but I’ve realised sensitivity is a luxury we can all probably do without,” Mooney tells The New Daily.

He practices what he preaches. In the debut episode of the new comedy panel show, fellow panellist Kate Langbroek compares Mooney’s face to “a kicked in bikky tin”.

Mooney doesn’t flinch.

“The rush to outrage, I think, is counterproductive to one of the most important human faculties and that is resilience,” he says, citing recent examples like Carrie Bickmore’s beanie-gate fiasco, Mia Freedman’s controversial treatment of Roxane Gay and Kathy Griffin’s widely condemned Trump stunt.

“Constantly being outraged on somebody else’s behalf, you’re going to deprive them of the resilience they need. You need to toughen your hide and realise when a bad joke is a bad joke or when it’s a direct discriminatory attack.”

Mooney says when writing material for his shows “nothing is off limits and nor should it be” – bar perhaps “a deeply specific thing, like a child’s death”.

“Occasionally people come up to you afterwards breathless with rage,” he admits of his live shows.

“I do a joke about having sex in a disabled toilet and this woman stood up during the gig and said, ‘My child is disabled, how dare you!’

“In no way was I denigrating disabled people. It was about sex in a disabled toilet and to draw the two together is, in fact, self-obsessed. You can f*** off.”

Mooney said the trick to not caring what people think was to stay off social media.

“If you’re going to say things that are a lightning rod for the outrage just don’t have a Twitter account,” he says.

“There are people that confect that emotion constantly, your Andrew Bolts, your Ray Hadleys, your Miranda Devines … They do it professionally and they are impervious to criticism.”

If you ever spot Mooney in public, you’d be wise to take his advice and steel yourself because you may just end up the subject of one of his routines.

“I do observe those around me critically and harshly,” he admits.

“I’ve been doing pilates and what it’s really good for is fodder for my new shows. I overhear conversations that prove we all have the same petty whinges about the same petty things.

“It’s all about the builders making a noise in their street. It’s like, first of all, you’ve got a house in a street. That’s something to be thankful for.”

Behave Yourself premieres Tuesday July 4 at 9pm on Seven.

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